When the U.S. Conference of Mayors was held in Chicago last week, there was a conspicuous absentee: Host Richard J. Daley. King Richard, now 74, was off fishing in Florida, resting up from his humiliation on Election Day when, despite his Democratic machine's efforts, Gerald Ford carried Illinois and Republicans beat the mayor's candidates for Governor, attorney general and Cook County state's attorney.

Daley can still turn out the vote: of Chicago's 1.6 million registered voters, 79% went to the polls, only 5 points below the average since 1960. But because of the city's loss of residents to its solidly Republican...

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