Today Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. called for a massive voter registration drive to target the 650,000-some Chicagoans who remain unregistered while he decides whether to run for mayor in February 2007.
This is a good thing. More candidates make for better electeds. Candidates who run unopposed tend to be less sharp than those who survive a hard-fought election. If Jr. runs, the election will make Daley (assuming he wins) a better mayor.
You have to think that Daley is the favorite over Jr., as Daley remains one of the nation's greatest mayors. The persistent low-level corruption in city government is a significant problem, but perhaps the culture of tolerance that infects lots of voters as well as lots of electeds is finally changing in Chicago. Significant political opposition is a good thing, especially opposition that pushes to change the culture of tolerance.
There is something a bit depressing about two sons of powerful Chicago men facing off for mayor -- an echo of the 2000 presidential election.