Daley Hopes For Exhibit In Library

CHICAGO (CBS/WBBM) — As he winds down his last few days in office, Mayor Richard M. Daley is reflecting on his legacy and the kind of honor he’d like after he ends his 22-year run at City Hall this coming Monday.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Regine Schlesinger reports, in an interview with The Associated Press, Daley says he doesn’t spend time thinking about his legacy.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Regine Schlesinger reports

“I really don’t worry about history,” Daley said in the interview.

But he defends his most controversial decisions, from the bulldozing of Meigs Field in 2003 to the parking meter least deal in 2008.

Of the world leaders he has met in 22 years, Mayor Daley said the one who impressed him the most was Nelson Mandela, as someone who emerged from years of imprisonment unembittered.

Mandela says Mayor Daley is a “special, special man.”

Daley also says he doesn’t want his own special mayoral library, but maybe just an exhibit in one of the Chicago Public libraries, to honor his family’s longtime civic commitment to a city where his father also was mayor.

The late Richard J. Daley was the city’s political boss from 1955 to 1976, when he passed away. The younger Daley surpassed his father’s record term in office in December of last year.

The mayoral exhibit would display pictures from his time in office as well as his father’s, along with mementos and possibly his father’s desk, which the younger Daley used at City Hall.

“It’s not a mayoral library, it’d just be maybe a room this big,” he said gesturing around one of the rooms in his fifth-floor City Hall office suite that’s dominated by a long conference table where he spends much of his time.

Meanwhile, Daley has steadfastly refused to offer any advice to Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel, who becomes Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Monday.

“It’s not appropriate,” Daley said. He also won’t say whether he planned to leave behind a note for Emanuel as is the tradition with outgoing presidents and their successors. “If it is, it’d be a personal letter,” Daley said.

One thing Daley definitely won’t leave behind is his gigantic aquarium with a few yellow fish swimming around in it. “You can’t leave this behind … here, I leave you three fish,” he joked.

Daley would not say what’s next for him as a private citizen, but don’t expect him to sit around.

“I have to work,” he said.

Daley said previously that he would go on the speaking circuit after leaving office. He has retained the Harry Walker Agency to book engagements.

The agency arranges paid speeches for a roster of politicians and celebrities, including former President Bill Clinton, cyclist Lance Armstrong, rock star Bono and astronaut John Glenn.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • Jim

    I think an exhibit about public corruption is a good idea. Maybe the citizens of Chicago can learn a thing or two on how to get away with it.

  • Pothead

    A hired dump truck filled with old parking meters ?


      Pothead, You are on the ball and wailing today!

      • Pothead

        But not at the library. I think it would be a fitting tribute if they parked it on the shoulder of the Skyway.

  • tom Sharp

    The exhibit certainly should include sewer covers, pieces of the O’Hare and Meigs Field runways, and parking meters surround by a wrought iron fence with pictures of Daley’s guilty family and friends who benefited from the deals.


    Maybe Da Mayer,can get Jeesee Jackson’s approval to have a closet in the basement over at the Harold Washington Library. Why does Richie feel he can’t leave Rahmmy 3 live fish? Rahmmy sends dead fish to his non cronies all the time. Good luck on the speaking circuit Richie,but you better take an English class or two first. Your first speaking engagement should be over in the Federal Court defending your crooked ass.

  • Legato

    I want this Mayoral Tour. To have jail as a last stop.


      The Mayors of Chicago only collect your money as they go past jail. The rules of the game for the elitists are not the same for the common folk.Only corrupt,crooked Governors go to jail after collecting your money. It’s in the rules. That”s why Rahmmy wanted to be Mayor so bad,now they can’t investigate him and his 16 + million he has made. And the wheel goes around ,and around.

      • Legato

        This $16 million had to be from that job he got. Which he never had any experience of doing. He must have given an outstanding job interview.
        Plus, Lisa Madigen as Attorney General. She will turn her back on any of his unethical conduct. She is being groomed to be the next governor of IL.

  • Joe Patroni

    He did a good job. All of the mid-west is dying except for Ann Arbor Mi, Omaha, Ne and Chicago. Drive around south of I-80. Taxes maybe lower down there. Without Chicago, Illinois would be just another MIssissippi or Arkansas. Chicago under Daley, like those other cities, adapted to a new knowledge economy.

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