The World Has Turned And Left Stroger Here
By Marcus Gilmer in News on Dec 4, 2009 5:40PM
It's been a rough week for Cook County Board President Todd Stroger. February's tough primary is drawing nearer and Stroger's reeling from the Board's override of his veto of their half-percent tax roll back. That veto override was a bitter pill for Todd to swallow, which may account for his demeanor in this interview he conducted with the Chicago News Coop; the interview happened right after the override. Perhaps it's no surprise given that particular failure, but Stroger exhibited a feeling of abandonment, beginning with Mayor Daley.
Down in the polls, dismissed by many political experts, Mr. Stroger said it was time to fight back and rally his African-American base. He said he felt he had been injured twice by the mayor’s silence: Mr. Daley failed to back him in the lengthy sales tax dispute, and he is witholding his support for Mr. Stroger’s bid for a second term.
“Mayor Daley is like most politicians — political animals,” Mr. Stroger said. “They will not put themselves in danger. When you are treated as badly as I have been treated, people are afraid to stand next to you because they fear that they might be hit by the next shot just by being too close.”
“I’m disappointed in about 60 other people,” Mr. Stroger added.
Also in that abandonment boat? The unions, per Todd, who will support Terrence O'Brien because they wouldn't "turn their back on someone who was an Irish-American, but they can do that to an African-American and no one’s going to say anything. And it’s a shame.” Another interesting quote comes from 4th Ward Alderman Toni Preckwinkle, addressing the issue of race in the upcoming primary and concerns that she will split the black vote with Stroger and Dorothy Brown, paving the way for an O'Brien win as feared by Stroger: "This is not an African American primary, it’s a Democratic primary and I hope for support all across the county."
The entire article is fascinating given Stroger's persecution complex and worth a look. More than anything, it feels like a last gasp lashing out by a cornered candidate who can sense the end coming.