unPHILtered – Phil Ponce's Blog

A Talk Segment Blueprint

Yesterday, my son, Anthony, had laryngitis, so I filled in for him on “The Ponce Brothers” on WLS Radio 890AM.  The main topic that older son, Dan, and I took up was Maggie Daley’s death.  Thought you might be interested in some of the bullet points I prepared ahead of time.  We didn’t get to everything, but is there anything I missed?

  • Why did so many Chicagoans connect with her?
  • The way she handled her illness?
  • How she influenced the mayor and raised his awareness about the arts, culture, beautification?
  • Other ways she was an asset to the mayor?
  • Her political clout behind the scenes?
  • Anecdote about how the mayor thought Gallery 37 was a stupid idea when his staff recommended it — not knowing at first that Maggie was behind it.
  • Defining moment for Maggie and mayor:  the death of their young son, Kevin, from spina bifida?
  • Her legacy?
  • Does the public put too much pressure on first ladies–to be perfect, to be role models?
  • The line between a first lady’s public role and private life?
  • Did she create a template for Amy Rule?

Presidential first ladies

  • What makes an ideal first lady?
  • Reaction to Michelle Obama and Jill Biden getting booed recently at NASCAR race?
  • When does a first lady push things too far?  Pressure to stay on “safe” causes like nutrition, fitness, beautification?
Posted in Phil Ponce, unPHILtered | 5 Comments

A Perfect Holiday Film

I just watched a remarkable and stunning documentary on HBO called “The Sound of Mumbai.” It’s had a huge impact on me.  It’s a particularly good film to watch with your family during the holidays.  I don’t know when I’ve been so affected by a film.  If you watch it, I think you’ll see what I mean.

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Clothes Make the Man?

I was interested to read about the the dust-up between Cook County Commissioner William Beavers and the head of the juvenile jail, Earl Dunlap.  Apparently Dunlap once testified before the County Board in clothing that was a bit too casual for Beaver’s taste:  a white polo shirt tucked into his Dockers.  Here’s an exchange between the two as described in the Sun-Times:

“Do you own a suit?” Beavers asked Earl Dunlap in 2008 as he lectured that “your appearance commands respect” and told him he’s “supposed to be a role model.”

That exchange apparently was the beginning of bad blood between the two.  And there’s a picture of Dunlap in the Sun-Times as he was dressed that day and I have to admit he does not sport a fastidious look.  Beavers, on the other hand, is a snappy dresser–always in a suit complete with pocket square.

Beavers is not exactly considered a reformer and once famously referred to himself as the “hog with the big nuts.”  But he did strike a chord with me regarding dress standards in general.  For example, when I’ve covered trials in federal court, I’m amazed at how some jurors dress.  Not that men have to wear suits and ties, but please, t-shirts with text?  Guys, is it too much to wear a nice pair of slacks and a dress shirt?  And, ladies, a Bears sweatshirt is fine for raking leaves, but maybe you can take it up a notch when you’re going downtown to temporarily be part of the federal judiciary system.

Given his reputation, Beavers has no credibility with you?  Don’t buy anything that comes out of his mouth?  Just remember this:  even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Posted in Phil Ponce, unPHILtered | 3 Comments