Tuesday, November 2, 2010



In today’s race with the most significant ramifications for Chicago politics, Cook County Board of Review member, 31st Ward Democratic Committeeman, and nominal head of the Cook County Regular Democratic Organization Joe Berrios beat Forest Claypool, a former chief of staff for Mayor Daley and the darling of the reform movement on Chicago’s trendy near north side, in the race for Cook County Assessor. And Berrios beat Claypool early and beat him big.

Why is this so important? As I have said in numerous fora, the assessor’s contest was an indication of the supposedly faltering pulse of the ward based Machine in Chicago. If Claypool had won, you could have stuck a fork in the Machine. But Claypool lost despite his being endorsed by every major media organ in the area and despite the tongue clucking and the “I can’t believe that people can even consider voting for this hack” attitude toward Berrios among the self-designated opinion makers in the city, the county, and the state. Why? Apparently because the Machine can still crank out the vote.

Why is this so important? If the talk that the committeemen who run the Machine don’t want Rahm Emanuel to be mayor is true (See, inter alia, my 10/31 post, IF MACHIAVELLI CAME TO CHICAGO…), Emanuel isn’t able to buy off the committeemen before February, and the guys in charge of the Machine can settle on a candidate, Rahm Emanuel’s chances of becoming mayor of Chicago have just fallen, perhaps dramatically.

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