Lori Lightfoot showed a side of herself on election night that we hadn’t seen before.

When she dropped the hard shell of campaign rhetoric, as if stepping out of a suit of armor, something surprising and powerful emerged. With religious overtones, warm memories of her parents, an expression of love to her wife and daughter, even a moment where she asked all at her victory party to join hands in a show of unity, Lightfoot showed she can command a stage — and perhaps lead an unruly city.

To watch Lightfoot on Tuesday night was to observe a citizen-turned-politician who is mastering the art of rallying a crowd around her ideas and force of will.

Lightfoot touched on many of the aspirations the people of Chicago share with her. She talked about not allowing a person’s ZIP code to determine his or her destiny. She called for an equitable investment in neighborhoods largely overlooked by the Rahm Emanuel administration. She promised stronger schools and even thanked the teachers who supported her, an interesting touch given that the Chicago Teachers Union had endorsed her runoff opponent, Toni Preckwinkle, for mayor.

The speech was one to savor. If Lightfoot can summon that muse more often, she just might have a shot at rallying the city around her.

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David Greising is the president and chief executive of the Better Government Association, joining the BGA in 2018. For nearly a century, the BGA has fought for honest and effective government through investigative journalism and policy advocacy.

Greising’s career started at the City News Bureau of Chicago, with stops at the Chicago Sun-Times, Business Week magazine, the Chicago Tribune and Reuters. He was a co-founder of the Chicago News Cooperative and worked briefly as a consultant to World Business Chicago. Today, Greising writes on government issues in regular columns for the Tribune and Crain’s Chicago Business.

Under Greising’s leadership, the BGA has played a key role in uncovering public corruption amidst the wide-ranging federal probe, starting with an in-depth report about Ald. Ed Burke’s conflicts of interest before the federal charges against Burke. The BGA also has exposed waste and fraud at O’Hare and the proliferation of corruption and poverty into Dolton, Lyons and other Chicago suburbs. The BGA’s policy team has led calls for ethics reform in Chicago’s City Council and in state government.