The List: Potential candidates for Chicago Mayor

By David Thomas

The Northern Star will list the best and the worse, the practical and the impractical, the prettiest and ugliest things about a particular news topic. Partly irreverent, partly serious, all true.

This week, we present five people who could step into Mayor Richard Daley’s shoes.

1) Rahm Emanuel, White House Chief of Staff. He’s voiced his political ambitions for the mayor of Chicago before, and he vowed not to do it when Daley was in office. But will the White House let him go?

2) Jesse Jackson, Jr., Member of Congress (IL-02). He’s been pegged as a frontrunner by Jonathan Alter of Newsweek, who notes that there are no other prominent black politicians who could split the vote. Let’s hope he manages to duck the scandal of another Blagojevich trial.

3) Tom Dart, Cook County Sheriff. Never heard of him? Well if you lived in Chicago, you would have. As the Cook County Sheriff, Dart has been credited by the Chicago Tribune for going after prostitution ads on Craigslist, and for his investigations into the Burr Oak Cemetery.

4) Oprah Winfrey, Chicago-based talk show host. Joke, right? In terms of name recognition, Winfrey is up there with Daley and Michael Jordan. Pundits have clamored for years to get her into politics, and she is retiring from her show.

5) Rod Blagojevich, former Illinois governor. Seems like another joke, but political comebacks have been done before. He may have to wait a couple of election cycles until he’s done serving time for lying to the feds, but weirder things have happened.