CHICAGO
02/02/2011 04:53 pm ET Updated 4 days ago

The Countdown: Candidates Talk Dibs.. Dig For Votes

It turns out, people in Chicago are more obsessed with the weather than politics. Pretty impressive. But, while most people spent their snow day digging out cars, cross-country skiing or taking photos of the blizzard's aftermath, the mayoral candidates kept on campaigning. With just 20 days remaining, we can't blame 'em.

Stay tuned to HuffPost Chicago from now until February 22 for "The Countdown," a daily roundup of election news, gossip and other fun tidbits. You can also sign up to receive "The Countdown" via email daily by checking the "Chicago Brief" box here.

DIBS: A REAL CHICAGO ISSUE

If you spent three hours digging your vehicle out from under 20 inches of snow, perhaps you'll put a chair in the spot to assure that no one takes advantage of your hard work and leaves you spot-less. Perhaps you hate the Chicago tradition of "dibs" altogether. Maybe you want to fight about it in our comments section!

Like Mayor Daley, the leading candidates for mayor all support the practice of reserving your dug-out spot with furniture. Both Abdon M. Pallasch of the Chicago Sun-Times and John Kass of the Chicago Tribune asked the candidates what they thought of the practice, and got some amusing (and telling) answers.

"It's a civil way to allocate parking and it's been going on for 100 years in Chicago," Gery Chico told the Sun-Times. The "pro-dibs" candidate saw nothing wrong with residents marking their territory.

The always sensible Miguel del Valle took a diplomatic approach to the subject. He said people should be able to reserve their spots, but not for an excessive amount of time.

Rahm Emanuel's spokesman Ben Labolt gave a rather hilarious answer to Pallasch, saying that the candidate would "love to [claim dibs] but his lawn chairs are still in his basement."

Emanuel's home, which was rented out by Rob Halpin when he moved to Washington, won't be his again until the summer.

The Tribune's John Kass explained Carol Moseley Braun's response to the "dibs" question:

The only one who ducked the Dibs question was Carol Moseley Braun, which was odd, since anyone who's been in Chicago for the last 20 years should know about Dibs.

Her response to the Sun-Times was just as baffling.

"Ahhh, that's an important question because some of our volunteers are helping seniors dig out of the snow," she said.

Uh huh. Read more about dibs here.

RAHM GIVES FOOD TRUCKS A THUMBS UP

The Sun-Times reports on Emanuel's plan to combat food desserts in Chicago. Aside from wanting to bring grocery and drug stores to blighted areas, he also said he supports allowing food trucks to make and sell food in the city. The food truck battle has been raging on for years. Restaurant owners think it will hurt their businesses, food truck supporters say that restaurants should not have to eliminate mobile competition to keep diners coming back.

We agree and think it's ridiculous that a food-obsessed city like Chicago doesn't have this figured out yet! We want our damn taco trucks!

DIGGING FOR VOTES

Remember yesterday when NBC Chicago's Ted McClelland tweeted "All the mayoral candidates will be out with shovels, digging for votes." Boy was he right.

Gery Chico's campaign sent out a video of the candidate helping some stranded Chicagoans push their car last night. "Chicago needs a mayor who isn't afraid to get his hands dirty," they wrote.

Watch Gery help Chicagoans in trouble here:

Miguel del Valle's campaign sent out a press release explaining their candidate's bravery:

"Mayoral Candidate Miguel del Valle Traverses Storm to Preserve Perfect Attendance Record at Forums...Del Valle, despite the weather, made it to the Union League Club for a mayoral forum this morning...Rahm Emanuel, as usual, was absent from the forum."

Rahm Emanuel may have missed the forum because he was shoveling in Roscoe Village this morning. His campaign shared some photos on their blog:

2011-02-02-RAHMSNOW2.jpg

2011-02-02-RAHMSNOW.jpg

While everyone else was out digging and being helpful, Carol Moseley Braun was--you guessed it--trash talking!

She accused the city of "inadequate planning" and said they should have come up with a better plan to clean up Lake Shore Drive. "The snow isn't keeping me from campaigning," she tweeted. No it isn't, Carol. No it isn't...

TWEET OF THE DAY

@MayorEmanuel: Sun's out, streets are mostly clear. MOTHERFUCKING SNOWBALL FUCKING FIGHT.

@TedMcClelland: Snow shuts down campaign for #chicagomayor. Only #Rahm's TV ads can reach the voters.

@SennettReport: If you're a free-spirited local media type and haven't been asked if you're Mayor Rahm, you need to step up your Twitter game.

If you have any juicy gossip about the Chicago elections, or a story you think we should see, send us an email at chicago@huffingtonpost.com.