Toni Preckwinkle, president of the Cook County Board, got a standing ovation Monday at the White Eagle Banquet Hall in Niles.
Quite a bit, I’d say, considering Preckwinkle is getting increasing pressure to run against Rahm Emanuel in 2015.
The dinner at which Preckwinkle made a surprise appearance was the 40th Annual Ed Kelly Sports Banquet. The crowd of 700 was a racial and ethnic mix, though predominantly white, not unlike Chicago’s 47th ward, where Ed Kelly ruled the roost for decades.
Headliners included Bears’ legend Gale Sayers, Blackhawks’ legend Bobby Hull, daughters of boxing legend Muhammad Ali, Senate President John Cullerton and Notre Dame basketball coach Mike Brey. But they were far outnumbered by dozens of business leaders, hundreds of union members, and Catholic priests.
It was because of Ed Kelly — not the groaning platters of pot roast and chicken — that they came. Kelly turns 90 in August but looks 60 and booms, “I still feel like I’m 40!”
The former boss of the Chicago Park District and Democratic Party powerhouse for decades still knows which way the political wind blows in this town.
Why was Preckwinkle there?
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