But the idea of swapping out Emanuel for Daley was being criticized through some conservative media channels Wednesday. Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass imagined a “Chicago Way White House” and quoted an unnamed Chicago alderman who wondered out loud if the scenario was “some kind of plan.” “Rahm [Emanuel] runs the city. Billy [Daley] runs the White House. I mean, really,” the alderman was quoted as saying.
Using Chicago’s early history of bare-knuckled politics and back-room deal-making is a favored tactic among those outside the region seeking to tarnish the reputations of local Illinois political leaders who rise to the national stage.
In the late stages of the 2008 presidential campaign, Sen. John McCain, the Republican candidate, launched a 30-second television spot titled “Chicago Machine” that told viewers Mr. Obama was “born of the corrupt Chicago political machine.” Listing figures like former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and imprisoned Illinois power broker Tony Rezko, the spot concluded, “with friends like that, Obama is not ready to lead.”