Monday, January 05, 2009

Obama's Dogpatch Democrats

The Village Voice scans the righty blogosphere on the Blago imbroglio, suggesting I am making casual associations between Rod and Barack.

Well, I would suggest a few notable connections.

Along with Rahmbo, Barack Obama ran the strategy for Governor Blagojevich's election campaign. (Does this sound familiar?):

During the primary, state Senator Barack Obama backed former Attorney General Burris, but supported Blagojevich after he won the primary at Burris' suggestion,[22] serving as a "top adviser" for the general election.[23] Future Obama senior adviser David Axelrod had previously worked with Blagojevich on Congressional campaigns, but did not consider Blagojevich ready to be governor and declined to work for him on this campaign.[23] According to Rahm Emanuel, he, Barack Obama, Blagojevich's campaign co-chair David Wilhelm, and another Blagojevich staffer "were the top strategists of Blagojevich's 2002 gubernatorial victory," meeting weekly to outline campaign strategies.[23] However, Wilhelm has said that Emanuel overstated Obama's role in the sessions, and Emanuel said in December 2008 that Wilhelm was correct and he had been wrong in his earlier 2008 recollection to The New Yorker.[23]

In the [general election, Blagojevich defeated Republican Illinois Attorney General Jim Ryan.[16] Blagojevich's campaign was helped by his connected father-in-law, Chicago alderman Richard Mell.[16] Ethics scandals had plagued the previous administration of Republican George Ryan (no relation to Jim), and Blagojevich's campaign focused on the theme of "ending business as usual" in state government.[24] Polls prior to the election found that many Illinois voters were confused about the names of George Ryan and Jim Ryan, a fact Blagojevich capitalized on.[25] He asked, "How can you replace one Ryan with another Ryan and call that change? You want change? Elect a guy named Blagojevich."[25] Blagojevich won with 52% of the vote over Jim Ryan.[25] On election night, he said: “Tonight, ladies and gentlemen, Illinois has voted for change.” [24]

Yeah, well, that was then. This is real change now. That's why we're talking about all this now, on the eve of the Obamessiah's inauguration--the selling of his Senate seat. That's why Rahmbo has these memory lapses. As did Axelrod recently as well. They need to distance Obama from Blago even if they have to lie to their own diaries, so to speak.

Tony Rezko, shared by Barack and Blago as main money man and can-do kind of guy.

Then there are the wifely connections, the Dogpatch Democrats, very incestuous politics as practiced in Chicago.

For the record I have never given any credibility to Edroso's lead-off red-herring rumors. But yes, the Democrats play the race card at the drop of a hat--and now they are getting stung by it themselves. Let's hope one good thing can come out of all of this--laying that one to rest. And perhaps the other is the unraveling of the Chicago Democrat Machine, and some much-needed honesty in Washington.

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