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“It has nothing to do anymore with black or white”

Thursday, Sep 17, 2009

* Delmarie Cobb, Roland Burris’ chief media strategist, wins our rarely bestowed Quote of the Month award. Cobb was interviewed for an ABC7 story about Cheryle Robinson Jackson’s US Senate campaign. Have a listen

In case you can’t watch videos where you are, this is the text from that ABC7 story

“When you dig one grave be careful you don’t fall in. And the Democrats dug a grave in terms of Roland and now we have fallen in as the Democratic party because the Republicans are going to take this race. It has nothing to do anymore with black or white,” said Delmarie Cobb, political consultant.

Now she tells us that race shouldn’t matter and that the Roland Burris disaster dug a “grave” for the Democratic Party?

I really don’t know what to say.

Should we take a walk down memory lane? Let’s do it

Now, Cobb says, Burris’ enemies are trying to bloody him up and weaken him with mounting legal bills.

“And then it won’t be called racism,” said Cobb.

And then there was this gem

Veteran political consultant Delmarie Cobb is a top adviser to Exhibit No. 1 of the old strain, Sen. Roland Burris. I visited her Bronzeville office last week during a pause in her winning battle to keep Burris in office.

“All of a sudden, we’re into this young thing, and anybody who’s been out here needs to be put out to pasture,” she vented. Cobb resents “that somebody would take this kind of knowledge and put it out to pasture.”

And who could forget this one?

“They keep trotting out these marquee names to scare Roland,” said Delmarie Cobb, the senator’s media and political adviser, adding that some Democrats are out to “lynch” Burris and turn him into a “whipping boy.”

I could go on for a long time, but I’d rather not.

* Ms. Cobb is very good at what she does. She fights like the devil for her clients. She kept Sen. Burris in place and untouched by the Illinois powers that be. And even though I think she may have been saying that it was the Democratic Party’s fault that the Burris thing got out of hand, I hope she’s finally realizing that there are limits when doing one’s job.

This state was needlessly divided over the Rod Blagojevich’s Burris appointment and the resulting racial morass. There were wrong people on all sides, but the record is clear that Ms. Cobb did her very best to fan tiny embers into massive flames.

* Now, a warning to commenters. Do not use her past quotes as an excuse to go all racist on us in comments. I’m in no mood.

…Adding… Related

The appeals court in Chicago will hear arguments today on why there should still be an election to replace Barack Obama in the U.S. Senate. Roland Burris has Obama’s old seat but that could change if Marty Oberman has his way. He’s suing the Governor because Pat Quinn hasn’t called for a special election. Oberman says the 17th amendment to the U.S. Constitution requires Quinn to call a special election despite an Illinois state law that allows the governor to appoint people to the Senate

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - OneMan - Thursday, Sep 17, 09 @ 9:29 am:

    Sometimes politics is like pokemon, you have to play all the cards required to try and win.

    Even the cards you may not want to play, also unlike most card games most folks forget what cards you played 20 minutes later.

  2. - Pat Collins - Thursday, Sep 17, 09 @ 9:31 am:

    Seems to me she just played a weak hand as well as she could.

    I mean, when you are in that sort of biz, once you take a client, you need to wear the “small hat” as we say, and focus on the client, and his needs.

    I think we ought to consider this like the old cartoon of the wolf and sheepdog. When they clocked in, it was no holds barred. Once they clocked out, it was back to being normal.

  3. - Third Generation Chicago Native - Thursday, Sep 17, 09 @ 9:32 am:

    She is more of a liability than an asset to politician.

  4. - cassandra - Thursday, Sep 17, 09 @ 9:36 am:

    I saw her for the first time on Chicago Tonight a few months ago and I although I was irritated at some of the things that she said, she did get my attention and I did think about some of her comments after the show.

    I wouldn’t say she is a liability, but I think her capacity to be annoying would have to be thought through carefully before a pol or aspiring pol hired here.

  5. - wordslinger - Thursday, Sep 17, 09 @ 9:42 am:

    Maybe I’m reading it wrong, but I think Cobb is saying the Dems dug a hole by not backing Burris during and after the appointment process, leaving the seat vulnerable. If not, that’s quite a 180.

    Still, I’m glad to know it’s not about black and white any more.

  6. - Chicago Cynic - Thursday, Sep 17, 09 @ 9:47 am:

    Delmarie was extremely adept at being non-strategic in that she never bothered to think through where her comments would lead. This was true when she supported Hilary over Barack (because race doesn’t matter), when she was a poor loser in that race (accusing Barack and his supporters of rampant sexism) and then when she backed Roland (because race is apparently the only thing that matters).

    As a consultant she really slit her own throat and I suspect will find it incredibly tough to find mainstream clients (like the kind she used to covet and periodically win).

    You reap what you sow.

  7. - shore - Thursday, Sep 17, 09 @ 10:01 am:

    If any of these 3 democrats are the nominee, Mark Kirk is our next U.S. Senator. Cheryle Jackson has some kind of nerve thinking that voters won’t hold her accountable for her work for blago, and I’m really sick of chicago democrats thinking that no matter who they are and what they do, they should be elected to higher office. I doubt this woman could name the General in charge of operations in Afghanistan or pick General Petraeus out of a lineup.

