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Mark Brown Declares Obama is not a Chicago Politician

Chicago Daily Observer 29 August 2012 One Comment

In a curious column the Sun-Time Mark Brown denies that President Obama has much to do with Chicago Politics.  Curious because the preponderance of evidence that Brown offers is that President Obama is a typical Chicago politician, working in league with donors and other politicians to fleece their consituents and taxpayers.  Here’s Mark Brown arguing against himself

I stand by that (statement that Obama is not part of the Chicago machine)— not having forgotten that Obama’s first two White House chiefs of staff were Rahm Emanuel (who, yes, first got elected to Congress with some help from Don Tomczak’s troops, but hardly owed the election to them) and Bill Daley, brother to former Chicago Mayor Rich Daley (who dismantled the traditional ward political apparatus because it only got in his way.) In the most important election of Obama’s life, the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate, the mayor was on the sidelines.

Nor have I forgotten Obama’s strange real estate deal with the now-convicted Tony Rezko, his first big campaign donor. I’m still troubled by their friendship, and still waiting for the day we hear the whole story.

I’ve never tried to tell anybody that Obama was a reformer. He was no crusader in the state Legislature, although nobody ever mistook him for just another hack either. It’s obvious he was always trying foremost to protect his options for pursuing higher office.

If being Emil Jones point man in Springfield, married to the daughter of a Precinct Committeman/water department  employee, and having David Axelrod as a constant flack for many years doesn’t qualify you as a Chicago politician, just what does?




Pat Hickey concurs with Mark Brown, from the other direction.  Noting that Ward Hacks actually do something for their constituents, other than attacking them.

Me Too, Brother Brown. I do not know President Obama, nor would he recognize me if I tossed through the windshield of the Presidential limo. However, I have met with, spoken to and engageed our President on more than a few occasions.

  1. When he turned down requests for support of Leo High School in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood, as Director of the Woods Fund, answering to Wild Bill Ayers.
  2. When he ran against most unsuccessfully against Congressman Bobby Rush
  3. When he attended the Falling Leaves Festival in Morgan Park
  4. When as an Illinois State Senator, he presented trophies along with IL Rep. Kevin McCarthy at the Leo Boxing Night at the Saber Room in Hickory Hills and asked me “where’s the gate?” in order to enter the ring
  5. When I cooked Winston’s Irish sausage and bacon before the South Side Irish Parade

They were brief encounters, as are most political cheek-to-jowl gabs, to be sure and I came away from each one warmly underwhelmed. I did not see any there, there. Unlike Ward Hack and Policy Wonk Paul Vallas who campaigned up a storm actually liked the people he asked to vote for him, Barack Obama is like the guy who says, ” Hey! Enough me talking;; how much do you really, really, really admire me?”

Paul Vallas was lost to Illinois by the very same ‘geniuses” who invented Tod Stroger, Toni Preckwinkle, Mike Quigley, Forrest Claypool and of course the old Turkish psy hereself, Jan Schakowsky.

Put it this way, when Barack Obama was pushed to the purple ( US Senate & Presidential Candidate), I was not surprised, but certainly not enthralled. He did not seem to have the gifts of being a Ward Hack. Ward Hacks, and I know legions of them, are singularly thoughtful. generous, energetic and most of all loyal to a fault.

Barack Obama impressed me only as one of the chosen Progressives that some of the powerful guys decided to create: Jan Schakowsky, Deb Mell, Deb Shore, Mike Quigley, Forrest Claypool, Rahm Emanuel, Toni Preckwinkle and God forgive me Gov. Pat Quinn.

These folks could not pack a phone booth ( nearly extinct at the time of this posting), let alone a hall full of beefy, enthusiastic, hard-working skilled tradesmen and their wives and kids. Nope, Ward Hacks are trotted out to boost their nimble vaults over the political gradus. They are the Sows Ears Made of out Silk Purses.

The Silk Purses are the hijacked 501 (c) 3s: Woods Fund, MacArthur Foundation, Annenburg Challenge, Joyce Foundation, whose boards are thick with former radicals and leftist academics. Too often these silk purses are orchestrated by Abner Mikva. Political Chiefs like old Tom Hynes, or Mike Madigan, or Richie Daley took short-cuts to opportunity by snuggling up to these silk purses in exchange for legislative policy give-aways and mutually beneficial real estate ventures. Abner might say to Tom Hynes, ” This Mike Quigley kid is really a go-getter and he hates every one in the 60643-55 zipcode’s collective guts. He’s really great; Tom let’s do him a solid. How’s about we get Rich to get the 19th Ward crew to help Quigley and then he can make nice and really bump Helen Schiller into the cheap seats and then we can get SEIU, La Salle Bank, Personal PAC, Fred Eychaner, the Pritzker girls and even some honest money to dump some dough into any number of races?” Deal? Deal.

That’s how Progressives boarded, looted and scuttled the Good Ship Chicago Machine.

Ward Hacks have helped elect every useless, mean-spirited and back-stabbing Progressive in the Illinois pantheon. They did so because they were asked by people whop helped them. I love Hacks and have complete contempt for Progressives. Progressives are not just a one way street, they are fully cul-de-sac’d. Do a Progressive a solid and wait for the blade in the kidneys – you never wait very long.

Nope President Obama is No Ward Hack – he has not the makings. He is a Progressive.


image Missing Man formation, in honor of David Axelrod, the man whose name must not be mentioned.

One Comment »

  • Anonymous said:

    I think Mark Brown is wrong as to one important detail: in the 2004 Democratic Primary for US Senate seat being vacated by Peter Fitzgerald, Mark Brown said that Daley sat on the sidelines during the primary.

    Maybe or maybe not.

    Illinois Comptroller Dan Hynes had done some serious opposition research on Obama and had the damning information in hand (most of which has now been made public after Obama reached the White House, but was not widely known before) that would have derailed Obama had it been released during this particular primary race. The material would have probably been much more damaging to Obama, as a relatively obscure state senator, in a state and local primary contest with a multiple candidate field rather than as a presidential nominee in a one on one national election.

    Daley’s operatives supposedly kicked up an unpublicized intraparty fuss and pressured the Hynes campaign to sit on the damaging information that was harmful to Obama. Had some of Obama’s associations been laid bare, it may not have reflected too well on Daley since many of the same people were insiders who also well connected to City Hall.

    Dan Hynes would later claim that he did not want to conduct a dirty campaign, but it seems that someone stayed his hand.

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