"I think you expected me to be standing outside waving to you and Stacey [Baca] in the morning," Daley joked with ABC7's Ben Bradley.
Daley was casually dressed in jeans and a baseball hat when he stopped by the ABC 7 State Street Studio on Sunday to promote the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure event that paid tribute to his late wife, Maggie.
Daley spent 22 years running the city that became synonymous with his family's name. He was Chicago's longest serving mayor and many expected he might have a difficult time adjusting to no longer being Chicago's hard charging chief executive.
"I don't know why!" Daley said through a smile. "Oh yeah I enjoyed being mayor.... but no, you enjoy your job, you have passion; but I knew I was going to leave about a year before."
Since leaving office Daley has joined the law firm of Katten Muchin Rosenman, sits on several corporate boards and frequently travels overseas.
"I knew it was time to have someone else take the reins," Daley said. "This city is a strong city [with] great community organizations, block clubs... every day you report on some unusual family, individual, communities doing some exceptional things."
With that, the man who once led a city by virtual proclamation from his fifth floor office at City Hall headed back out onto State Street. No bodyguards. No driver. Just a guy in jeans and gym shoes with a White Sox jacket to protect him from the early morning chill.
A few moments later: Someone banging on the outside the studio window. It was Daley. Standing by himself. Waving and laughing.