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The [Tuesday] Papers

The Papers will have to return on Wednesday because, like Bill Daley, I underestimated the enormity of the task.

(Bill Daley, Surrender Monkey.)

Unlike Bill Daley, I will return to the arena, where the critic's face is also marred by dust and sweat and blood from striving valiantly, despite what every pol who quotes Teddy Roosevelt says.

Bill Daley is rich (net worth: $28.7 million). He has sacrificed nothing. His forays into public service were for himself and, maybe, his party, not for us. He's not exactly returning to the private sector to work for a soup kitchen or a food bank; he'll go back to serving the interests of America's wealthiest. (Just like Rahm Emanuel did when he left "public service.")

That's the measure of who these people are. (Remember when Alexi Giannoulias, a legitimate candidate only through the blessing of Barack Obama, was a warrior for the middle-class, too? Guess what he's doing now.)

It's kind of like that idea that integrity is what you do when nobody is looking.

On Sunday, Bill Daley said "I take second place to no one who stands up for the Democratic values on behalf of the people that are working in this state."

On Monday, he dropped out of the race.

On Tuesday, he stopped taking second place to no one standing up for working people.

(As far as Democratic values go, Daley left the stage by declaring he would not endorse Quinn, the party's presumptive nominee, but he might endorse the Republican nominee depending on who it is.)

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Unlike Bill Daley, I'm poor. Even when nobody's looking. But I'm in the arena every day - the arena of working people. Nice of you to visit, Bill.

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The Top 10 Reasons Bill Daley Dropped Out Of The Race.

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Flashback from Carol Felsenthal in Chicago magazine, 2005:

"Indeed, Bill Daley's particular brand of intelligence presents a curious case: He was never a top student (and he suffered embarrassment 30 years ago when - apparently without his knowledge - a state employee changed Daley's answers to help him pass the insurance broker's exam).

"He maneuvered the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in the U.S. Congress and lobbied on behalf of the telecommunications giant SBC, but his supporters say that he probably never mastered the details of those operations.

"Still, people who have worked with him (and against him) credit Daley with remarkable savvy. 'If you asked Bill the difference between Cicero and Plato, he wouldn't know,' says the Chicago lawyer and Democratic stalwart Wayne Whalen, but he possesses a 'keen intelligence' on how to plot strategy, to predict how people will behave in a given situation, to see beyond conventional wisdom."

All evidence to the contrary; the guy's sort of been a walking disaster at every turn.

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"In August 2001, when he considered running for governor, it appeared that he was set to fill the gap. 'It may sound arrogant," he [said] three years later, 'but I thought I had a really good shot' . . . But Bill Daley says his decision not to run was motivated simply by his need to make money."

Getting six figures to be the governor apparently didn't satisfy that need.

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"In 1987, U.S. senator Joe Biden, a Delaware Democrat, decided that he wanted to be President and he wanted Bill Daley to help get him there . . . Then a Michael Dukakis campaign aide leaked the news that Biden had lifted inspirational remarks about his supposedly hardscrabble childhood from a speech by the British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock . . . Convinced that Biden was 'too unframed and undefined' to withstand the ridicule he was taking in the press, Daley advised his friend to quit the race."

I sense a pattern.

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"'[Labor] had [NAFTA] won until the last week and a half,' says David Bonior, who claims the Administration passed out some $20 billion in goodies for the districts of legislators on the fence. Don Rose, the Chicago writer and political strategist, says that Daley won NAFTA because of his 'ability to find everybody's price.'"

That is Bill Daley's "keen intelligence," just as brother Richard's intelligence is having the keen instincts of a bully. We can safely assume Bill never read the NAFTA agreement nor spent any time considering the issues; he certainly wasn't standing second to none for the working man. He was simply brought in to git r done.

His next job was formally representing the nation's wealthy as U.S. Commerce Secretary.

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His next job was at Evercore Partners, an investment banking firm in New York City.

