Less than a week ago, Ald. Burke (Chicago's 14th Ward) said running for Mayor would be "one of the farthest things from my mind." However, he said, "In Chicago politics, people never close the door."
Well, the door just blew a little more open in the Windy City. Ald. Burke, in an impromptu exchange with this journalist [and Mary Frances Bragiel of WBBM radio] yesterday afternoon, as Burke entered the Union League Club of Chicago, said "The jury is still out [on the question of whether he is running for Mayor]. The 66 year-old Chicago Alderman, lawyer and former "beat cop," indicated he was "flattered to be thought of as a potential candidate for Mayor." When asked what factors he would consider to make the decision of whether to run, or not, to replace the retiring Mayor Daley, the 42 year Democratic Alderman said "it would be nice to see what the whole field is."
When this journalist asked Ald. Burke to assume that Tom Dart and Carol Moseley Braun were running, Burke noted that Cong. Danny Davis (D-Chicago, 7th CD), White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, Cong. Luis Gutierrez (D-Chicago, 4th CD) and State Senator Meeks (D-Chicago) also have talked about making a run for Mayor. Burke noted that the election contest could be "akin to an old style Presidential convention where everybody votes for the favorite son on the first time around and eliminates all but [the top] two candidates...then the two top voters will face off.
Ald. Burke conceded that he would have to accept responsibility, during an election contest, for some of the financial problems that are currently plaguing Chicago, due to his role as long time Chairman of the City's Finance Committee. He said he also should get some of the credit for some of the financial affairs in Chicago's government that are working well.
If the election contest for Mayor of the City of Chicago included the above described candidates, plus another four, or so, candidates, Ald. Burke did not think he or anyone else running in that kind of crowded field could get the requisite 50% plus one vote to win without having a run-off.
Ald. Burke rejected the idea that Mayor Daley chose not to seek re-election in part because he thought he might not do well enough to get into the run-off. To the contrary, Finance Committee Chairman Burke said he had no doubt in his mind that Mayor Daley would win if he chose to run for re-election.