Kass: Meigs Field was turning point for Daley


Geoff Dougherty

May 05, 2011 @ 3:45 AM

John Kass occasionally drives me batty, but there's no better metro columnist than him when he focuses on Mayor Short Shanks. 

Today's column is a wonderful reminiscence of two decades of Daley, detailing how the two men shared much in common but eventually became adversaries. 

I'll let you read the details for yourself. But, Kass advances an argument worthy of special note: That Daley lost his way when he bulldozed Meigs Field. 

He sent his bulldozers out in the middle of the night and slashed the runways with giant X's. He ruined Meigs because he wanted to, because he could.

"There are three Daleys," said a prominent political figure who supports the mayor, at least publicly. "There's the Daley who got elected, the one you liked. Then there's the Daley who cut all those deals. And there's the Daley who destroyed Meigs Field. And once he did that, he lost his way."

After Meigs, things were different between Chicago and Daley. Chicago had seen the other side of his face. Things went downhill from there. His friends got rich but Chicago floated in red ink. He failed to win the Olympics. Taxes kept rising. He sold off the skyway, the parking meters.

Now there's nothing left to sell but Chicago's soul.

 I think the turning point came a bit later for Daley, when the Hired Truck scandal got cranking. But it's an interesting discussion point. 

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