“He’s the most skilled political leader I’ve ever dealt with. Barack Obama would have a hard time being... smarter than Harold.” - Hal Baron
Hal was the public policy architect of the historic mayoral campaign of Harold Washington, and then served as the Chief Policy Advisor for the Washington administration. Hal reflects on this time in his unpublished, 1985 article "Politics Transformed: Harold Washington Goes to City Hall:"
“The eyes of the nation watched the racial politics of Chicago during the first half of 1983 as Congressman Harold Washington doggedly fought his way into the mayor’s seat at City Hall. Such intense national attention to a local election indicated recognition that a political shift with implications reaching far beyond Chicago was underway. During the two years Mayor Washington has been in office the media has continued to pay considerable to him albeit no longer as a breaking story. Media focus on the personality aspects of his battle with an absolutely hostile City Council majority obscures the more substantive developments as the Mayor stays the course and struggles to move along the reform path he charted in the campaign – towards a city grounded in racial fairness, economic viability and popular democracy.”
A synopsis of "Politics Transformed" is available here.