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Daley Upbeat in Spite of Olympic Loss

By Kevin Robinson in News on Oct 7, 2009 2:40PM

2009_10_daley_photo.jpg In his first local press conference since Chicago lost its bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics, Mayor Richard Daley declared that he would pay no political price for the loss, "none whatsoever." “You wrote my obituary, didn’t you? Some of you have, I guess,” the mayor told the press. “I don’t know why you already put me in the grave,” he said. “I know you’re all planning on it, don’t worry,” he said, after asking that we at least run a nice picture of him.

Daley also cited the benefits of Chicago's bid attempt, including “enormous free publicity” for the city, and the chance to redevelop the Michael Reese Hospital site. “That’s a great property,” he said. “That’s a great, great site if you know anything about the South Side.” In spite of the problems the city faces, including a half-billion dollar budget crunch, a CTA shortfall of nearly $300 million and violence in the public schools, Daley said he's still got the fire in his belly when it comes to governing Chicago. “I would not be here [if it didn’t].You should know me. You cannot take this job if you don’t have any passion or heart or feeling. This is not a job just to read something, like many of you do. This is a job of passion,” he said. He also took the opportunity to lash out at the media for not supporting his Olympic dreams, citing the media response in Tokyo, Madrid and Rio. “Don’t go home and cry. ... I’m not blaming you. ... It’s an observation. It had nothing to do with you," he said.