Barack 'Obambi' Hype Drives Chicago Tribune Columnist 'Nuts'
Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass comes at Barack Obama's media hype machine from a local perspective, wondering how a President Obama might be useful to corrupt Illinois politicians in both parties. But he says he like the man, if not his starry-eyed media hype:
He's a decent fellow and I like him. He might make a fine liberal president someday. And though I disagree with him on policy, I'd bet my White Sox tickets that his wife, Michelle, won't keep 800 secret FBI files of their political enemies hidden in some White House bedroom.
Obama isn't irritating. What's irritating is the relentless media fawning and hype. Tom Bevan of the Real Clear Politics Web site recently predicted the slobbering will "drive John Kass nuts."
It's true. I have been driven nuts.
Kass sees behind the hype a Chicago political guru, David Axelrod, who hasn't always been a presidential king-maker. He managed the presidential campaign of the late Sen. Paul Simon in 1988, who probably got his most memorable time in the spotlight when Al Franken satirized him on 'SNL' obsessing about how voters really liked his trademark bow-tie. Kass continued:
It's as if writers are helplessly channeling the brilliant Obama/Daley media crisis manager David Axelrod, who is using secret powers to enter their minds from afar. Perhaps we should be issued cone-shaped aluminum foil hats--like those worn by the cute farm kids in the alien movie "Signs"--to keep our brains Axelrod-free while typing Obama stories.
Otherwise, we'll have to endure more of the same, mostly white liberal media guilt offered up as presidential prayers for a fellow who, only two years ago, was a small-time state senator in Springfield...
If Obama decides to run, there will be some sort of news conference with the Daleys, where national political writers can decide if they wish to keep drinking the Obama Kool-Aid or ask a difficult question.
It's difficult because it is not Axelrod-approved and doesn't reflect the gauzy Obama narrative, but here it is:
If elected president, do you promise to keep U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald in Chicago?
National political junkies can easily forget that Fitzgerald has a full plate in Chicago before and after his handling those Plame-gate special prosecutor duties, but Kass very much wants him around in Illinois, which he says is the most corrupt state in America.
Here's today's question: while Obama's national career was launched at the Democratic convention of 2004, what post-Reagan Republican political phenom launched a national career in the last few decades solely on the wows of a Republican convention speech? I'm drawing a blank this morning.