Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Daley Show: The Power Behind Barack Obama

Today's Chicago Tribune features a lengthy press release from the Chicago Democratic machine that heaps non-stop praise on "'The other side of Obama's brain." That phrase refers to Valerie Jarrett, one of the Obama campaign's key advisers.

Valerie Jarrett is known as the other side of Barack Obama's brain. Can this tough-minded adviser, who is guided by aphorisms and gut instinct, help him reach the White House?

...Technically her title is "senior adviser.'' But Jarrett, the soft-spoken, steely willed, longtime Chicago powerbroker, has also been called the other side of Obama's brain. At the very least, he says, she is his eyes and ears in meetings that he cannot attend.

...Yet even as her role in Obama's campaign has expanded over the past year, Jarrett has kept her day job as president and CEO of the Habitat Company, a major real-estate firm and court-appointed receiver of Chicago public housing, overseeing the beleaguered agency's long, painful struggle to desegregate by building new mixed-income developments. She travels with Obama or his wife, Michelle, as often as she can-usually on weekends or in times of crisis.

The American Thinker's Thomas Lifson deconstructs the puff piece by injecting a heavy dose of reality:

Jarrett is an old hand in the Daley Machine. It was a search for a city job that brought her first into contact with the Obamas. In fact, she offered Michelle a job in the same Machine her father had worked in, as a precinct worker/city employee...

...In 1991, Jarrett was the deputy chief of staff for Mayor Daley when a tall, striking-looking African-American lawyer named Michelle Robinson walked into her office for a job interview. The young woman had the whole package: Princeton University undergrad, Harvard Law School, two years at a prestigious corporate law firm... It was a match mad in heaven, and soon Michelle was a city employee. Coincidentally or not, Jarrett is also vice chair of the board of trustees of the University of Chicago, according to the article, which would have made her in a sense a supervisor of Michelle Obama before she went on leave from her jobs as a community outreach manager (what Mr. Terry discreetly calls "an executive") for the University Medical Center. Presumably Jarrett may have had a voice in the decision of the Medical Center to nearly triple Michelle's salary once her husband was elected to the United States Senate.

...Evidently Tony Rezko is not the sole Obama associate to earn a good living in the realm of publicly-subsidized housing in Chicago. But unlike Rezko, she has not been indicted or convicted of any crimes. That's a mark of distinction in those circles... Jarrett is a Daley Machine Chicago power player, and a vital link between Obama and the Machine.

In the Tribune's discussion area, commenter Percy Jones translates for the lay-person:

This... article is an almost endless paean to a poor, struggling, humble but valiant and intelligent black woman who is the man of light’s brain. We are so moved... Of course the real story reads like this:

Old Val, is a Daley operative, and political hack, who made her fortune churning run down, foreclosed public housing real estate while doing “public service”. Daley appoints old Val to be Obama’s handler and groom him for his place in the machine. She gives Obama a job working the public housing equivalent of three card monty. In a typical Chicago back door pay off she arranges a series of high paying sinecures for Michelle first in Daley’s office and then at the University of Chicago. The University of Chicago being in the habit of hiring various and sundry clout heavy cretans so as to buy said clout and easy access to state and federal funds. No one is quite clear about just what Michelle does for them or how she got those jobs. No one is asking. No one will. Val’s job now is to keep wonderman on track and to remind just who is really running things. Daley.

Which version of this article do you believe? Do you remember, like I do, when the Tribune was a real newspaper?

My eyes are getting all misty from the nostalgia.

One need only read the Tony Rezko & Barack Obama Comic Book to relive the glory years of the Democratic machine's stunning urban renewal program. The power couple -- Barack and Michelle -- were enmeshed in this utterly corrupt nonsense that has failed the Chicago populace for decades.

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