February 26, 2007

Chicago's Election

Mayor Richard M. Daley will likely tie the late Mayor Richard J. Daley's municipal mark by winning his sixth straight mayoral election on Tuesday. (Illinois Senator Barack Obama has jumped on the bandwagon, endorsing Daley despite previously expressing concern about the corruption of Daley's regime.)

When Richie Daley was first elected in 1989, nobody (including, I'm sure, the candidate himself) imagined that aesthetics would be his foremost concern. And, yet, Daley, of all people, has proven the most artistically important politician in America. Chicago's lakefront is now a gleaming wonderland, and Daley is going all out to get the 2016 Olympics to show it off to the world.

As a politician, Daley is strangely similar to one of his inspirations, the Emperor Napoleon III, the renovator of Paris. Fortunately, lacking an army, Daley hasn't gotten into similar entanglements abroad, such as attempting to put a puppet king on the throne of New Mexico or declaring war on the insolent Teutons of Wisconsin.


My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

16 comments:

SFG said...

Steve, enough with this journalism BS. You need to write a scifi novel set in the near future where America's groups have separate states and fight real wars with each other.

Anonymous said...

General aviation pilots all over America consider Daley to be Public Enemy Number One. He ordered the legally dubious and literally overnight destruction of Meigs Field, a lakefront airport popular with generations of pilots, citing utterly specious "security" concerns. Daley actually wanted the city to get control of the property for development purposes.

Peter
Iron Rails & Iron Weights

Anonymous said...

i lived in chicago and was not a pilot but ditto on meigs - it gave the city a sense of romanticsm - too bad about chicago's midwest, flat land location , because other than that its one of the best cities in america - where else can you walk out from downtown and be on quality beach front and go sailing?

Daley, oddly enough was also known as a 'tree freak' planting them all over the city - unlike my current mayor -bloomberg - daley seems to have a little more balance in his approach - investing in infratstructure whereas bloomberg is just trying to cram as many luxury developments as he can, hell or highwater.

Anonymous said...

Getting rid of Meigs pissed off a couple what, hundred rich aviation hobbysts . . . big deal. What it will make way for will be to the benefit of the entire city. Sure the Meigs field was romantic . . . but it was sitting on one of the best pieces of real estate around, and honestly, its hard to have sympathy for a bunch of rich guys just because they cant have their fun anymore.

Daley has been a blessing when it comes to improving the Chicago infrastructure, and living proof that dispite what neocons and liberals will tell you, dictators aren't ALWAYS bad, because I will take this one over just about any in America. With Daley its just a matter of "when will the bulldozers roll" because when they demolish a neighorhood or airfield (usually something belonging to the extremely rich or the very NIMBY, therefore not deserving of my sympathy) it means a new park or 6 runway/new terminal O'hare expansion.

THe problems with his administration though, have been increasing income equality, a squeezing out of the middle class worse than most midwestern cities, and crumbling educational infrastructure.

Steve Sailer said...

What Chicago really needs to do is build more islands and peninsulas in Lake Michigan. Why fight over Meigs Field when you can build more of them, as Toronto has done?

rob said...

Sure, Daley can't instal a puppet king in Mexico or anything like that, but any mayor with a taste for such pointless exercises should have his sights set on the White House.

tggp said...

It's harder to mock D.C for not kicking out Marion Barry when you're a Chicagoan. I guess a lot of people think Tammany Hall was just dandy.

Kevin said...

Steve, putting the airport on an island certainly hasn't stopped the fighting in Toronto. There's always someone on the news going on about how it diminishes the "waterfront." In the election before last, all the (eventual) mayor talked about was canceling the plan to build a bridge out to it. A city of 3 million people and it was all about that damn bridge. There were protesters and everything.

Anonymous said...

If Daley gets to play Napoleon III, who gets to be Bismarck?

joshrandall said...

Daleys strength--or one of them,anyway--is to avoid ethnic conflict of the sort that put Harold Washington in office many years ago. He has to give power and influenece to minorities,which results in a more corrupt and wasteful government,yeah,but also keeps a minority from starting a grass roots movement to get to City Hall. When he ran for mayor--after Harolds death--he made a famous gaffe: he said in a speech to "white etnics","You want a WET mayor"!Opponents claimed that the oft bumbling Daley meant "White mayor"!He had a hell of a time trying to get out of that one! But the white people of Chicago DO want a "wet mayor." Maybe a black/mexican mayor would give them better government,but given the constant shenanigas of the blacks in government here the people are,shall we say,"skeptical"! :)

Anonymous said...

Chicago's lakefront is now a gleaming wonderland,...

Yeah, maybe so, but you don't have to go all that far to find yourself in neighborhoods were you really oughta at least keep your doors and windows locked while driving through, if not go thru a red as soon as it's safe.

Anonymous said...

anon said "because when they demolish a neighorhood or airfield (usually something belonging to the extremely rich or the very NIMBY, therefore not deserving of my sympathy)"

yeah, screw property rights and indivdual liberty eh?

Sideways said...

Two things that bug me about Daley:
1) political nepotism should be quashed, totally. No more Bushes, Kennedys, Daleys, etc. People are too prone to creating leadership dynasties, and it's horrible for systems that are intended to be meritocracies.

2) It's possible he's much smarter than he sounds, but he rarely fails to make an ass of himself when he has to speak for more than a few seconds without a script.

oh, and the corruption

Steve Sailer said...

The funny thing is that the Daleys are behaving like a true royal dynasty, much more so than the Bushes or Clintons.

- Awhile back, Daley's 28 year old son, after picking up his U. of Chicago MBA, enlisted in the Army. Obviously, he's positioning himself to be mayor someday, but, heck, old-fashioned noblesse oblige of risking your neck in the military has mostly died out among America's dynasties. I don't see George P. Bush going into the military.

- Daley is taking care to build monuments to the Daley name that will reflect well on future generations of the dynasty when they are in power.

Justin said...

I laugh every time I read the phrase "the insolent Teutons of Wisconsin."

Anonymous said...

Daley's 28 year old son may be positioning himself to be President someday. If the Kennedys can do it, the Daleys can do it better. They've certainly done more for Chicago than the Kennedys have done for Massachusetts, the Bushs have done for Texas and the Clintons have done for Arkansas.

To anyone knocking Mayor Daley, look at other big cities. The alternatives to the Daleys are far worse.

~ Risto