Friday, June 25, 2021

The mayor isn’t very good at this, is she?

     “Rahm Emanuel was abrasive,” my savvy Chicago pal said. “But if he’s sandpaper, Lori Lightfoot is a belt sander.”
     I don’t know about that. I always thought of Rahm as more oily than caustic, a salubrious insider slithering through the drain pipes of power, popping up through a grate to lubricate a momentary ally, then dissolving into the gutter with a wet splat, and gone.
     Now our current mayor, well, I don’t have much direct personal experience to bring to the table. Lightfoot sat down for an hour with me and my colleague Lauren FitzPatrick for a profile when she was running in 2019. Lightfoot struck me then not as caustic but guarded, measured, deliberate. Not personable in the look-you-in-the-eye-and-ask-about-your-dog sense. Not much eye contact, really.
     But then, Lightfoot isn’t a politician. Her campaign chairman told me as much while we chatted at an ACLU luncheon. A reluctant campaigner, he said, she had to be dragged into a room of potential supporters, where she’d stand, regarding them with disgust, until poked. Then she’d murmur something and flee.
     Voters claim to like that. They seem to like electing officials who aren’t politicians. Yet they wouldn’t hire a plumber that way, based on complete lack of familiarity with plumbing.
     We saw the result again at Wednesday’s bizarre, amateur hour City Council meeting. Maybe we’re used to Rahm, and Rich Daley before him, who turned the Council into a trained seal act, rearing up on command, clapping their flippers together and barking approval in unison in return for a herring delivered in private.

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  1. She is yet another example of the Peter Principle in action.
    She isn't a manager & has no idea of what to do as mayor, except to yell at people.
    She was elected on a fluke, 17 people ran, most had no chance & that worthless & useless Bill Daley totally made a mess out of the race, because of all the fools who actually thought a third Daley was what the city needed!
    The same for Jeremiah Joyce, who was the favorite of the South Side Irish, who also never had a chance.
    So, according to the polling before the first election, it all came down to three people at the end, Preckwinkle, Lightfoot & Daley. Unfortunately, the best candidate out of the 17 was Paul Vallas, but he was fourth in the polls & had no chance of making the runoff.
    What a miserable choice! I didn't want Preckwinkle, as all she had done in the past was raise taxes, Daley was a joke, so I & many others went with Lightfoot.
    What a mistake we made!!!

    1. yes we did. my first choice was Amara Enyia. I had high hopes for Lori, but no more. a failed administration for sure. her decision to do away with aldermanic prerogative assured that they would never work with her let alone back her.

      big city mayor is a tough job but she's botched it big time.

  2. I voted for Lori Lightfoot...twice, thinking that she was the most capable of the lot. But it's clear that she isn't suited to the mayoral job, in temperament, in experience, and in plain old administrative skill. Worst of all, she has obviously lost the respect of the Aldermen and of those who work for her. It seems to me that she has consistently been dealt bad cards and maybe the day will come when she'll be able to slap down a full house or 4 aces on the table and scoop up the pot, but it may be too late even for that unlikely event. Maybe next time we'll get the sainted genius Paul Vallas and see how he can screw everything up.


  3. Council Wars Redux?
    Someone alert Aaron Freeman.

  4. Of the first 5 comments here at the friendly confines of EGD, 3 voted for Lightfoot. The other 2 didn't say. I make the 4th, at least.

    I can't really improve upon Tate's contribution. Of course, I'll continue blathering, anyway. I kept thinking -- tough job, things got a lot harder last year, let's give her a chance. I kinda reacted against the lefties dunking on her all the time, though I do recall that in the last few weeks before the election I noticed a rising tide of lefty backlash against the merits of her potential victory. So, they do get to say "I told you so." Though, their primary gripe is simplified to "she's a cop." Not a good time to be characterized as such, needless to say.

    I'm no government wonk, so I don't really know who could have done better, or what they could be doing. But, you don't need to be a wonk to be disappointed by how thin-skinned and tone-deaf she's been. If she's capable of learning on the job, it's not very apparent, though for her sake and the city's I still hope she can do better. I guess I'd like to see an alternate universe in which Preckwinkle had prevailed. At the time, I was more than happy to go with "anybody but Daley."

  5. I remember watching the documentary “City So Real” last year, and being so impressed with this new mayoral candidate winning the election. A voice of hope, a Black, gay woman with a no-nonsense attitude. Even the name, Lori Lightfoot, had a positive ring to it.
    Sadly, my anticipation of “hope and change” has steadily devolved into cynicism, leaving a trail of hurt and disappointment along the way.

  6. Well, you guys elected her, so you own her.


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