Thursday, December 30, 2010

A DAY IN THE LIFE (of Chicago): Will Obama, the Sequel, be a local production?

It’s not official. It may even turn out to be a bit of bull from the rumor-mill. But when Barack Obama kicks himself into campaign mode to try to get himself re-elected as president in the 2012 election, it seems that his base of operations will be our very own Second City.

At least that’s what Politico claims.

THE PUBLICATION DOES not have any kind of hard information about how the Obama campaign will conduct itself. Other than the fact that the White House staffers who expect to leave the federal payroll in coming months to go work for the Obama re-election effort all seem to be under the belief that they will be moving from the District of Columbia back to Chicago in order to do so.

As Politico puts it, “while no decision has been made, a Chicago location is a near certainty.”

That is going to offend some of the political pundits who want to think that Washington is the place to aspire to. They also cite the fact that all sitting presidents who have run for re-election operated their campaigns from Washington – or, if they were conservative Republican types, from the D.C. suburbs of Virginia.

So if the Obama re-election effort does wind up centering around an office somewhere along Michigan Avenue, it would be a first.

THE CHICAGO SNOB in me thinks this is a wonderful idea, particularly if it does get the Obama aides out of the District of Columbia and into the rest of the country. Besides, with modern communications technology, it really doesn’t matter much where the actual campaign is based. The campaign office is usually a place for the political operatives – with the candidate crisscrossing the country in search of votes.

I know some people are going to complain that Chicago is somehow out-of-touch with their vision of what this country is going to be about. We may even get a national version of the type of rhetoric that often spurts up between Illinoisans of a Chicago persuasion and the people who are unfortunate enough to live in the rest of the state.

Then again, I think those people are ideologically inclined to complain – no matter what Obama says or does or where his people operate out of. It’s like Andy Martin, who says he’s running for president in ’12 and plans to feed off the people who are determined to believe that Obama isn’t telling us the truth about where he was born. I’d say that Martin is going to make a fool of himself. Then again, I expect the one-time “Anthony Martin Trigona” is shameless.

What other items are noteworthy as the great city along the shores of Lake Michigan approaches the end of 2010?

A CHICAGOAN TO HEAD P.D.?: Mayoral hopeful Carol Moseley-Braun wants the law enforcement vote. How else to explain the fact that she made a big issue Wednesday out of saying she will fire Jody Weis as police superintendent.

From a purely political standpoint, I expect that the one-time FBI agent whom Richard M. Daley hired to run the Chicago Police Department is going to get dumped no matter who gets elected mayor. Weis’ contract expires in March, and any new mayor is going to want his/her own pick in that prime post.

But Moseley-Braun, who has police officers in her family (so do I, if you want to be technical), is trying to appease those police types who always hated the idea of an “outsider” being given the top police post – even though one could legitimately argue that what the Chicago Police Department needs is someone who isn’t beholden to the local establishment who can shake things up.

So when Moseley-Braun tells the Chicago Tribune, “You need to get someone who knows Chicago to run the Chicago Police Department,” it is little more than cheap campaign rhetoric – no matter how sensible one might want to think it sounds.

GIMME MY NUMBER BACK: In what passes for baseball news these days, new Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Bobby Jenks (the big, tall, wide boy from the 2005 World Series-winning White Sox team) is ‘p.o.-ed’ at his old team.

It seems that when the White Sox made their major player acquisition in slugger Adam Dunn, it came out that he would wear uniform number 45. The problem is that the number still belonged to Jenks, who hadn’t gotten around to releasing him yet. Big Bobby feels seriously disrespected.

Now, he’s making snotty comments about the White Sox and manager Ozzie Guillen, while Guillen’s son, Oney, is using a Twitter account to make cheap-shots back at Jenks. It’s a whole lotta nonsense when one thinks about it sensibly. I’m not rooting against Jenks doing well in Boston. But he simply wasn’t the same ballplayer he was six seasons ago – which is the reason he’s not going to be in Chicago in 2011.

It also makes me realize that we’re roughly at the half-way point between the end of the 2010 World Series, and the beginning of spring training for the 2011 season in mid-February – a thought I find much more interesting than whether or not this year’s Chicago Bears team can actually make it through the playoffs and into the Super Bowl.


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