Mayor Richard M. Daley was elected to his 6th term in office in February 2007 with a landslide victory (70% of the vote). One crisis he had to face shortly afterwards was corruption in the Police Department. The head of the Chicago Police department resigned in Spring 2007, and was replaced by J.P. Weis, in fall 2007.
Daley has shown himself to be on the whole a strong Mayor, advancing the city's best interests, using a coalition of multi-ethnic and multi-racial supporters to upgrade the city's school system, improving the beauty of the Grant Park area with Millenium Park, and making what may be a successful bid for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games which would totally revamp the Washington Park neighborhood.
He is also sure to be remembered for his sale of the Chicago Skyway for 1.8 million dollars in 2004.
Valerie Jarrett, set to be a senior adviser to the President of the United States, has been a member of the Daley Team. She directed the Habitat Company, which managed public housing projects.
Republicans, still incensed by the Obama victory have been attacking his close ties to Chicago. Their vision of scandal has been unleashed on a website called "Barackbook," a satire of Facebook, where Mayor Daley is prominently featured. This biased presentation of Daley may have some shreds of truth, but Obama himself supported the Mayor in his 2007 re-election campaign, and also received the Mayor's strong support in his bid for the Presidency.
Mayor Daley speaking at the Democratic National Convention 2008:
Mayor Daley speaking at the Democratic National Convention Meeting in Chicago in 2006, and emphasizing Chicago's efforts for education:
Jodi Kantor, "An Old Hometown Mentor, and Still at Obama's Side," New York Times (November 23, 2008).
Barack Obama introduced Mayor Daley at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Miami, citing the "astonishing leadership that this man has shown over two decades..." for the city of Chicago which has changed considerably between 1985-2008 (June 21, 2008).