CHICAGO (CBS) — In his 22 years office, Mayor Richard M. Daley has made his share of colorful, and sometimes eccentric, comments. Here are a few you might remember.
November 1990, after Democrat Neil Hartigan lost to Republican Jim Edgar in the Illinois gubernatorial race.
“I worked for him. I raised money for him. What am I supposed to do, take my pants off?”
August 1991, defending his early plans for a third airport on the city’s Southeast Side near Lake Calumet against detractors who said the airport would destroy wetlands.
“They think there’s wetlands out there. They’re trying to romanticize the wetlands issue. … I guess everything’s a wetland. My backyard could be a wetland. It should be designated. They could designate everything in the country as a wetland. All of DuPage County would be a wetland.” (Source: Illinois Issues)
Aug. 9, 1994, after the city shut down several restaurants for health violations:
“I thought the health of people is very important. If a rat is on your sandwich, you hope to know it before. If a mouse is on your salad, it’s common sense.”
Nov. 21, 2000, emphasizing that the delays at O’Hare International Airport lay outside his control (as quoted by the Chicago Tribune):
“I am not out there talking to the mechanics. I am sorry. I did not talk to the flight attendants. I did not talk to the airline pilots. I didn’t talk to the FAA. I didn’t talk to God about the weather. I’m sorry. I don’t do those things.”
Aug. 28, 2001, responding to a question about whether his family would have been the subject of increased scrutiny if his brother, Bill Daley, had continued his run for governor:
“Scrutiny? What else do you want? Do you want to take my shorts? Give me a break. How much scrutiny do you want to have? Go scrutinize yourself! I get scrutined (sic) every day, don’t worry, from each and every one of you. It doesn’t bother me.”
March 31, 2003, defending the decision to bulldoze Meigs field in the middle of the night and wondering why Disney World had a no-fly zone before downtown Chicago.
“I think just the whole debate about the flight restriction–temporary flight restriction. How difficult that was, how hard it was to get as compared to Mickey and Minnie getting it.”
May 31, 2006, asked by Tribune reporter Matt Walberg – who happens to be bald – about claims during testimony in the trial of former city patronage chief Robert Sorich:
“It’s silly! It’s silly, baldhead! He’s baldheaded – is that silly? No. Come on! It’s the silliest thing I ever heard! Next question!”
Jan. 23, 2009, after the recently arrested and charged Gov. Rod Blagojevich claimed that he Democratic lawmakers were trying to oust him so they could raise taxes.
“I’ve said ‘cuckoo’ once. I’ll say it again. (chirping) Cuckoo!”
May 30, 2010, responding to a question by the Chicago Reader’s Mick Dumke about whether the city’s handgun ban had been effective:
“It’s been very effective. (Holding a rifle): I put this up your butt, you’ll find out how effective it is. Let me put a round up your, you know.”
April 24, 2011, explaining his governing philosophy at his last City Council meeting:
“You have to have passion. You have to have honesty in office. You have to love the people.”
Compiled by Adam Harrington, cbschicago.com