We Don’t Want Nobody That Nobody Sent
Milwaukee-born Abner Mikva tells how he got his start in Chicago politics: One of the stories that is told about my start in politics is that on the way home from law school one night in 1948, I stopped by the ward headquarters in the ward where I lived. There was a street-front, and the name Timothy O’Sullivan, Ward Committeeman, was painted on the front window. I walked in and I said “I’d like to volunteer to work for Stevenson and Douglas.” This quintessential Chicago ward committeeman took the cigar out of his mouth and glared at me and said, “Who sent you?” I said, “Nobody sent me.” He put the cigar back in his mouth and he said, “We don’t want nobody that nobody sent.” This was the beginning of my political career in Chicago.
One of the greatest lines in the history of US politics, “We don’t want nobody that nobody sent” has become the preferred way to encapsulate the classic Chicago political machine in just one sentence.” —Tom McMahon: We Don’t Want Nobody That Nobody Sent