POLITICS: Daley Diminished

After 19 years in office, Mayor Richard Daley seems as permanent a part of the city of Chicago as Lake Michigan. His powerful Democratic machine has survived race riots, violent political demonstrations and endless scandals. But last week, with the boss recovering from a mild stroke, many Chicagoans were seriously thinking the unthinkable: that perhaps the end of the Daley era was in sight.

The reason is Daley's health. Although he recovered rapidly from the dizziness and leg cramps that sent him to the hospital two weeks ago, his condition is aggravated by high blood pressure, diabetes and age. Last...

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