Sunday, December 14, 2008

Hey Barry, Think 'Aloha' NOT 'The Chicago Way'

Well Barack Obama has certainly moved with great speed to get a White House Staff and a Cabinet together as soon as possible. Definitely better management than Bill Clinton at this task, and the general opinion is the selections are pragmatists instead of idealogues. That is the good news for him.

Now for the bad news... When the human excrement hit the air circulator last week with the arrest of Illinois Gov. Blagojevich some of the selected Cabinet and Staff are now going to be not targets but subjects of interest in the case that Fitzgerald will be developing against the Illinois Governor. Those folks will be distracted from working for the President while they lawyer up and appear for special testimonies and appearances before a Grand Jury.

Let me name some names for you:

Rahm Emanuel as Chief of Staff

David Axelrod White House Senior Political Advisor

Valerie Jarrett Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Relations and Public Liaison

Desirée Rogers, Special Assistant to the President and White House Social Secretary

Michael Strautmanis Chief of Staff to the Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Relations and Public Liaison

Christina M. Tchen White House Director of Public Liaison

That is six of the thirty-four folks who have been officially announced as nominees. I think Barack is a cautious guy who could use this situation to pivot away from his political cronies in Illinois to the kinder gentler Island folks of Hawaii. On one hand this could be seen as political betrayal for Barack to turn his back on the people who nurtured him politically and got him into the Office of President. On the other hand Rush posits another idea about Barack and 'the Chicago Way.'

Now, Richard Daley somehow is magically escaping any discussion about anything that happened here, and anybody who knows Chicago politics knows that it all runs through Mayor Daley, and Mayor Daley and Blagojevich were not close. They were not good buddies. They have had their contretemps over the years. In fact, I actually think that one of the reasons that Barack Obama is president is that Richard Daley wanted him outta Illinois, because Richard Daley didn't want him staying there running for governor. Richard Daley didn't want to have to do battle with a messiah as governor of Illinois. So, they arrange for him to run for president. Lo and behold, he stuns everybody and wins!

A President needs to get away far away from Washington DC. We have had Presidents who took time away at their political base. JFK went to the Kennedy compound near Martha's Vineyard, MA, LBJ went to LBJ Ranch near Johnson City, TX, Nixon went to San Clemente, CA, Carter went to Plains, GA, Reagan went to Rancho Del Cielo near Santa Barbara, CA, and George W. Bush went to his ranch near Crawford, TX. There are also Presidents who did not have a political base that they would retire to such as George H.W. Bush going to Keenebunkport, ME, and Bill Clinton going to guest with whatever celebrity would put him up.

If I were Barry instead of going back to Chicago to hang out with Bill Ayres, Bernadine Dohrn, Tony Rezko, Jeremiah Wright, Father Michael Pfleger, and Emil Jones I'd enjoy a vacation in Hawaii. It will be interesting to see where he will go to get away from DC.

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