It Was a Parade of Pols - NBC Chicago
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It Was a Parade of Pols



    It Was a Parade of Pols
    Getty Images

    Just about every politician who's anybody was at the annual parade shaking hands and drumming up support for an election that's just three weeks away (or longer for some mayoral candidates.) 

    Mayor Richard Daley was all smiles during his final march in the Columbus Day parade as Chicago's mayor.  And circling nearby were some of those who'd like to takeover.  

    Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart walked the parade route, dodging questions on Rahm Emanuel.

    "Haven't seen him," he said.

    Emanuel worked the parade-goers along the sidewalk, telling reporters that his listening tour is going well, despite being peppered with questions about how the federal stimulus package is working.

    Emanuel said Chicagoans "know there are big issues.  They're up for a challenge."  

    Dart wouldn't say if he's hearing a northside vs southside fight out there.

    "That's for the White Sox and the Cubs to fight over," he quipped.

    Then there's former Daley Chief of Staff Gery Chico, who's lined up former Ald. Manny Flores' support and said that "people want to talk about jobs."

    Mark Kirk (R) was there, and he took the opportunity to take a jab at opponent Alexi Giannoulias (D) over a remark made during their debate on NBC's Meet the Press a day earlier.

    "I think we had a big change in the race yesterday when a leading candidate for a national office, Alexi Giannoulias, says he didn't know the extent of the criminal involvement of people he lent money to from a federally insured bank," Kirk said, referrencing

    Gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady (R) was there, while his opponent, Gov. Pat Quinn (D) flies around the state to host  "Putting Illinois Back to Work" rallies. Both men are locked in a heated battle for the Governor's mansion that could swing on just a few votes.

    Recent polling puts this race in the toss up category.

    But the most ambitious Columbus Day parader had to be Alderman Robert Fioretti.  He scored a political hat trick by appearing not once, but three times in the parade itself.    

    Fioretti is still weighing whether he's jumping in the mayoral race, but clearly he's good at parades.

    Most Chicago schools and government offices, along with postal service, were shut down for the holiday. Parking meters are still in effect.