Daley sounds off on what makes a good leader

April 7, 2011

(WBEZ/Tony Arnold)

Richard Daley expressed a lot of emotions Thursday in talking about his 22 years as Chicago's mayor.

At a media conference, Daley talked about his experience completing projects in Chicago, singling out turning the West Loop from skid row to a developing area.

"You have to have leadership. You have to have leadership," Daley said. "You media, you don't like leadership. You want weak people."

And he criticized legislators in the federal government for not reaching an agreement on the budget.

"Move the agenda forward and not keep debating things over and over," he said.

When asked if having a compliant City Council helps get things done, Daley interrupted, saying, "I have never had a compliant City Council."

He said he was able to complete projects by working with people he didn't get along with. He cited an example in which he asked former President George W. Bush for help with a public housing program.

"He could've said no," Daley said of Mr. Bush. "He could've said none of the people voted for me. Chicago won't vote for me. Whatever I do, they won't vote for me. I'm a Republican. But he was President of the United States. You know what he said? Yes."

Daley said his advice to the new mayor being sworn in next month is to not be afraid to take criticism.

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