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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Obama's Chicago Machine Vs. Capitol Hill: Recipe For Political Disaster

As The 2012 Elections Approach Us, Once Again Pres. Obama Looks To His "Chicago Political Machine" For Another Victorious Ride.

Here's Why This Strategy May Or May NOT Work This Time..

Upon Pres. Obama's Election In 2008 He Felt Obligated To Bring Along Most Of The Members From His "Chicago Political Machine" To Help Govern In The White House.

What Was Wrong With This Plan?

Chicago Style Politics Don't Work Well On Capitol Hill.

For Example: Valerie Jarrett Was NOT The Right Person To Work With Business Leaders From D.C. & Wall Street.


Did Pres. Obama Really Think A Black Woman From Chicago Would Be Totally Respected & Accepted By White, Extremely Wealthy CEO's From Wall Street & The American Business Community?


Please Don't Get It Twisted.

As A Black Woman I'm All For Diversity But Come On Pres. Obama!

Although Valerie Jarrett Is Well-Educated, It Doesn't Mean She Was The Right Individual For That Particular Position.

You See Diversity On Such A High Level Takes Time.

Such A Bold Move Has To Be Made Gradually NOT Forced In The Faces Of Wall Street CEOs!

Especially NOT New Yorkers!

Dealing With New Yorkers Vs. Mid-Westerners Is Like Oil & Water!

In Addition I Don't Think Ms. Jarrett Cared Two Cents About Middle Class & Lower Income Blacks & Hispanics Constituents.

Just As Most Chicago Politicians Don't Give A Darn About Middle Class & Lower Income Blacks & Hispanics Voters There Either.

Another Example Is Bill Daley.

Daley Was NOT The Right Person To Become Obama's NEW Chief Of Staff.


The Daley Family's Relationship With Blacks & Hispanics In Chicago Has NOT Been A Successful One. NOT EVER!

Including How Poorly Old Man Daley Treated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Years Ago.

Thus After Hiring Bill Daley Obama Lost Respect From Many Black Voters.

Black Voters Are NOT Stupid!

We Still Support Pres. Obama But We Do NOT Respect Bill Daley Because We Remember How The Daley Family Has Treated Blacks In Chicago For Decades.

Newly Elected Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Appeared To Be Effective In His Former Role As White House Chief Of Staff.

But Rahm's Harsh Language (Profanity) & Bull Dozer Personality Wasn't Well Received By Many Congressional Members Who Were STILL Experiencing Culture Shock By The Election Of A BLACK President!

There's Nothing Wrong With Being Tough, Especially When Dealing With Some Of Those Hard-Nosed, Racist GOP Leaders On Capitol Hill.

However There Is A Time To Be Tough & A Time To Just Out Think Your Opponents Via Practicing Reverse Psychology.

To Avoid Appearing Like A Weak Coward Among One's Peers, Actually A Combination Of Both People Skill Sets Are Preferable.

I Now Firmly Believe That Had Pres. Obama NOT Placed So Much Trust In His Chicago Buddies & NOT Hired So Many Of His Chicago Buddies To Become Senior Advisers, His Presidency Would Have Been Much More Successful.

So Going Forward It May Be Alright For Pres. Obama To Seek Advice From His "Chicago Political Machine" For Re-Election, However AFTER Being Re-elected He Should NOT Hire Those Same People To Help Him Govern.


Perhaps David Axelrod!

Axelrod Would Make An EXCELLENT Chief Of Staff!

Just My Opinion. You Don't Have To Agree.


Obama-Chicago Relationship: Long-Distance Love Affair About To Get Closer

President Barack Obama's relationship with his hometown may be best described as a long-distance love affair. He lavishes attention on it from afar and proud Chicago pines for its hometown hero, though the two rarely see each other.

That looks like it's about to change.

Obama is returning to his roots as he embarks on his re-election race for 2012. He's setting up his campaign headquarters in a downtown high-rise near Grant Park, the site of his victory celebration on election night in November 2008.

He's coming back Thursday to raise money, a week after launching his second White House bid with an understated email and online video.

The president is putting Chicago in the spotlight again as he tries to recreate the grass-roots, start-up flavor of his first campaign and do what no incumbent president has done in decades: try to win re-election from a location outside Washington.

A Chicago base also could reinforce a connection to a city that aides say keeps Obama grounded while he lives in the nation's capital.

"Nobody is more eager to be out and nobody is more eager to be here than him," said David Axelrod, Obama's chief political strategist who left the White House this year to return to Chicago to work on the re-election and be closer to his Chicago-based family. "The conversation in Washington is completely different than the conversation you hear out here."

