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Emanuel, Daley Regularly Discussing Transition

Mayor Richard Daley on his farewell tour Friday; right, Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel (CBS)

Mayor Richard Daley on his farewell tour Friday; right, Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel (CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Mayor Richard M. Daley revealed on Wednesday that he and Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel have had a lot more contact recently that many of us have been led to believe.

The two, he said, have been meeting regularly to talk about transition.

CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports on who else has Emanuel’s ear these days, and who doesn’t.

Emanuel and Daley have met face to face three times and have spoken more than that since the election.

The mayor-elect has also been consulting with national experts on public safety and education as he prepares to make critical appointments.

Speaking after Wednesday’s city council meeting, Daley confirmed that he and Emanuel and their staffs are well into the transition.

“When he first got elected, we started meeting. We have people meeting continually,” Daley said.

What do they talk about?

“What do you think we do when I sit down with him? You think I talk about baseball? The Tribune or Sun-Times? No,” Daley said. “We talk about government. We talk about the problems the federal government’s going through, the state government’s going through, all these problems you talk about, sure. And you try to figure out what your solutions are.”

Emanuel, CBS 2 has learned, is also being advised by three former police chiefs: Bill Bratton, who led both the New York and Los Angeles departments; Terry Hillard, Chicago’s interim superintendent; and former Chicago Police Superintendent Phil Cline.

Emanuel has talked with all three about who might be the next top cop in Chicago.

Some have suggested Bratton himself and he was actually in Chicago on Wednesday, meeting corporate security clients.

Bratton said, “I’m happy in the private sector….while I’m gratified that my name has been mentioned, Chicago is not in my future.”

Also in Chicago Wednesday was U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, the former Chicago Public Schools CEO. He’s advising Emanuel as the mayor-elect vets candidates for a new school CEO.

“Rahm is someone I have great respect for. I’m very close. He and I talk about education fairly frequently. I’ve given him a list of ideas, sort of characteristics and qualities that I think are most important,” Duncan said. “But in the end of the day Rahm’s gonna make his own decision.”

One person who doesn’t have the Mayor elect’s ear is current City Council Finance Committee Chairman Ed Burke, who supported Emanuel rival Gery Chico in the election.

Neither Burke nor Emanuel has reached out to the other during the transition, although Daley downplayed the need for a summit between the two.

“This is all about leadership. This has nothing to do with the City Council, it’s about leadership,” Daley said. “You need a good leader and he will become a good leader. The issue is bigger than any city council member.”

Emanuel has met with dozens of current and incoming aldermen. His spokesperson wouldn’t talk about why Emanuel hasn’t met with Burke.
While Burke said the two have bumped into each other at social events, and he did drop Emanuel a note of congratulation, neither has called the other.