Ward Room
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Where's Mayor Daley?

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Where's Mayor Daley?
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How the Blizzard of '79 Affected City Politics

After a massive New Year's Eve storm, Chicago was buried under 20" of snow less than two weeks later.
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When severe weather strikes, city officials always issue a reminder that the more fortunate among us should check on our poor, our infirm and our seniors.

Has anyone checked on Richard and Maggie Daley?

The mayor, who has in the past called himself "the most accessible public official you've ever met," has been strangely absent since Mother Nature unleashed her winter fury over Chicagoland.

There was word that Daley was going to address the public during a press conference at the Office of Emergency Management and Communications on Wednesday afternoon, but he apparently backed out, leaving his chief of staff, Ray Orozco, to face the cameras.

Orozco conceded that Daley wasn't pleased about what happened on Lake Shore Drive.

"Was he pleased?  No, I don't think the mayor was pleased.  I think the mayor always knows we can do better, and the mayor challenges us as individuals that are fortunate enough to be department heads in this city to always do better," said Orozco.

But the main department head in this city is Daley, and while he's been known to dodge questions in the past, his absence in the wake of what became the third-biggest winter storm in Chicago's history is uncharacteristic.

While the men who want to be mayor are pushing cars and digging out neighbors, the man who is mayor isn't taking questions.

In the end, maybe he doesn't have to.  The lame-duck mayor will be out of office in a little more than three months. 

But it's interesting that a massive snow storm -- like the one that many say was the downfall of the late Mayor Michael Bilandic -- would leave some wondering what's going on at City Hall.

Full Coverage: Blizzard 2011

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