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Bet on a Daley Re-Election Bid

By Prescott Carlson in News on May 26, 2010 9:20PM

Photo by Kate Gardiner
Mayor Daley has had a rough time since his re-election in 2007. Chicago's finances are in shambles. His approval rating is at its lowest ever, in part because of an electorate angered over the whirlwind privatization of the city's parking meters. A swing and a miss at the Olympics. A public school system in trouble. A rise in violent crime. A wife battling cancer. And most recently, Daley joked about sticking a rifle up reporter Mick Dumke's ass, leading some to question his sanity. All this and more has led to speculation that Daley would opt out of a re-election bid in 2011, and drift away into retirement.

But Daley's not going anywhere according to attendees who heard him speak yesterday at the City Club of Chicago, including the Sun-Times Mark Brown, who said "if [Daley] isn't running for re-election, he sure wants everyone to believe he is" adding that "the mayor's talk was heavily stocked with potential re-election themes." Also bolstering the notion of a Daley 2011 run was the announcement he was making the "difficult decision" of temporarily halting his beloved city beautification project in an effort to save $4 million.

The biggest poker tell, however, was his pledge to not raise property taxes in 2011. It's a familiar refrain for Daley, returning every four years as regularly as a comet. In 2006, Daley made the same pledge, and won the election handily in 2007. Later that same year he sucker punched residents with a record setting property tax increase.

So will voters remember his meaningless pledges along with the vast array of other missteps and cast their vote for a different candidate? Unfortunately, as Brown points out, currently there are no signs we'll even get to make that choice. Besides the notion that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel could throw his hat in the ring (although he seems to have no interest in running directly against Daley), there are no other viable candidates on the horizon and it will be business as usual for the City of Chicago come February of next year.