After the endorsement of the Chicago Tea Party landed his campaign in a somewhat awkward position, Gery Chico has distanced himself from the latest right-winger to support him.
Dick Morris, a longtime aide to President Bill Clinton who now spends much of his air time railing against President Obama and Hillary Clinton, announced his support for Chico on his website Tuesday.
"I have been working to stop Rahm Emanuel from becoming Mayor of Chicago," Morris wrote. "And we are within reach of forcing him into a runoff against Mayor Daley's former chief of staff Gery Chico, a moderate Democrat who is definitely better than Rahm."
Morris also linked to an ad that is supposedly airing in Chicago, produced with the help of local conservative muckraker William Kelly:
But Chico appears to have learned his lesson from the Tea Party endorsement, which was used as fodder by Rahm Emanuel and fellow candidate Miguel del Valle. Emanuel mentioned the Tea Party's anti-immigrant stance in Spanish-language robocalls, and del Valle said the endorsement underscored the need for a true progressive candidate.
This time around, Chico's keeping his distance. From Michael Sneed's column in the Chicago Sun-Times:
It is NOT an endorsement Chico wants or sought.
"Our campaign has not solicited an endorsement from Dick Morris," said Brooke Anderson, Chico's press secretary. "We don't know Dick Morris. End of story."
Chico is widely viewed as the most likely candidate to win second place in the mayoral race, thereby giving him a chance at a run-off with Emanuel if the latter doesn't top 50 percent in the polls.