Obama's advisers hope a Chicago location could insulate his campaign from some of the Washington chatter and news leaks that often plague campaigns. A beyond-the-Beltway headquarters could allow them to offset the notion that Obama, who campaigned as an outsider above the partisan fray and promised a new approach to politics, has become the ultimate political insider.

"Basing it in Chicago says, 'I'm not of Washington,' but if he doesn't spend time in Chicago, he is of Washington," said Paul Light, a public service professor at New York University.

Obama's relationship with his town has evolved over the years.

He was a community organizer, worked on a major voter drive and practiced law in his early days in the city. When he entered politics, he focused on the state capital of Springfield, and cast himself as above the brass-knuckled nature of Chicago politics, whose history is pockmarked with corruption and scandal.

During the 2008 campaign, Obama was a fixture in Chicago when he wasn't crisscrossing the country for votes. He took his wife, Michelle, around town to dinner at some of the city's best restaurants. He hung out with his daughters. He worked out at the gym. He played basketball with his buddies. He attended meetings at his campaign office, all under the watchful eye of reporters and Secret Service agents. His family, friends and neighbors talked openly about the candidate and his lifestyle.

As president, Obama has made only about a half a dozen visits to Chicago, often to raise money for candidates. He's made only a few overnight trips to his South Side house.

His neighbors don't seem to hold it against him.

"He's got a whole world to deal with," says Hosea McKay, a 73-year-old retired substance abuse counselor, who lives several blocks away. "Chicago . we can't be so egotistical that we think he's supposed to pop in every three or four months and hang out with us."

The area around Obama's house looks much like it did during the last campaign when extra security measures were added. Even when Obama isn't there, guards and barriers – both metal and concrete – restrict access to his street. His house can be seen through some trees from a nearby busy thoroughfare.

But the neighborhood has changed somewhat since the Obamas left. They're getting new neighbors because the home next door to theirs was sold last year.

While sharing a neighborhood with the president has its share of hassles, Prince Ella Murphy, who lives about a block away, doesn't mind, especially when it comes to the security that increases when Obama is in town.

"I love it. I feel protected because, I mean, they have police everywhere," said Murphy, a 61-year-old retired hotel worker.

Over the past two years, the Obamas have devised ways not to be homesick. They've brought Chicago to them in Washington.

They tapped into their network of hometown connections when they moved into the White House. Among those who relocated to Washington with the Obamas were friend Valerie Jarrett, now a White House adviser, and the family's personal chef. Obama's Chicago buddies, Eric Whitaker and Marty Nesbitt, are constant vacation companions. Countless Chicagoans have visited the White House over the past two years.

The president hosted the 2010 Stanley Cup winners, the Chicago Blackhawks at the White House, last month and put the city's other professional teams on notice. He said: "Let me just say to all the Bears fans, Bulls fans, White Sox fans, and Cubs fans, I want to see all of you sometime soon, as well."

In another nod to their hometown, the Obamas dyed the water in the White House fountains green to celebrate their first St. Patrick's Day in the White House. The city colors the Chicago River that cuts through downtown to celebrate the holiday.

He also swapped one chief of staff from Chicago for another. Rahm Emanuel is Chicago's mayor-elect, while Bill Daley, the current mayor's brother, joined the White House as part of a staff reshuffling aimed at getting ready for the campaign.

While Axelrod said more presidential visits are likely, given that the campaign headquarters is in Chicago, just how much time Obama and his family will spend in Chicago this time is unclear. The duties of the presidency don't lend themselves to much down time.

His team is setting up shop in a downtown high-rise not far from offices the Obama operation used in 2008. Campaign manager Jim Messina, a former White House deputy chief of staff, is directing the effort, and Axelrod is certain to be a constant presence.

"It's nascent group and it's going to grow," said Axelrod, who stopped by the offices recently. "You could sense, you could feel some of that old excitement coming back and you know people are really eager to get going."

Some are hoping to see Obama, himself, more.

Says Freddie Fitch, 53, who lives just a few blocks from the Obamas, "We love him here."

Obama and the Illinois Political Machine

Democrat Barack Obama piled on the praise last month as he stood beside Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and embraced the mayor's bid for a sixth term.

"I don't think there's a city in America that has blossomed as much over the last couple of decades than Chicago, and a lot of that has to do with our mayor," Obama said, supporting Daley ahead of Tuesday's city election.

