Paul Greenberg

Out with one member in good standing of the Daley machine, Rahm Emanuel, and in with another, this time a Daley himself, as the president's chief of staff. The more things change at the White House, the more things stay the same, if not samer.

It's all in the family this time as the mayor's brother Bill moves to Chicago-on-the-Potomac, where he'll feel right at home. He can order in Chicago-style, deep-dish pizza and generally run the president's office the way it should be. On time, or else. And always friendly. At least at first. Just don't make trouble, pal, and we'll get along fine.

Chicago is the kind of town where the trains run on time. Also, the snow is removed and the trash doesn't pile up on the streets and you play nice or there will be, uh, ramifications. Which is something else that distinguishes Second City from the Big Apple, the way old Maxwell Street used to have better bargains than the Lower East Side.

And you could sink your teeth into a real corned-beef sandwich instead of the kind of confectioner's dream they serve at the Carnegie Deli in Manhattan. And don't get me started on the kielbasa in Chicago, which is not to be confused with the sanitized, deflavored, lo-cal version made for the little old lady in Peoria.

Chicago's got a mayor who's a mayor, one who runs the place like a family business, which it is. Not some retired billionaire who can't decide what party he belongs to. Think of it as the difference between the White Sox and the Mets, and you'll see what sets a Chicago pol apart from a dilettante like Charlie Rangel in New York.

Carl Sandburg dubbed it City of the Big Shoulders, and Sarah Bernhardt said it was the pulse of America. Chicago may have slowed down some since Miss Bernhardt's time, and affected a little polish, which is a shame in its case, but its heart still beats strong, or at least The Machine does.

Things haven't changed all that much since Mayor Daley I elected Jack Kennedy president of the United States, so why not let his youngest save this presidency? It runs in the family.

The president has chosen well this time, if from a limited pool. But why go far afield when you're from Chicago and know just who can do what and how well and where to get it wholesale. The youngest Daley may be the smartest, toughest and business-savviest of the bunch, and that's saying a lot. 'Cause the old man didn't raise no dummies. Or softies. Don't let the JPMorgan Chase manners fool you.


Paul Greenberg

Pulitzer Prize-winning Paul Greenberg, one of the most respected and honored commentators in America, is the editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.