Chicago - Oct. 15, 2018
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The [Wednesday] Papers

I haven't yet read the coverage of Rahm's impending departure and the mad scramble in the field of candidates to replace him, and I have to finish my taxes today and speak to a class at UIC.

So just a bunch of stray thoughts on mayoral race for now.

Before I heard that Toni Preckwinkle was making calls to gauge support, I made the case to a friend that former city clerk and state legislator Susana Mendoza, now the state comptroller, would become the immediate frontrunner if she jumped in the race.

Mendoza has carefully managed her image to maintain an arm's length with the Democratic machine while being relatively enmeshed in the Democratic machine as one of the party's most high-profile bulldogs. Mendoza is not afraid to attack - nor is she afraid to zealously defend and promote, as she did as city clerk for Rahm Emanuel despite leading her first public statement on his leaving the race by noting her supposed many disagreements with him. That was a strategic move.

In the General Assembly, Mendoza was not always a Michael Madigan pet, but neither did she challenge his power. She became a breakout star making the case for impeaching Rod Blagojevich. She's politicized the comptroller's office as a leading antagonist of Bruce Rauner. So she's been an ally, one way or another, of Madigan, Rahm and Pritzker. She's a known quantity to insiders and less "risky" than, say, Lori Lightfoot, who probably scares the regulars and business community.

That's to Lightfoot's credit, and in line with national electoral trends, but this is Chicago, which remains several gradients more cynical than most jurisdictions.

Mendoza, of course, is also a Latina woman.

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Preckwinkle would be the mayor today had she run four years ago. In most cases, those jumping in the race now that Rahm is out could make the case - not a good one considering the city's mood - that they had no interest in challenging him because they agreed with his policies. But we know Preckwinkle had many substantive differences with Rahm; the only case she can make for skipping the race four years ago and staying out until now, should she jump in, would be that she simply lacked the courage to do so, or believed so strongly in deferring to the party that she stayed out for the sake of Democratic unity, which has always been a big thing for her. That's a big strike against Preckwinkle because now she has her stubborn backing of Joe Berrios to the bitter end on her record. Preckwinkle would probably have - and would probably still - made a good mayor, but it feels a bit like her time has passed.

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The mayoralty is a big step up for Lightfoot and she has to pass the "Is she big enough for the job" test. That task becomes much harder for her if some heavyweights join the race. I liked her chances better with Rahm still on the ballot. The contrast of her with Rahm, Garry McCarthy and Paul Vallas, for example, was to her favor. The contrast of her with Mendoza and/or Preckwinkle, just for starters, shrinks her a bit.

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Suddenly Vallas and McCarthy look even more . . . old. And white. And male.

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Bill Daley making calls? Dear God, no.

I know he wants to restore his brother's rep (to what it was when his brother was in office and everyone, including the media, loved him, but now realize that us "critics" were right about his godawful reign), but think of the rest of us.

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Fringe candidates like Neal Sales-Griffin and Ja'Mal Green become even fringier, as the contrast with potential heavyweights becomes stark. It's hard to see what they're doing in the race besides getting (a tiny bit of) exposure. But then, that's worked out well for Amara Enyia.

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Willie Wilson, you are a sideshow, no matter how much money you have.

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But Wilson and Dorothy Brown will shave off a relatively significant share of the black vote.

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I don't see an alderman capable of winning this race, though Carlos Rosa-Ramirez has some zealous progressive support that could make things interesting, though that's worth next to nothing at the ballot box. Ameya Pawar would be the one most likely to make a real dent. The rest are pretenders, not contenders. Looking at you, Tom Tunney, Joe Moreno, Rick Munoz, and Rod Sawyer.

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Then again, maybe the field doesn't expand by much if the money and machine folk unite behind the scenes and make the decision for us.

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And then there's the matter of simply getting enough signatures to get on the ballot.

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Bruce Rauner calling Ken Dunkin to see if he's available to run.

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Can you imagine Rauner's response if Lisa Madigan jumped in? He might jump in himself just to spite her and her family.

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Lisa Madigan could've been governor if her father didn't stand in her way by refusing to step down as House speaker. Now the Madigan name has been demonized beyond the normal level of demonization it long carried. Plus, I don't think she wants the job.

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Valerie Jarrett? Somehow I think she feels a bit above the job. Do you really think she wants to worry about the jamokes in Streets & San? Then again, that's what I said about Rahm when rumors first started that he would run for mayor.

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Where will J.B. Pritzker's millions go? Who wins the Michael Sacks primary? Will Ken Griffin fund a Republican - or go for it himself? So many questions . . .

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I'll have to sort more out later.

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New on the Beachwood today . . .

New Morning!
The Beachwood Bookmaking Bureau has frozen its board while it reassesses the mayor's race. Update coming.

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From "Let's Fucking Kill Him" To "We're In Crazytown," The Most Disturbing Excerpts From Bob Woodward's New Book On The Trump White House
"If one-tenth of it is accurate, we are, in a very real sense, in the midst of a national emergency."

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Chicagoetry: The Hate Song Of Walt Price-Friedham
How shall I wear my hair to declare my attitude about the high American noon?

artists-hate-song-ice-baby.jpg

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The Ex-Cub Factor
One of 'em's kinda being a dick.

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Nike's Revolution
Morphed from a petty bourgeois cry of fear into a sacred text, twisted and spoiled by a sneaker company.

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Quantum Englewood
A journey through 100 years of South Side musical history.

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ChicagoReddit

Is Mariano's more expensive than Jewel Osco? from r/chicago

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

Street Artist At Work, 87th & Vincennes.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Serenity later.



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Posted on September 5, 2018


MUSIC - Lyric Opera Strike Settled.
TV - WFLU-TV.
POLITICS - USA Today's Op-Ed Disaster.
SPORTS - SportsMonday: Come On, Vic!

BOOKS - Chicago Book Haul: The Dial.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: West Town Blues.


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