‘Lori Lightfoot and the Agony of Big-City Mayors,’ by Ross Barkan

— Justin Miller, deputy editor, Intelligencer

Timing is perhaps the most underappreciated factor in politics — a force that can make or break a candidate through no fault of their own. When it comes to big cities, it has been an especially cruel ruler. The sitting mayors of New York and Los Angeles during the early days of the COVID pandemic did not face voters again, but Chicago’s Lori Lightfoot is not so lucky. “I think no sane person wants to try to govern through, hopefully, a once-in-a-lifetime global pandemic, an economic meltdown, a civic unrest following the murder of George Floyd, and an increase in crime across the country,” she tells Ross Barkan, who reports that voters are torn between reform and reaction. Lightfoot ran on cleaning up the police four years ago and now finds herself blamed for doing too much and too little before she faces voters next week. It’s a familiar position that Democrats in big cities across the country, including Eric Adams, find themselves in. If Lightfoot loses, no mayor may be safe.
Who Wants to Be Mayor? Chicago’s Lori Lightfoot is in danger of being thrown out in a warning sign for other big-city Democrats.
Photo: Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images
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