Daley Heads for the Hills

Saved by travel, again

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Getty Images
    This is a press conference. The last thing I want to do is answer a bunch of questions.

    Let us stipulate that the trip Mayor Daley left on Sunday night to Lausanne, Switzerland, to pitch Chicago's Olympic bid had long been scheduled.

    Is there still not room for a little conspiracy theory about the timing of him leaving the country just when things were getting hot for him?

    Indeed, there is room.

    By the looks of it, his flu is gone! 

    That's the same flu that kept Daley out of public view for much of last week as, just coincidentally I'm sure, the latest revelations about his nephew's latest lucrative dealings with the city exploded.

    When Daley finally did emerge, he read from a statement and refused to answer reporters' questions.

    That was on Thursday. On Friday, he cancelled his public schedule.

    On Sunday night, he was off to Switzerland.

    It's obviously not possible that he booked his trip to the Alps to get away from the controversy surrounding his nephew. But is it possible that he built his media strategy around the timing of his trip?

    Entirely.

    In this town, public officials long ago lost the benefit of the doubt - and that goes triple for the mayor, particularly given his penchant for picking and choosing which topics he's willing to discuss with the media. On Thursday, for example, he was feeling well enough to discuss threatened impending city layoffs. And not even from a script.

    Not so when it came to his nephew.

    That was a strategic decision made by City Hall - knowing the mayor would soon be out of town and feeling better talking up how world-classy Chicago is to the International Olympic Committee.

    Bravo, mayor. We award you a "10."

    Now bring home those Games!

    If not for us, for your nephew.

    We have a feeling he's counting on you.

    Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review.