    David Hoffman was on chicago tonight last night and unlike Jackson and this woman cobb and everyone else we’ve seen lately, managed not to embarrass his party. He looks like an actual human being and I’m interested to see if he can get enough candidate in him to relate to voters because if he does he’s smart enough and quick enough to tear alexi and her apart in a debate.,8,8&vid=091609a

  8. - Amalia - Thursday, Sep 17, 09 @ 10:02 am:

    why is someone a poor loser because they accuse someone
    of rampant sexism? cause there are many of us who experienced sexism from the Obama campaign in person
    from supporters, on line lots, and occasionally from the candidate’s mouth some sexist things were said about Hillary.
    and the media has a horrible double standard when it comes
    to sexism and racism, especially during that campaign.
    please do try and separate delmarie’s comments from the
    truth in every way. i have strong disagreements with her
    on many things, especially on Burris. but she’s right on about the sexism.

  9. - And I Approved This Message - Thursday, Sep 17, 09 @ 10:06 am:

    If you watch the full clip it’s clear what she’s saying. In the final segment the reporter talks about how Jackson is the only Black in the race and Illinois has been represented in the past by by Carol Moseley Braun, Obama and Burris. I’m guessing the reporter asked a question about whether it should still be “a Black seat.” What Cobb is saying is that because everybody was so mean to Burris he decided not to run again and it doesn’t matter who the candidate is, they are going to lose in the General. If we had just stuck with Burris we would have won but now it’s too late. I don’t think she’s changed her tune at all. To her it’s still all about race.

  10. - wordslinger - Thursday, Sep 17, 09 @ 10:07 am:

    –He looks like an actual human being–

    That’s huge with the actual human being vote.

  11. - Anon - Thursday, Sep 17, 09 @ 10:08 am:

    I can’t watch or listen to the excerpt, so I might be missing some of the music, but I read the words the same as wordslinger. She’s talking about the Dems digging Burris’ grave and falling into it themselves.

  12. - Boone Logan Square - Thursday, Sep 17, 09 @ 10:20 am:

    Is she very good at what she does? She has credibility problems that would make Ed Vyrdolyak blush. To what extent has Cobb improved Senator Burris’s public image since she began working for him?

  13. - Small Town Liberal - Thursday, Sep 17, 09 @ 10:28 am:

    - That’s huge with the actual human being vote. -

    My cubicle neighbor just gave me a funny look for laughing loudly at that.

    There really wasn’t any other card for her to play when it came to Burris, so the race card came out. I’m not saying I accept that, but it really wasn’t a surprise. Now she’s probably just toning things down as damage control for her reputation.

  14. - Hank - Thursday, Sep 17, 09 @ 10:36 am:

    She could always see if Jimmy Carter is hiring since she is so good at “cards”

  15. - CircularFiringSquad - Thursday, Sep 17, 09 @ 10:37 am:

    Speaking of muddled messese..can anyone from the GOP give me a clue about why we did not probe ACORN during teh 2001 to 2009 era when Rove/Cheny ran the show and G shelled out a lot o buckeroo?
    BTW expect DMC to get a little kinder as soon as the consulting deal is signed

  16. - Speaking at Will - Thursday, Sep 17, 09 @ 10:38 am:

    The punchlines just keep coming from people who dont realize they are comedians.

  17. - regular democrat - Thursday, Sep 17, 09 @ 10:45 am:

    Stroger needs her and yesterday. He should hire her pronto.

  18. - Ghost - Thursday, Sep 17, 09 @ 11:00 am:

    I am not persuaded that Cobb kept Burris in office. I think Cobb just lucked into a scenrio where the dems where bluffin from the get go, and Burris always intedned to call their bluff.

    I do credit Cobb with making sure Burris was as toxic as possible to the Dem party and guaranteeing there was no way he could get support. it would have been an uphill battle, but Burris could have pursued a more amicable agreement. A kind of, I am here now, I understand your concenrs, but with my background I beleive I am an appropriate canidate, so lets move on… kind of approach.

    Cobbs scroched earth policy just burned down the crumpled ruin of a bridge Burris used to corss over to the seat.

    As for there was no toher card, sure there was. Just be stubborn that he keeps the job, and work to play nice or throw some bones towards the cirtics. There was no good mechanism to remoe Burris other then another long drawn out process in the Senate.

  19. - dupage dan - Thursday, Sep 17, 09 @ 11:33 am:


    Good question.

  20. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Sep 17, 09 @ 11:43 am:

    The Democrats dug their graves even before Burris was named as the winner of the Blagojevich Primary.

    They grabbed their shovels and started telling everyone that they were not going to allow Blagojevich to nominate anyone - remember? Quinn wanted a special election - remember? The Illinois Democrats were all tingly and ready to make it happened - and then they changed their minds.

    With each public statement, the Illinois Democratic Party shoved those grave diggers deeper and deeper, and with each retreat, they made that shoveled dirt fly! They couldn’t want to bury themselves.

    Then Trailblazer announced his win on a public stage with Bobby Rush on hand to stop any opposition with his Macaulay Culkin impersonation. Everyone heard the Congressman’s racial wailing, remember?

    Dig! Dig! Dig!

    The Democrats couldn’t play this situation well. Look at New York. They couldn’t replace Hillary Clinton without a fight. Look at Colorado. They ended up with a nobody for senator, now polling around 40% approval.

    Remember Rich’s postings regarding the survival rates for US Senators who ended up in their seats by appointment? Well, if you thought it was tough for Sheila Frahm or Dean Barkley, it is now tougher for the US Senatorially Appointed Class of 2009.

  21. - Honest Abe - Thursday, Sep 17, 09 @ 8:32 pm:

    It would be interesting to learn if Ms. Cobb has other clients and who they are. One wonders if they cringe when she talks.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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