CHICAGO (CBS) – It was a day of politicians on parade. But Chicago’s annual Columbus Day Parade had more than the usual number of candidates. CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine says November 2nd may be three weeks away, but it was another race that got more attention.
There were no fewer than six possible candidates for mayor along the parade route; ostensibly there to celebrate Columbus Day, but also taking not-so-veiled shots at each other, and even Mayor Daley.
The mayor kicked off the parade. Those who dream of succeeding him were far behind. Some announced, some still considering, some, like Ald. Ed Burke, the subject of wild fantasies.
“I’m here to endorse Ed today, as long as he promises just one term. Then I’ll take it in four years,” said possible candidate Rickey Hendon, the state senator from Chicago.
Some were whimsical. Others quite serious.
“We’re very close to making a formal announcement,” said Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart.
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Each had his or her own read on voters.
“Everyone’s happy with things the way they are, and it’s really kind of saying people would like the city to stay pretty much the way it is,” said Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas.
Rahm Emanuel, who was working the crowd outside the barricades, had a different take on the issues facing Chicago.
“The hunger, appetite and thirst by the public for tackling these issues. They know we have tough challenges and that we can’t continue down the path were on,” said Emanuel.
Ald. Robert Fioretti was singing a similar tune.
“I do plan on addressing some of those issues that the mayor has left us behind with, and it’s unfortunate this Band-Aid approach toward the budget next year won’t solve all of the problems for the city of Chicago,” Fioretti said.
Congressman Danny Davis had one eye on the parade, the other on a forum to decide a consensus African-American candidate.
“The kind of discussions that are taking place lead me to believe that there is more unity forming in the African-American community than what we have seen politically since Harold Washington was mayor,” Davis said.
But Rickey Hendon unveiled a ballot he’d like handed out at that forum: a straw vote.
“Right, that’s the only process in which I am committed to getting out of the race if I am not chosen,” said Hendon.
Reading Hendon’s list and others, it’s hard to identify all the potential candidates.
“There have always been mayoral candidates. You just didn’t see ‘em,” said Daley.
Now they’re all out there — even former Dodgers manager Tommy LaSorda.
“I’d like to be the mayor of Chicago,” said LaSorda. “I’d clean this city up. I’d make everybody be proud that they live in the greatest city in America.”
And just think of his campaign promises: World Series tickets for all.
CBS 2 Political Producer Ed Marshall contributed to this report.