Daley takes subtle jabs at Emanuel over teachers' strike
September 25, 2012 (GARY, Ind.) (WLS) -- Richard M. Daley, Chicago's longest-serving mayor, now senior fellow at the Harris School of Public Policy, will lead a team of students helping Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson confront her challenges in Gary, Indiana. He appeared relaxed and fit Tuesday as he initially refused to make any comment about Mayor Rahm Emanuel's handling of the teachers' strike.
"I would never comment on that because of my respect for the office. From my viewpoint, as a former Mayor of 22 years and my father's mayor for 21 years, I have the utmost respect for the office. It would be unfair because it's just not like that, it shouldn't be," Daley said.
There were no teachers strikes during Daley's over two decades in office.
Emanuel said Daley and his former school bosses and union leaders ran the Chicago Public Schools to benefit themselves while "the children got the shaft."
Daley told reporters after he took on the task of running the problem-filled system in 1995 it was never his policy to point the finger at the teachers union.
"When I took over that, I didn't blame teachers. I said it's our responsibility to make a difference. It's not going to be done overnight. We had to make a difference," he said.
Meanwhile, the TV ads continue running featuring the former White House chief of staff recounting his version of CPS victories after a strike that Emanuel insisted all along the union could have avoided.
Daley appeared to link the politics of blame to Emanuel's experience in Washington.
"It's easy to blame everyone and national politics is to blame people. But when you take responsibility, in 95 that's what I said. Don't blame the teachers, let's all work together to make it a better education system for all," Daley said.
Daley said he would not describe himself as a consultant to Gary's city government. But that's exactly the word Mayor Freeman-Wilson used to describe the help that her city expects from Daley, his students and the University of Chicago.
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