Over the last few years, Mayor Daley’s boosters (like his father’s) have had one standby response (see comments below posts) to any criticism of his reign: without him, we’d be Detroit.

It’s a curious response. I know it’s code for something, but I’m not sure what. I mean, of all the cities to compare Chicago to, why Detroit? Why not, oh, I don’t know, Minneapolis or Seattle or Toronto?

Do the mayor’s supporters really believe that whatever differences may exist between Chicago and Detroit come down to Mayor Daley and his leadership?

If so, what exactly has Mayor Daley done to keep Chicago from becoming Detroit?

For that matter, are there parts of Chicago that actually are like Detroit?

If so, why hasn’t Mayor Daley helped them?