"Many of you will search to find what's behind my decision. It's simple. I've always believed that every person, especially public officials must understand when its time to move on. For me, that time is now," Daley said during a press conference Tuesday afternoon.
What was behind Mayor Daley's decision may be simple, but he did not explain why now is the time and he took no questions from reporters. Many questions remain.
- Was the decision influenced by a parade of trusted city confidantes and Daley political cronies who have been prosecuted and sent to jail the past decade?
- Could the mayor's disenchantment with public service be traced to a raid on City Hall by federal investigators a Friday night, after hours, five years ago?
Daley said afterwards: "There's nothing more important to me than maintaining the trust of the taxpayers."
That was five years ago. On Tuesday, after six terms and 21 years in office, the mayor would not answer whether his tumbling public approval rating was to blame for the decision.
One poll shows almost three quarters of Chicagoans don't like the job he's doing, but for a man who usually wears his emotions on his sleeve, it may not be job-related at all.
It could be simple though - mortality and the face of illness that his wife Maggie has worn with humility and graciousness the past few years.
Maybe Mayor Daley was just too spent--and it was too personal--to make that announcement, with her at his side.
Other than the mayor and his wife, the only other person who may know precisely what went into the decision is William Daley, the mayor's younger brother.
Bill Daley says there wasn't just one reason-he says that Maggie Daley's health, city problems and the grind of another four years - all contributed to the mayor's decision-that it is time to move on.