Bill Daley out as Chief of Staff……Jacob (Jack) Lew in. What does this mean?
The following might give you some insight.
January 9, 2012
Bill Daley was demoted back in November, a move that had Valerie Jarrett’s fingerprints all over it. Now Daley is gone altogether, resigning from the White House to return to Chicago to “spend more time with his family” (cue the Dirge of the Political Dead).
Daley and Jarrett (and Michelle Obama, not to mention the president) are Chicago Democrats, but just as in Russia there are vicious rivalries among clans that are ostensibly part of the same governing elite, there are deep-seated hatreds and rivalries within the one party of the One Party State that is Chicago. Anyone who lived, as I did, through the Byrne-Daley-Washington election, the subsequent election of Harold Washington, Council Wars, and the open warfare that followed Washington’s death understands that. The rule of Daley II had some similarities with Putinism, with Richie Daley–Bill Daley’s brother–running a natural (city) state, and dividing the spoils among the factions to maintain a semblance of peace. But the hostilities never went away, and hands always rest on dagger handles.
Jarrett and Bill Daley belonged to different factions in Chicago. Moreover, whereas Daley was and is a practitioner of crony capitalism who intermediated between government and heavily regulated businesses, Jarrett is and was more ideological, and her ideology is hard core progressive class warrior.
Bringing both factions so close within the White House was a recipe for conflict, and it is pretty clear that such conflicts indeed continued unabated, with Rahm Emanuel (another Chicagoan) and then Daley arrayed against Jarrett and Michelle Obama. Obama’s political travails starting in 2009, culminating with the election of Scott Brown in early 2010, led to a fundamental divide over what path to pursue: a more accommodating traditional political course (the Emanuel then Daley position) or a more ideological, progressive one (Jarrett and Michelle Obama).
We now know who prevailed. Daley had already been emasculated, but his departure sends a very powerful message–as it was no doubt intended to do. Wall Street and the Fortune 500 set considered Daley a voice of reason who would rein in the more radically progressive tendencies in the administration. How’s that working out now, guys?
With Jarrett and Plouffe (another hard core progressive) firmly in charge, and Daley publicly humiliated, the stage is set for a very divisive and ideological campaign this summer and fall. A campaign with a class warfare core and strong OWS influences. 2012 promises to be as ugly as some of the campaigns of the 19th century, such as the Jefferson-John Adams contest of 1800 (as suggested by Jeff Carter) or Jackson-J.Q. Adams battle of 1828.
Don’t I remember some guy running in 2008 as a uniter? Those images and words will soon disappear down the memory hole.
There is one intriguing aspect of the timing of the Daley defenestration. Over the weekend excerpts of Jodi Kantor’s new biography of Michelle Obama were published in the New York Times. They depict a first lady at war with Rahm Emanuel and Robert Gibbs, with Valerie Jarrett firmly allied with Michelle.
The book details that Michelle’s and Jarrett’s enmity to the Daleys went back almost 20 years:
“Mrs. Obama worked in the Daley administration between Sept. 16, 1991, and April 30, 1993, according to City of Chicago personnel records. She was hired by Jarrett, then Daley’s deputy chief of staff.
Kantor writes Mrs. Obama “disapproved of how closely Daley held power, surrounding himself with three or four people who seemed to let few outsiders in — a concern she would echo years later with her own husband.
“…She particularly resented the way power in Illinois was locked up generation after generation by a small group of families, all white Irish Catholic — the Daleys in Chicago, the Hynes and Madigans statewide.”
When Jarrett was forced out of City Hall in 1995 — even though she was close to Daley — “the Obamas were horrified, their worst suspicions about the world confirmed.”
Jarrett, Gibbs, Obama’s top strategist David Axelrod, Mrs. Obama’s former chief of staff Susan Sher and Chicago pals Eric Whitaker and Marty Nesbitt “gave me many hours of interview time each,” Kantor wrote in her acknowledgements. In all, Kantor got the cooperation of 33 current and former members of the Obama administration and close friends.”
Note particularly that Jarrett was forced out by the Daleys in 1995. Revenge is a dish best served cold, and payback is a bitch. Note also the racial and ethnic component to the intramural Democratic struggles in Chicago–hardly a secret to anyone who lived in Chicago in the 1980s and 1990s.
The fact that Daley’s departure comes hard on the heels of the release of the book excerpts could be coincidence. But perhaps not.
Now We Will See The Real Obama
by Jeff Carter
January 11th, 2012
Bill Daley leaving the Obama administration was big news for ten minutes. But as my friend Streetwise Professor and I discussed on Twitter after the news broke, this really signals a big change in direction on how Obama will campaign.
It’s going to get really ugly. How ugly? Think of the election cycle from 1796-1804. It will be that ugly. The culmination of those election cycles was a duel by Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, with Hamilton losing his life after the gun battle.
Both Hamilton and Jefferson manipulated the press of that time to scandalize the other side. Character assassination is a mild phrase to use when describing the vitriol that went back and forth. Look for more in the coming months.
It takes a thick skin to be a politician, but in Chicago, no one ever plays fair. The game is rigged before the ballots are printed. They say backroom politics are dead, but the political bosses in Chicago are alive and well. As Craig correctly points out, what you just saw in the White House was a street fight from Chicago manifesting itself into an internal power struggle in Washington.
Even though they are all Democrats, there are still big political divisions within Chicago. Mayor Daley’s special talent was mitigating the special interests of all the factions. Truly, it is a special skill that should be admired and not chided, even though he accomplished it on the back of the tax payer. Daley would be an excellent CEO of a large company. I have a lot of respect for him. He is an extremely bright and energetic person. He isn’t a political hack.
There are different kinds of Democrats in Chicago. You need to know the species before you jump to conclusions. Nothing happens in a vacuum, and nothing happens without a consensus.
There are the machine Dems that understand you need a really vital business economy to support all the union jobs and other enterprises they make money from. The machine Dems can’t wet their beaks without a continuing flow of both private and government money they can skim from. Culturally, these kinds of Democrats would describe themselves as “fiscally conservative and socially liberal”. They are fiscally conservative until you start cutting spending on government programs, or simply cutting out government programs because they mean jobs and pensions to their constituents. Dan Rostenkowski was the textbook example of this machine Democrat. Blagojevich was a machine guy that jumped ship. He got too big for his britches. If he would have followed orders, he would have been just fine. Instead, he is going to jail. Machine Democrats do play by some rules. Once you negotiate with them and have a deal, you have a deal. At least until the next negotiation where they will try to take a little more from you. But in the ensuing years, you will be great friends.
The next kind of Democrat works the system and plays racial politics all the way. This is where many ethnic politicians play. They make sure they use race to “get their fair share”. They have allies in their mission. In the case of the White House, it’s David Plouffe.
There is a part of Chicago politics that is really well known. However, it’s unspoken because of fear. The fear of being branded a racist when you are merely saying something everyone knows but social constraints make it taboo. The cost of silence is high. Practitioners of racial politics are very tough to negotiate with, and extract a high price for their support. Jesse Jackson is a good example of someone where the issue of race is forefront in the negotiation.
An example of how a person like Jackson was placated was when his family miraculously received the rights to all the distribution of Budweiser at city and county establishments. John Kass of the Chicago Tribune doesn’t call him the King of Beers for nothing.
Jack Lew: Obama’s OMB Pick Oversaw Citigroup Unit that Shorted Housing Market; AND an Indirect Soros Connection
**Written prior to Jack Lew being appointed by Obama as Chief of staff**