"Out Of The Woodwork"
I remember my grandparents using the phrase "coming out of the woodwork" when folks for whatever reason started showing up from every which way.
We have candidates "coming out of the woodwork" to run for Mayor of Chicago in 2011.
Richard M. Daley's surprise announcement Tuesday afternoon that he is serving his sixth and final term as mayor is the most profound Chicago political development since hizzoner's first election in 1989.
The remainder of this post will be a list of as many possible candidates for Daley's job as I can come up with tonight. Believe me, by tomorrow, the list will be longer.
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart
For the past several weeks, Dart has told any number of folks that if Daley doesn't run, he would seriously consider a campaign. It doesn't matter that he's up for re-election as Sheriff in November. The 19th warder will just win that race and run for Mayor a few weeks later.
Alds. Bob Fioretti, Scott Waguespack
Fioretti (2nd) and Waguespack (32nd) had the guts to say they were considering challenging the incumbent weeks ago. But now that Daley is out and others are involved, suddenly the first-termers look like also-rans.
Alderman Ed Burke
The City Council's senior member, finance committee chairman and resident historian has always had this secret desire to be mayor. With his city-paid driver, security staff, larger-than-anyone-else's staff, he's had plenty of practice with the trappings of the office. And Burke's actually younger (66) than Daley. Last Hurrah?
The outgoing Cook County Assessor. He needs a job. Mike Madigan would pull out all the stops to stop Houlihan.
Jesse Jr., Sandi, Jonathan Jackson
U.S. Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. is kicking himself again. He talked about challenging Daley in 2007 and had a nice Southside/Lakefront Liberal coalition in the formative stages. Then he got ambitious and got himself involved in the Blagojevich mess. He'll be on the witness list in the second Blago trial at the same time the city election campaign is underway. Fuggedaboudit.
Sandi, the congressman's wife and alderman will face a tough re-election battle in her 7th Ward. Old foe Darcel Beavers is gearing up for a campaign. Would Sandi risk all to run for Mayor? I doubt it.
Jonathan, Junior's younger brother and Northside beer distributor was being recruited to challenge Daley before the mayor's retirement announcement. Can he galvanize the African-American community which comprises about 40% of the city's vote?
The "retired" Illinois Senate President is nearly 75 years old but looking and he says feeling younger. Operatives from the anti-Jackson camp are putting Jones' name in the mix.
The U.S. Congressman has expressed interest in the job as recently as 2006. Decided to stay in Congress when the democrats took back control that same year. Would he reconsider running to be Chicago's first Latino mayor?
The White House Chief of Staff whom Mayor Daley obviously tipped months ago that he was seriously considering retirement. Emanuel, the former northside U.S. Congressman said back then that if Daley quit, he would return to Chicago to run for mayor.
Emanuel is a prolific political fundraiser and conceivably would be the guy with access to Daley's donors. But the Rahmster should understand that precinct workers in Chicago's 50 wards are a different breed altogether.
They aren't impressed by that White House stuff.
The former Urban League President who ran and lost a U.S. Senate campaign earlier this year seemingly would have enough name recognition left over to at least test the mayoral waters. On my list, she would be one of the few female contenders.
Rev. Senator James Meeks
Only if the state lawmaker with the 20,000 member church promises not to let the campaign interfere with his televised Wednesday night bible study...
...political reporters in the great city of Chicago need their prayers these days.