In the interview, Daley reiterated many of the points he made in his Tuesday announcement. He also mentioned getting phone calls from some high-profile people following his announcement.
"I got some great calls," Daley said. "I got calls from President Obama. I got a call from David Axelrod who worked with me for several years and Rahm Emanuel, calls from Governor Quinn and former Vice-President Al Gore and of course, Dick Durbin and Oprah. I had a good discussion with Oprah. So, people were very nice. You know, they were happy with my decision, in a sense that they know I had to make a decision."
Daley said he expected a lot of people to run for mayor in 2011, calling it "the best job in America." "You can see change, you can get things done," he added.
When asked whether his decision not to run was due to his low approval ratings, the city's ugly budget or his wife's health, Daley insisted that those factors did not play a role:
"Leadership... people don't understand leadership," Daley said. "Leadership requires you to make a lot of decisions and sometimes you have to make difficult decisions in the face of a lot of opposition. And, if it's that bad, you can always correct it, but at least you made a decision. It isn't about arrogance. I don't feel I've ever been arrogant. I've been tough and I made decisions. Some people don't like it, but the next day I always came to work. I always came to work and it did not bother me. Fine-- you have an opposition. You have a difference of opinion, but I always knew what was in the best interest of the city. Not in the best interest of one individual too."
When asked whether he would endorse the future Chicago mayor, Daley resisted.
"This is not my office," Daley said. "The people gave me the opportunity and privilege to serve them and they can take it away any time they want. This belongs to the city of Chicago. It doesn't belong to anyone."
WATCH the full interview with Daley and read the full transcripthere.
More:Mayor Richard M. Daley Chicago City Council Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Chicago Mayor Chicago Mayor Richard Daley
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