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The [Tuesday] Papers

So I watched - live on Facebook! - the Tribune editorial board's first mayoral debate this morning, featuring Bill Daley, Gery Chico, LaShawn Ford, Willie Wilson and Toni Preckwinkle.

The Trib is holding a series of these, splitting up the otherwise unmanageable field of candidates into what I presume are randomly selected groupings. This is a really good idea.

You can find my running commentary - and that of everyone else - on Twitter at #TribEndorse. I also used the hashtags #ChiMayor19 and #ChicagoMayor. For times when I forgot to hashtag, you can check out @BeachwoodReport.

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And with that, let's take a look at the State of the Race starting with this morning's five candidates.

Bill Daley: I still can't figure out why exactly he wants this job. Because he's bored? To reclaim his family's legacy? After all, he's a former U.S. Commerce Secretary, fancy-schmancy banker, and White House chief of staff. Does he really want to worry about what the schmos in Streets & San are up to?

Then again, I said the exact same thing when rumors first started circulating that Rahm Emanuel was considering a run in 2011.

Still, Daley has failed to articulate any sort of vision for the city - because he doesn't have one. It's not lazy to surmise we'd be getting a combination of the seventh term of Richard M. Daley and the third term of Rahm Emanuel, making Bill the most status quo candidate this side of Susana Mendoza.

This morning he defended the traditional Chicago arrangement of a supine city council in the interests of "getting things done" and claimed he didn't need to release his tax returns because he's already the most vetted candidate in the field.

And yet, I wouldn't count him out. He's raising prodigious amounts of money and has the city's most politically successful name.

All I can say is, please don't let this happen, Chicago.

Gery Chico: Chico is smart and substantive. I was impressed with his policy chops when he ran for U.S. Senate in 2004 - the race Barack Obama won - and to some extent by his mayoral campaign 2011. When it became clear that Miguel del Valle wasn't going to win that race, I pulled for Chico over Rahm, even though I thought Chico would rule much in the same way his patron Richard M. Daley ruled. I did think - and continue to think and Chico pressed again this morning - that he could be an imaginative leader. But . . .

Chico, too, is a status quo candidate. He comes from the Daley tree and while serving as a loyal Daley apparatchik at the school board, park board, as Daley's chief of staff, and other positions, he wasn't particularly memorable and certainly didn't challenge power. Well, that's not totally true - he was memorable for his partnership with Paul Vallas overseeing Chicago Public Schools, even though Vallas is sniping at him these days like nobody's business.

The problem for me is that, as school board president, he struck me as elitist and set us on the path toward the selective schools and charter system we have now that has badly damaged neighborhood schools. He also led the system into a hypertesting regime.

If it's truly way past time to focus on the neighborhoods, he's not your guy. He's a downtown attorney who has leveraged his public posts to get rich. He's basically a more interesting, less wealthy Bill Daley.

LaShawn Ford: Ford had one good go-around with Willie Wilson this morning (see Twitter for that), but otherwise appeared badly out of his depth and doesn't appear to have a serious chance of even coming close to getting into what surely will be a runoff. So why is he running? Why does he want to raise his profile at this moment?

Willie Wilson: Wilson was rude and inconsiderate this morning, as well as remaining fairly unintelligible and uninformed about not only the issues but how the city and government work in general. He has an amazing personal story and I don't want to begrudge his wealth, but he must have really had a special knack for running McDonald's restaurants to get so rich, because he otherwise is not a smart man. He is generous, but he also voted for Trump and Rauner, so go figure.

Wilson can get enough votes to create havoc and make a difference in the race (can we move to ranked-choice voting, please?), but he has almost no more business being mayor than president, which he ran for in 2016, apparently on God's instruction.

Toni Preckwinkle: Preckwinkle doesn't suffer fools easily, as the cliche goes, and it showed this morning as she was seated next to Wilson and looked exasperated for much of the debate. Preckwinkle's star has certainly dimmed from four years ago, when she passed on a chance to knock Rahm Emanuel out of office without - in my view - needing a runoff. Her flaws have really come to fore, and that has made her vulnerable as the frontrunner. But she still has the best command of the issues, the nitty-gritty experience working on them to back up her positions, and progressive positions on criminal justice and education that go beyond platitudes and would significantly re-orient the city's direction on both. Her biggest challenge may be maintaining her patience through this whole process.

As an aside of sorts, she said this morning that the now-infamous fundraiser that Ed Burke hosted for her was actually an Anne Burke production, and that she and Anne Burke have worked closely together on criminal justice issues. I'm actually not much of an Anne Burke fan either, but be that as it may.

To be continued.

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New on the Beachwood . . .

The Political Odds
Updated to reflect recent developments.

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The White Sox Report: Get Manny!
A deep dive suggests the only way the South Siders lose Machado to the Phils or anyone else would be their singular lack of pizzazz.

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City's Administrative Hearings Department Still Sucks
Two years after the inspector general took a look, they still haven't gotten their act together.

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Mailbox Fishing
"Fishing tools" and how they are used to steal mail!

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ChicagoReddit

Has the shutdown effected O Hares TSA at all? from r/chicago

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

Así se prepara la mejor carne de Chicago | La Capital

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TweetWood
A sampling.

Thread.

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The Beachwood McRibTipLine: Secret sauce.



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Posted on January 15, 2019


MUSIC - College Radio, Eh?
TV - Ellen DeGeneres's Bullshit Takedown.
POLITICS - Making Elite Colleges White Again.
SPORTS - Tackling Without Helmets.

BOOKS - What We Do To Whistleblowers.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Recall! Kenosha Beef.


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