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07/02/2009

A Kinder, Gentler Mayor Daley??

As a reporter, there are few more memorable and rewarding moments than a Mayoral eruption.  I know it.  You know it.  And much to my dismay, I fear Mayor Daley now knows it as well.

That's right, he's on to us.  This week at City Hall journalists peppered Daley with questions about Olympic financing, taxpayer guarantees and a threatened aldermanic revolt.  We got a slight finger wag.  One eyebrow arched. But that was it. No pink face. His hair remained in place. There were no signs of the wonderfully quotable Mayor with whom we fell in love with so long ago.  The Mayor who once famously responded to a reporter's suggestion that he wasn't doing enough to help a fellow Democrat at the polls: "What am I supposed to do, take my pants off?"

Fast forward to this week in the City Hall briefing room and the Mayor finally revealed he's on to us. "You're trying to make me always mad," Daley said with a knowing smile.  We squirmed in our seats, fearing the worst, fearing that Mayor Richard Michael Daley was transforming into a politically correct politician.  

Daley's press secretary Jackie Heard gave an approving nod from the sidelines.  No doubt she has tried to coach her boss over the years that Mayoral madness makes for bad pictures in the press.  "I can't be emotional," Daley said of his recent revelation. "I have to be calmed down and not smile.  When you're emotional you start looking differently."

Doesn't Daley realize these are trying times for those of us in the journalism business?  If he can give a tax break to lure Boeing to Chicago... can't he goose our ratings a bit with the occasional outburst?  Come on, Mayor! We need the old you back.  Do it to help a hometown business.

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