Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

We're Bored of Mayor Daley, But Can We Leave Him?

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We're Bored of Mayor Daley, But Can We Leave Him?

Mayor Daley is like a tedious husband. We’re sick of being married to him, but we don’t think we can do any better out there on the dating market.

He has so many annoying habits. He appointed one of his political fixers to run Streets and San, and the fixer got convicted for handing out patronage jobs. He embarrassed us in front of the entire world by trying to land the Olympics, only to be eliminated in the first round of voting. He was so desperate for cash he sold all our parking meters for $1 billion, like a loser boyfriend who walks out of the house with the TV under his arm, mumbling, “I gotta see a guy about some stuff.” And Chicago is more dangerous than New York or Los Angeles, which only reinforces our Second City complex.

And yet, we think about what our lives were like before Daley came into our life: Council Wars. “Beirut on the Lake.” “Worst Schools in the Nation.” Our parents were happy enough with Daley’s father. Why can’t we be happy with Daley?

We’re not. More than half of us say we want a new mayor. Daley is lukewarm about us, too. This year, he hasn’t raised any campaign funds, but he’s spent $250,000 on polls to test our feelings about him. Will Daley stay, or will he end the relationship?

“It just means he’s thinking about it,” said his spokeswoman, Jacquelyn Heard. “Anything beyond that would be a guess.”

Former Ald. Dick Simpson thinks Daley will run again:

Getting out now means finishing his tenure scarred by the Olympic collapse. Getting out now means leaving while some of Daley's biggest projects-the transformation of public housing perhaps most prominently-remains incomplete.

So does political commentator Ray Hanania, writing in the Southwest News-Herald. Hanania attributes Daley’s low poll numbers to the fact that “voters always will say no when you ask them how they feel about almost any politician.”

But it comes down to an election attitude that should be Chicago’s motto: “Things could be worse.”

Until a charismatic inspirational alternative steps up to the plate — and waiting until a few months before the filing deadline is not a good omen — no one can beat Mayor Daley.

Get that? We’re kind of sick of the old man. But we’re not going to leave him until someone better comes into our life.

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