Skip to comments.The Chicago, and Daley, Way [and the myth about Obama's "moving to the center"]
Posted on 01/09/2011 10:00:46 AM PST by rhema
As President Barack Obama knighted Chicago's William Daley as his new chief of staff and kept the Daley machine in control of the executive branch of our federal government I couldn't help thinking of the good old days.
Back when I would fondly recount the legend of Obama of Chicago.
Not the political spin that Obama was some kind of reformer promising a different, cleaner kind of politics. But the true mythic history, Obama as a thin, silky creature of the Daleys, eagerly trotting behind them along the Chicago Way:
And lo, the Daley women found the infant Barack floating in a reed basket along the banks of the Chicago River. And they lifted the crying babe from the river, and nurtured and wrapped him in swaddling clothes. They watched him grow to manhood, where he performed great miracles.
Soon he was ready to transcend the broken politics of the past, just as long as it was in Washington, and not in Chicago, where the Daleys eat and play.
Watching Billy and Barack do their thing Thursday, I developed a strange urge to sit in a great leather wing chair, put my feet up on an ottoman, pour out a fistful of 18-year-old single-malt scotch, and light a big maduro cigar.
Ahhhh. It tastes like ... vindication.
"He possesses a deep understanding of how jobs are created and how to grow our economy," said Obama. "And, needless to say, Bill also has a smidgen of awareness of how our system of government and politics works. You might say it is a genetic trait."
Pardon me, Mr. President, but it's not a trait, exactly. It's more like a reason for being.
Not everyone was amused. Bill's brother, Mayor Richard Daley, became upset when pesky reporters dared ask him whether Bill's ascendency smacked of "the Chicago Way."
They suggested to the mayor that "the Chicago Way" carried a negative connotation. He just hates that.
"What do you mean, negative?" the mayor sneered. "Go to New York. Go to Washington. Go to Texas. Go to California. What 'Way'?' This is all your writing."
Thanks for being a loyal reader, Mayor Daley.
Yet what is truly amusing about the Bill Daley story is the reaction of the Washington media.
They seem quite desperate to paint the Billy appointment as something it is not. They want it to be a symbolic move, one of Daley bringing Obama closer to the political center.
It's a neat construction, quite explainable and reasonable, the kind of thing spinners put together and feed feeble-minded reporters on background, so that a favorable consensus may be reached.
And once a consensus is reached, those who adopt it become zealots, hunting down stray heretics.
"Using Chicago's early history as bare-knuckled politics and back-room dealmaking is a favored tactic among those outside the region seeking to tarnish the reputations of local Illinois political leaders who rise to the national stage," admonished the Christian Science Monitor, offering up my column as evidence of such heresy.
Early history? You mean like Thursday, when the federal grand jury indicted the former business partner of the mayor's son over that city sewer contract deal?
The Daley boys are adept and skillful and ruthless in the pursuit of power and treasure. The family has controlled Chicago and Cook County for more than half a century. The Daleys are without doubt the best politicians on the planet.
Obama knows this. And because he wants to get re-elected in 2012, he'll keep the Daleys around him.
The mayor's mouthpiece, media merlin David Axelrod, once again will be shaping Obama's message and image for the campaign. And Billy and Rich are easing former Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel into the mayor's job.
It might look like coincidence. But there's nothing coincidental about the Daleys. They're not fools. They're not dreamers. They're planners.
Yet what's often left out of the official account of the Billy ascendency is his role as media manager. For decades now, Billy's been playing the role of background source to many establishment media types.
Washington reporters hoping to maintain favor with the Chicago gatekeeper would be advised to stay away from the following topics while researching the glowing puff pieces to come.
Don't ask about Billy at Fannie Mae and his little buddy Rahm at Freddie Mac in the 1990s, or how that huge SBC deal went through when Billy was SBC president. Or about those meetings back in Chicago, in the early 1990s, when Billy and others helped create those City Hall patronage armies which were later involved in illegal hiring to keep Rich Daley in power and elect allies like Emanuel to Congress.
