As a self-proclaimed progressive I probably shouldn't like him as much as I do. Corruption has never been hard to find at City Hall and that hasn't really changed under Daley's watch. There has been plenty of scandal, investigations, allegations and even convictions, but none of them ever got back to him officially. He's sort of like a mob boss in that way. Everyone that works for him has been tainted but he's been untouchable.
I think he gets a pass on the corruption because he's gotten things done. I might not like the people that have worked for him but for the most part I've liked his policies. He tore down the infamous Cabrini Green and Robert Taylor Homes. And even though it came in way over budget, Millennium Park is still one of the coolest open spaces I've ever been to. He also got people to actually invest in the city again, which wasn't happening before he got elected. In the middle of the night (and with no one's approval) he destroyed Meigs Field. As a result we'll eventually have yet another beautiful lakefront park instead of somewhere for corporate jets to land.
Most importantly though, we're not Detroit.
We're not Cleveland, we're not St. Louis and we're not Pittsburgh. We're the only Midwestern city to come out of the rust belt swinging and for his part in ensuring that Chicago will be a dynamic city for years to come I thank him.
Image taken from here: http://tammybruce.com/2010/05/chicagos-mayor-daley-threatens-to-shoot-a-reporter.html