It was a switch from a year earlier, when the Illinois senator brushed off questions about endorsing Daley and said reported corruption at Chicago's City Hall gave him "huge pause."

What happened in the meantime? Obama decided to run for president.

The endorsement is one example of the sometimes complicated relationship between Obama _ who offers himself as an untainted, non-traditional alternative _ and Illinois' sometimes tarnished political establishment.

While Obama prides himself as an independent-minded Democrat, he's maintained relations with important parts of the establishment, from remnants of the legendary Chicago Democratic machine to the city's leading black politicians.

Yet as an outsider who came to the city as an adult, he doesn't owe his political fortunes to ward bosses and can claim distance from the political corruption for which the city is famous. He's ruffled feathers in the past by taking on incumbents or bucking his party's anointed candidate in a statewide race, but he has also mended fences and now has Illinois' most important politicians lined up to support his run for president.

"He understands ... about politics and how you make friends in politics," said Rep. Bobby Rush, who Obama unsuccessfully challenged in 2000 for his seat in Congress.

Rush said Daley, for one, can be helpful to Obama because of his national reputation. Daley's brother, William, who headed Al Gore's presidential campaign in 2000, has already signed on as an Obama adviser.

Rush is also backing Obama's bid for the White House.

Growing up in Hawaii and Indonesia, Obama didn't come up through the ranks of traditional Chicago Democratic politics.

Obama writes in his book "The Audacity of Hope" that he got into his successful first race for the Illinois Senate at the encouragement of friends who thought his work as a civil rights lawyer and experience as a community organizer made him a good candidate.

That 1996 election put him in conflict with the incumbent, Alice Palmer. She planned to run for Congress and endorsed Obama as her successor. But when Palmer lost the congressional primary, Obama would not step aside so she could keep her state Senate seat.

Once he got to the state Senate, Obama was no radical. He became a political protege of current Senate President Emil Jones, a 35-year veteran of the legislature and one of the state's most influential black lawmakers.

Obama was in the Illinois Senate just a few years when he went after the congressional seat held by Rush.

In his book, Obama calls it an "ill-considered race," and he and another state senator who challenged Rush were trounced in the primary. Rush had the support of the powerful Cook County Board president and widespread support in his district.

Obama also was viewed as a long shot in his 2004 bid for the U.S. Senate. He decided to run even though most party leaders were backing the state comptroller, who was the son of a powerful Democratic leader. Other candidates included Mayor Daley's former chief of staff and a millionaire who had helped elect the Democratic governor. Obama's candidacy gained momentum when the millionaire businessman, who had once led in the polls, acknowledged striking his ex-wife and calling her names.

Once Obama's fortunes started rising with his starmaking address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention and his Senate win, he found almost uniform support from Illinois Democrats.

Yet Obama still didn't always stick to the party line, most notably last year when he rejected the party-backed candidate for state treasurer to support a political newcomer, putting him at odds with the state Democratic chairman, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan of Chicago.

Over the summer, Madigan derisively referred to Obama as "the messiah" in a published report. But by early this year, Madigan was proposing moving up the state's 2008 primary from March 18 to Feb. 5 to give Obama more momentum early in the presidential race.

For his part, Obama has lined up with party leaders in some recent local races. He supported the party's choice to become the new Cook County board president, despite allegations of political nepotism surrounding the man, who was the son of the previous board president.

Obama also endorsed Daley, saying he was still concerned about City Hall corruption but thought Daley had taken steps to clean it up. And he supported the November re-election of Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich, whose administration is under federal investigation for hiring fraud.

Attorney Gery Chico, the Daley former chief of staff who lost to Obama in the 2004 Senate primary, said Obama has been under increasing pressure to play a role in local races and it's smart for him to get in the mix.

"You don't want to go the route of Al Gore," Chico said. Gore famously didn't win his home state of Tennessee in his failed bid for president in 2000.

But the Daley endorsement in particular _ featured in one of the mayor's campaign mailers _ isn't sitting right with some people in this city known for its legendary political machine.

Daley's father, the late Mayor Richard J. Daley, built the once-mighty machine that doled out jobs and favors in exchange for support for Democrats on Election Day. The courts have mostly dismantled the machine by outlawing political patronage, but the city's powerful Democrats _ like Daley _ can still turn out the vote.

Obama's decision to support Daley turned off voter Alan Dobry, who's part of a Chicago independent-voters group.

"He's trying to play with the machine," Dobry said. "I'm very unhappy about it."

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Sources: Huffington Post, NY Times, Wikipedia, Youtube, Google Maps

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