May 21, 2010
One of the great debates in American politics can be summed up with this question:
What's the stupidest thing Chicago Mayor Richard Daley has ever said?
One of my all-time favorites is when he threatened to take his pants off to prove his political loyalty to a Democrat he betrayed. But that's just my opinion. You've got your opinion. So why not put it to a vote?
The other day, Chicago Reader reporter Mick Dumke dared ask the mayor why Daley felt the city's handgun ban was effective, what with so many shootings and murders in Chicago. Daley picked up a rifle, and said:
"If I put this up your butt, you'll find out how effective it is. Let me put a round up your, you know."
We've put together a sampling of Stupid Daleyisms over his 20-year career as mayor, controlling the city with his wrought-iron fist.
So here's a list of mayoral babblings to vote on. And since this is the Internet, and this is Chicago, you can vote early and often, even if you're dead.
We'll have to come up with a prize for the winner, perhaps a proclamation, such as "Whereas the comment by Mayor Richard Daley about having his shorts scrootened by the media is indeed the stupidest thing he's ever said …"
After a health crackdown on restaurants in 1994:
"If a rat is on your sandwich, you hope to know it before. If a mouse is on your salad, it's common sense."
Asked about the casual look:
"If somebody takes their tie off, I'm not going to take my tie off. If somebody takes their pants off, I'm not going to take my pants off."
After Democratic gubernatorial nominee Neil Hartigan lost in 1990:
"I supported him. I raised money for him. What else do you want me to do? Take my pants off?"
After his brother Bill dropped his gubernatorial bid in 2001 and the mayor was asked if he would have faced increased scrutiny had Bill stayed in:
"Scrutiny? What else do you want? Do you want to take my shorts? Give me a break. … Go scrutinize yourself! I get scrootened every day, don't worry, from each and every one of you. It doesn't bother me."
Responding to a reporter who asked about the mayor's friendships with principals of three companies that won big city contracts:
"Wha! Wha Wha! Wha! Wha! Wha!"
Complaining about state funding in 2009 but misspelling a key word:
"The state of Illinois funds those centers. We did not cut. They have cut state mental health facilities all over the state. That is state money. Underline that. S-A-T-E money. It's called state money ..."
Complaining in 2003 that Disney World had a no-fly zone but Chicago didn't:
"Now, think of that; Mickey and Minnie have it. I mean, I can't believe that. They get it first before we get it?"
In 1997 when civil libertarians complained about police harassment of political dissenters:
"It's just a group of people, yuppies and yippies and hoppies or whatever they call them, I don't know. Who are they? Are they worried about the moon coming out or something? The sun is changing and I don't know. This is unbelievable."
Addressing whether railroads have an obligation to make crossings safer:
"They have a responsibility, they can't get away with it. I mean, they stole the land from the Indians. They took all that land. They got it free from us."
Asked about his position on capital punishment:
"I'm pro death! I'm a death-penalty opponent!"
Complaining about sexy music videos:
"Sometimes the music jumps down from the television and sits right next to you at the bar."
When a City Hall crime package was defeated in the Legislature:
"Well, you just pick up your face, and you keep on walking."
Responding to revelations about his hand-picked alderman, Patrick Huels, being forced to resign after accepting a $1.25 million loan from Daley pal Michael Tadin:
"It's a wake-up call, I said to me."
Responding to questions about a $14 million political insider contract for plastic covers on airport toilet seats:
"Toilet seats are good."
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