And for Pete's sake, never ask about the Chicago Way.
Just stick to the script as Obama begins the 2012 campaign with Billy and Dave and Rahm and Rich behind him.
It's all about moving to the center. It's all about moving to the center. It's all about ...
Bringing Daley in is definitely not a “move to the center”.
Oh, you mean the William Daley who encouraged Al Gore to un-concede in 2000, and who announced to the throng waiting for Gore that “this campaign continues”? That one?
The one who was willing to throw the country into 40 (or more, if he could) days of conflict and uncertainty.
Scouts Out! Cavalry Ho!
Excellent article thanks for posting it.
Daley as White House Chief of Staff
The mask is off. Bill Daley as WH chief of staff will make it clear to the astute that the Daley machine and Wall Street run Obama.
Daley is an exec at JPMorgan Chase and the brother of the outgoing Chicago mayor. There are few more connected than Bill Daley.
NOTE During the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries, Daley was a prominent supporter of Barack Obama. On November 5, 2008, Daley was named to the advisory board of the Obama-Biden Transition Project.
MORE DALEY TIDBITS: Bill Daley (brother of Chi/Mayor Richard Daley), is former Commerce Secy under Clinton and long-time executive at Wall Streets JP Morgan Chase.
REFERENCE Lehman's Bankruptcy Estate Sues J.P. Morgan
WSJ | 5/26/2010 | BY MIKE SPECTOR And SUSANNE CRAIG
FR Posted May 26, 2010 by markomalley
Lehman's Bankruptcy Estate Sues JP Morgan Chase & Co., alleging that JP Morgan illegally siphoned billions of dollars from Lehman in the days before the investment bank filed the largest bankruptcy in US history.
The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in US Bankruptcy Court, New York, alleges that JP Morgan Chief Executive James Dimon and other top executives used inside knowledge to take advantage of Lehman as its financial state worsened.
JP Morgan coerced Lehman to turn over $8.6 billion in collateral in Sept 2008, triggering a liquidity squeeze that contributed to Lehman's collapse, the suit said. The estate is hoping to recoup billions in collateral the bank demanded, and other damages. (Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
Daley became associated with Amalgamated Bank of Chicago, where he was first vice chairman (19891990) and then president and chief operating officer (1990-1993). Daley returned to the practice of law, as a partner with the firm Mayer Brown (then Mayer, Brown & Platt) from 1993 to 1997, where he served on the board of Fannie Mae.
In December 2001, he was appointed President of SBC Communications Inc. to help reform the company's image.
In May 2004, Daley was made Midwest Chairman of J.P. Morgan Chase and Bank One Corp. to oversee post-merger operations from Chicago. (See JB Morgan billion dollar looting reference above--circa 2008.)
Daley currently serves on the Boards of Directors of Boeing, Merck & Co., Boston Properties, Inc., and Loyola University Chicago. He is also a trustee of Northwestern University and sits on the Council on Foreign Relations.
In 1993, he served as special counsel to the President on issues relating to the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In 1997, Daley became Secretary of Commerce in the second administration of President Bill Clinton, and he remained at that post until July 2000, when he resigned to campaign for the Vice President.
After he resigned as Commerce Secretary he became chairman of Vice President Al Gore's presidential campaign. He was portrayed in the HBO film Recount, about the Florida election recount of the 2000 presidential election, by actor Mitch Pileggi.
NOTO BENE Daley currently serves on the Boards of Directors of Boeing. Boeing's Corporate HQ moved to Chi-town in Sept of 2001. Boeing was "offered multi-million dollar tax breaks" b/c other cities were wooing Boeing.
So guess what Chicago Mayor facilitated the Boeing FREEBIES - which shifted a huge tax burden to Homeowners for decades to come?
Yup----it was Richard M. Daley, Bill's brother. And then Bill Daley gets picked to be on Boeing's Board of Directors. Watta coincidence.
Tapping Daley is just part of Ohaha’s “No-Chicago-Sleazeballs-Left Behind initiative” (to paraphrase Malkin).