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His next job was president of SBC, which went on to acquire AT&T.

"Ed Whitacre, the chairman of the highly regulated telecommunications company, was having trouble making his case to officials.

"He hired Daley, fancy title and job description aside, to lobby, to 'grease the skids with regulators and politicians,' in the words of one reporter who covers the industry. (SBC is regulated in 13 states and also by the Federal Communications Commission in Washington.)

"Daley's Midwest clout, particularly in Illinois, a key market for SBC, magnified his value to the company. He could also schmooze Democrats. SBC gave generously to George W. Bush and his party. 'They wanted him because he was a Democrat,' says Brian Moir, a telecommunications attorney in Washington.

"He was certainly not hired for his telecommunications experience, which was negligible."

*

Oh, and:

"Daley made plenty - a $1.1-million signing bonus, $612,000 in salary, 90,000 nonqualified stock options, and an $890,000 bonus that first year - a total of about $2.7 million. The pot grew richer every year."

*

"As he had at Commerce, Daley plunged in to master the business. Whitacre calls Daley 'really a quick learner.' One reporter who interviewed Daley remembers, 'He knew a lot about what they needed regulation-wise, but when it came down to the nuts and bolts of the telecom business, he would say, 'That's not my bailiwick.'"

*

"In May 2003, Daley seemed to have won his most audacious victory. After four days of manic lobbying, the Illinois General Assembly passed a bill hugely favorable to SBC. Negating a decision by the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC), the legislation allowed SBC to more than double the fees charged to competitors using its local network. Within hours, Governor Rod Blagojevich signed the bill. U.S. representative John Conyers of Michigan called it 'a national embarrassment. The Democratic Party is supposed to stand for consumers.'

"A month later, when a federal judge ruled that the law was anticompetitive and contrary to federal statute, Daley's victory turned into a crushing defeat. His strategy of bypassing the ICC, which regulates telecommunications companies, and appealing directly to the legislators could not pass judicial muster. For all Daley's classy associations, he looked like a machine hack hawking Chicago-style clout politics. 'He couldn't deliver on the one thing they wanted,' says a former law partner."

*

His next job was at JPMorgan Chase in the new position of Midwest chairman.

"Daley's first official act was to announce the bank's underwriting of the cost of the opening celebrations for Millennium Park."

*

He wasn't there to stay, though.

"Sitting in his bank office before the election went Bush's way, Bill Daley mused about possible jobs in a Kerry Administration: 'Treasury would be interesting. UN ambassadorship would be interesting.'"

*

"Today, his friend Jim Johnson says, Daley is 'very clearly committed to his new position at J. P. Morgan and does not intend to return to government service.'"

*

"Daley certainly has deep reservations about elective office. When Joe Biden briefly considered a run for President in 2004, he talked to Daley, who recalls telling the Delaware senator, 'You have to be almost sick to do this stuff at a Presidential level. I don't know if you're sick enough, Joe. Are you really willing to put everything aside, your personal life, your family? If you have to run to Iowa for a birthday party for somebody, you'll do that before you go to your daughter's birthday party.'"

Does that sound like someone unaware of the enormity of running for governor of Illinois?

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*

*

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Well, lookee there, we got ourselves a column.

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Elsewhere on today's Beachwood:

* The Political Odds: Updated to reflect Bill's bombshell.

* The Top 10 Reasons Tourism Is Up: For one, Groupons for Gangs was a hit.

* About Stephen Paea's War Cry: Unlike Fox announcers, we know where it came from.

* Novelties & Sea Monsters: In Local Book Notes.

* The Original Svengoolie Has Died: Remembering Jerry G. Bishop.

* The Replacements In Chicago: This will have to wait for Wednesday.

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Gratuities included.



Permalink

Posted on September 17, 2013


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SPORTS - Fantasy Fix Draft Guide Pt. 3: The Professor!

BOOKS - Bannon, The Best And The Brightest.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: Ray Rayner & Friends.


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