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What Exactly is 'The Chicago Way'?

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The Chicago Tribune's Eric Zorn noticed in his column that as our junior senator from Illinois approached the Capitol yesterday, he looked downright timid. Lost was the swagger and bravado of the man who just recently defended his appointment by our embattled governor. That rhetoric and rhythm of old style Chicago street politics was gone. Burris sounded nothing like what we're used to, nothing like this.

Ambi: Richard J. Daley quote

That of course was the first Mayor Richard J. Daley defending the appointment of the son of his city council majority leader Thomas Keane to a lucrative job. That confrontational manner and the back-room deals, intra-party battles, and larger than life individuals have become synonymous with Chicago. We explored that style and substance. This is what some of you on the street had to say about our favorite pastime.

Ambi: montage of Chicago voices

Think that's recent? Nope, it's from the last time we had a conversation about Chicago politics, back in 2003. And so, does it sound like much has changed? We opened up our phone lines to hear what you have to say about the Chicago way. What do you think is characteristic and good or bad, do you appreciate the way politics gets done?

With us to help navigate these murky waters was a panel of experts in this subculture. Christine Dudley is a political consultant and the former executive director of the Illinois State Republican PartyAlton Miller is Associate Dean Professor at Columbia College Chicago. He's also a former press secretary for Harold Washington, Carol Moseley Braun and Miriam Santos. And Bob Crawford is a veteran journalist who served as the political editor of WBBM.

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