Obama's great line—'We don't look to be ruled'—doesn't always apply to Chicago


President Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday night - SEAN SIMMERS VIA AP
  • Sean Simmers via AP
  • President Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday night
For the last few weeks former governor Pat Quinn has been going around town, trying to build support for a proposal to impose term limits on the mayor's office.

But having heard President Obama's inspirational speech at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday night, I think Quinn might want to take his efforts in another direction.

How about a nationwide movement to repeal the 22nd amendment—the one that limits the president to two terms in office?

That way Obama can run again.

Obama's speech was so inspirational it almost made me forgive him for dumping Mayor Rahm on us after he booted him out as his White House chief of staff.

I said almost. The president would have to deliver the second coming of the Gettysburg Address to be fully forgiven for that.

But the president's speech had all the ingredients of a classic Obama stump speech.

He had funny lines of self-deprecation—about how he's getting gray while Michelle never seems to age a day.

And he fired up the troops for Hillary Clinton while ripping the hell out of Donald Trump's fear, divide, and conquer campaign.

America, Obama said, does not need a demagogue or a dictator to take over. "Our greatness doesn't depend on Donald Trump—in fact, it doesn't depend on any one person," he said. "We don't look to be ruled."

Oh man, great line.

As a bonus, the president got a stirring introduction from Sharon Belkofer—a seventysomething retired nurse from Rossford, Ohio, a town of about 6,000 just outside of Toledo.

In 2010, Belkofer's son, Thomas, a lieutenant colonel in the army, was killed in Afghanistan. She used much of her convention remarks to thank the president for comforting her in her time of despair.

Another thing Obama's really good at.

She also pointed out that last year she decided to give back to her community by running for the school board.

Belkofer wound up finishing first in a seven-person race for three slots to the Rossford School Board.

How 'bout that! 

After I heard her talk about getting elected, it dawned on me: We couldn't have a Sharon Belkofer in Chicago, 'cause we don't have an elected school board.

Mayor Rahm appoints our school board. Just as the mayor and his City Council allies have stifled every attempt to get an elected school board, 'cause they think they know what's good for the Chicago Public Schools.

A debatable proposition given the horrendous job he's done of managing it.

In a sense, Rossford, Ohio has got more democracy than sweet home Chicago.

We may not look to be ruled in Chicago, but ruled we are.

Damn, man. I was feeling so good about Obama's speech—now I'm bummed.

Tell you what, Mr. President. After your term's up, come on back to Chicago and help us apply a little of that spirit of democracy to your adopted hometown.

How about running for mayor?

Now that would get me to forgive you for dumping Rahm on us.

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