Danny Davis, M.I.A.
Has anybody heard from Danny Davis?
I'm not writing about the U.S. Congressman who represents Illinois' 7th Congressional District. He's been as busy as ever in Washington.
It's Davis, the candidate for Mayor of Chicago, who's been missing in action.
He still has no campaign office or website that this reporter can find, nor has he announced the appointment of a campaign manager or communications director. And while State Senator James Meeks, City Clerk Miguel Del Valle, Carol Moseley Braun, Rahm Emanuel and Gery Chico are engaged in a discussion of the issues at various levels, physical or electronic signs of a Davis campaign are nowhere to be found.
He rushed into the fray riding a wave of headlines:
On November 6th, four days after Davis won election to what will be his eighth term in Congress, The Coalition for Chicago Mayor selected the 69 year old progressive to be the African-American community's "consensus candidate" to succeed the retiring Richard M. Daley. Eight days later on November 14th, Davis formally announced his candidacy at the Allegro Hotel.
On the 22nd, he led a parade of supporters to the Board of Elections where he presented petitions he said listed the signatures of over 50,000 Chicagoans who supported Davis' candidacy.
Then on December 1st, Davis won the drawing to be the coveted first name listed on the ballot.
In Washington early last week, I asked the Congressman about the mayoral campaign and he sounded like an old Sam and Dave song when he answered "Hold on, I'm coming".
The question remains...when?
Pols began whispering doubts about Davis' mayoral ambitions as long ago as his mid-November announcement. Many of the prominent Coalition members who named him their "consensus" candidate did not bother to show up.
And Davis' Congressional colleague Rep. Bobby Rush--who was one of the original movers in the effort to rally financial and political backing around a single black candidate--announced his support for Carol Moseley Braun.
There is also whispered concern that Davis has not been able to raise enough cash for a campaign.
What Danny Davis does have is great name recognition, an admirable record serving Chicago in Washington and a voter base that stretches from the lakefront to the city limits on the west side.
What I'm sure he does not have is a lot of time between now and the February 22nd city election.
If he's serious about running for mayor...he'd be advised to begin acting like it.