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CHICAGO (CBS) – Mayor Rahm Emanuel walked a political tightrope Thursday as he blasted past city bidding practices but stopped well short of criticizing the man in charge at the time.
His remarks came before Emanuel and former Mayor Richard M. Daley appeared together at the dedication of a new library in West Humboldt Park, CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports.
Emanuel continues to try to make his own mark, differentiating his administration from the past. One City Hall insider refers to Daley as “he whose name shall not be mentioned.”
But there were no such rules in place Thursday afternoon as Daley was honored at the dedication of a new, state-of-the-art library named for the former mayor.
Emanuel and Daley stood together at the unveiling of a stylized portrait of Daley near the entrance to the new library. He got a warm welcome after being two months out of the public eye from VIPs, ordinary people and especially from the new mayor.
It was a far different tone than he took at City Council and with reporters Thursday morning, when he talked about the difference between bidding for a new airport concessions contract and the one it replaced. He said vendors are starting to realize that the fix is no longer in.
Daley declined to talk about either the direct of implied criticism of his administration and had nothing but praise for his successor.
“I know that Mayor Rahm Emanuel has the same commitment that I had, the same passion and the same idea about what the city can be,” Daley said.
The former mayor looked rested and relaxed as he arrived, accompanied by his son-in-law. Daley was asked if he felt a weight off his shoulders.
“I would not stay 22 years if I didn’t realize what weight’s all about,” Daley said. “I would never stay 22 years.”