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Daley Doesn’t Miss Being The Boss, Won’t Second-Guess Emanuel

Former Mayor Richard M. Daley (left) sits down with CBS 2's Jim Williams, who once served as his press secretary, to talk about returning to private life, and the past year since the death of his late wife, Maggie Daley. (Credit: CBS)

Former Mayor Richard M. Daley (left) sits down with CBS 2’s Jim Williams, who once served as his press secretary, to talk about returning to private life, and the past year since the death of his late wife, Maggie Daley. (Credit: CBS)

Jim Williams (CBS) Jim Williams
Jim Williams, a native Chicagoan, co-anchors the CBS 2 Chicago Wee...
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CHICAGO (CBS) – One year ago on Thanksgiving, former Mayor Richard M. Daley lost his wife Maggie to breast cancer.

Daley sat down recently with CBS 2’s Jim Williams, who is also his former press secretary, and talked about his return to private life. He said he doesn’t miss being the boss, and won’t second-guess the decisions of his successor, Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

For 22 years, Daley led a city of nearly 3 million people, and managed a workforce of tens of thousands of employees.

He said, these days, he’s just one of several lawyers at Katten Muchin Rosenman law firm.

Asked if he misses being a boss, Daley said, “No. You know, essentially, you take responsibility. … When you think you order people around, then people don’t appreciate that.”

It’s an attitude he said he brings to his other jobs: business consultant, University of Chicago lecturer, and member of the Coca-Cola board.

But surely old instincts must surface at times.

When he was mayor, he was famous for always having a legal pad with him when he was riding around the city, taking notes about things like potholes, broken street lights, and other things that needed fixing.

Does he still have the legal pad out and take notes these days?

“Yeah, but I can’t send it to anyone,” Daley said, laughing. “I’m going to send it to you, Jim.”

The former mayor insisted he does not second guess the current mayor, Rahm Emanuel.

“I live in the city, I love the city, he knows that. He’s the mayor. He’s going to act upon … the questions that are brought before him, and make the decisions. That’s how i feel,” Daley said. “I’m not here to comment every day, because it would be unfair. It’s unfair to me, and it would be unfair to him.”

Asked if he believes Emanuel is indirectly criticizing him when he talks about new ways of doing things, Daley said, “No. No, there’s always new ways.”

As for the presidential race, Daley said he knew President Barack Obama would win all along.

“You never underestimate a person who got from his background where he is today. Why would everyone underestimate? Never underestimate someone who became President of the United States,” he said.

The former mayor said he doesn’t watch the TV show “Boss,” with Kelsey Grammer starring as the mayor of Chicago.

“I sat down with Kelsey. You know, it’s strictly fiction. It’s just all made up,” he said. “It has nothing to do with me.”