A top Democrat is backing out of the Chicago Mayor's race. Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart announced he won't run for mayor. He's the latest in a number of high-profile Democrats who have backed out of the race in recent weeks, including Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and Rep. Carlos Gutierrez.
NBC Chicago's Edward McClelland writes: "That leaves Rahm Emanuel as the biggest name in the race, and the now even-money favorite to become the next mayor. Emanuel was always a lock to make the runoff, but now he’s got a chance to win on Feb. 28. If he doesn’t, he may end up facing Carol Moseley Braun or James Meeks, the finalists in the black community’s search for a consensus candidate. Either of them will have far more difficulty appealing to the “Anyone But Rahm” crowd than Tom Dart. Emanuel, who just looked like Evil when he entered the race, may end up becoming The Lesser of Two Evils."
The Chicago Tribune's Zorn: "This news -- Sheriff Tom Dart won't run for Chicago mayor -- vastly increases the odds that Rahm Emanuel, with his huge campaign warchest, will not only win the February 22 mayoral "primary," but make it probable that he'll take more than 50 percent of the vote, eliminating the need for a run-off election on April 5."
Lynn Sweet quips in this headline: "Dart out: All of a sudden, Rahm Emanuel has a public schedule."