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Obamarama - The Senator picks up some clout in city hall

Wednesday, Dec 20, 2006

Mayor Daley, up for re-election in a few months and doing all he can to lock up as big a majority as possible, jumps into the Obamarama fray.

Mayor Daley has decided to abandon his long-standing tradition of remaining neutral in Democratic primaries and endorse Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton in the 2008 presidential race, City Hall sources said Tuesday.

“Here you have not only an Illinoisan, but a Chicagoan who is a major contender for the highest office in the land. . . . When in our history have we ever had a favorite son this close to [the White House]? Why not get on board early?” said a Daley confidant, who asked to remain unnamed. “Hillary Clinton has been a great senator, a wonderful civic leader. But logic dictates that a Chicago mayor would be behind the Chicagoan who has taken the world by storm. Beyond that, this man has tremendous potential. The world sees that. It stands to reason that the mayor sees it.” […]

As Chicago Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed reported this week, Bill Daley has signed on as a senior adviser to Obama, who is expected to formally enter the presidential race next month.

Sources said the mayor’s decision to embrace Obama was made before his brother reserved a seat on the senator’s bandwagon. The mayor and Obama have been meeting about the subject for months, huddling for 2½ hours at City Hall as recently as last week.

No word yet on whether Senator Obama will be endorsing Daley.

Meanwhile, Obama’s sister says a decision will be made soon.

Sen. Barack Obama will decide this week in Hawaii if he’ll seek the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008, his sister said Tuesday.

“He’s going to make his decision here and announce it to us. Then he’s probably going to officially announce his decision once he returns,” Maya Soetoro told The Associated Press.

I just got my Obama “holiday card” via e-mail.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

23 Comments
  1. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 20, 06 @ 10:02 am:

    rich, how’s the traffic on days the Hotline national blog links to CapFax? You’ve got a national candidate getting local coverage here + a link to a major national blog… gotta think it can only go up from here once you get the idiots in D.C. to start reading this regularly… even the worst commenters on here probably know more about Obama than your average D.C. reporter… can only go up for you. Are you that optimistic about CapFax’s growth as Obama takes off?


  2. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Dec 20, 06 @ 10:03 am:

    Daley is doing the right thing. Why shouldn’t a US Senator from Chicago, who is thinking about running for president, get a Chicago mayor’s endorsement.

    It is good politics for all.


  3. - Garp - Wednesday, Dec 20, 06 @ 10:04 am:

    I think this will help Daley more than OBama but it really won’t matter too much once Hillary comes to town spending her millions to tie Obama to Rezco. Barak really should cut a deal for the VP before it gets too ugly.


  4. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Dec 20, 06 @ 10:36 am:

    Anon, I’m not sure yet whether the Hotline is driving a whole lot of traffic here. And, frankly, I’d rather not have out-of-staters mucking things up in the comment section.

    Also, there will be a point when I stop doing the daily Obamarama thing - most likely if he becomes more of a presidential candidate than our US Senator. However, I’ll still cover the Illinois angle as it arises.


  5. - Objective Dem - Wednesday, Dec 20, 06 @ 10:45 am:

    The Daley endorsement will be incredibly important for Obama.

    One the practical side, the Daleys have great resources and connections on the national level. Bill Daley was co-chair of the Gore Campaign. There are only a handful of people with this level of experience and Hillary has most of them lined up.

    On the symbolic side, this is major. The Daleys have not historically been closely aligned with Obama, so it is not a given that they will endorse him. However, the Daleys have been very close to the Clintons from very early on. There was the Chicago-Little Rock connection with people like David Wilhelm, David Axelrod and Rahm Emmaneul. And don’t forget Bill Daley was Commerce Secretary under Pres. Clinton. For them to “defect” from the Clinton camp to Obama is major. It gives other people historically aligned to the Clinton camp a precedent for jumping ship. It is a real blow to Hillary.

    On another level the Daleys are known as pragmatic centrists. Endorsing Obama is signalling that he is “presidential,” he can win, and his values are mainstream.

    They also don’t need to endorse Obama now. Daley is going to do fine in the Mayoral race regardless of Obama’s endorsement. Obama isn’t going to turn his back on Chicago if they don’t give him an unprecedented early endorsement.


  6. - Cassandra - Wednesday, Dec 20, 06 @ 10:46 am:

    Nothing to lose for Daley here. He has a lock on another mayoral term. It’s well known that he has never been that fond of Hill and Bill. If Obama wins, he gets reflected glory. If Hillary gets the nomination, she’ll come around for a mayoral blessing, with attendant promises of federal moolah, because she’ll need all the help she can get.


  7. - decaturboy - Wednesday, Dec 20, 06 @ 11:03 am:

    Can you say US Senator Bill Daley?


  8. - Polecat Jackson - Wednesday, Dec 20, 06 @ 11:07 am:

    Is that Tony Rezko’s property in the background of Barack’s “holiday” card?


  9. - Punley Deiter Finn - Wednesday, Dec 20, 06 @ 11:21 am:

    Rich, you have a pretty good sense of where Speaker Madigan stands. Will the Speaker support an Obama Presidential campaign? And when?


  10. - HappyToaster - Wednesday, Dec 20, 06 @ 11:28 am:

    The current Mayor has spent a career trying to out legacy the old man. In that context putting a local guy(and an African-American to boot)into the White House would be way sweet. Much better than carrying water for a bunch of Massachusetts ingrates.


  11. - fedup dem - Wednesday, Dec 20, 06 @ 11:54 am:

    It seems to me that to make an endorsement before Obama declares himself to be a candidate is a bit premature. Shopuld the Senator decide not to run, the Mayor will look rather stupid (not that “DINO” Daley isn’t accustomed to being in that position).

    If I were Senator Obama, I would be hesitant to embrace Daley’s support. What would he get from it anyhow? The backing of a Mayor whose administration has been (and will continue to be) the subject of federal investigations and indictments, which may in time make its way up to Daley himself? The support of his kid brother, who helped Al Gore snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory? The guarantee that Obama’s primary opponents and then the Republicans would use the arms-length list of corruption and scandal in Chicago over the years as a dead weight around his neck, so as to sink his candidacy?

    With the insane rush to hold the Democratic Primaries and Cacuses earlier and earlier, the Illinois Primary is likely to be an afterthought by the time the third Tuesday in March rolls around. If Daley wanted to do something real on Obama’s behalf, he would lobby the General Assembly to move the 2008 Primary up at least two weeks, if not more, so that Illinois’ delegates will not be among the last to be chosen.


  12. - Cornelius - Wednesday, Dec 20, 06 @ 12:15 pm:

    The Daley angle is a huge one, he’s respected nationwide by all of the Mayors…this endorsement has way more upside than down.

    Interesting to note, David Wilhelm is nowhere to be seen on either HRC or the Obama front–I remember vaguely that he’s supporting Biden. If he gets behind Obama…

    Rich, if Obama becomes more of a Presidential Candidate than a US Senator, it’ll still fall under local news as well, his campaign will more than likely be based in Chicago…


  13. - Snidely Whiplash - Wednesday, Dec 20, 06 @ 12:51 pm:

    Well, the Messiah DID endorse Stroger, and people WERE wondering WHY he did it …


  14. - Tom - Wednesday, Dec 20, 06 @ 1:13 pm:

    Daley made the announcement early as he wants to win the African-American vote in February’s election. It’s also a safe move as he’s endorsing a Chicagoan over a New York senator. If Obama wins in ‘08 Daley will certainly expect a more sympathetic US Attorney for the Northern District.


  15. - Snidely Whiplash - Wednesday, Dec 20, 06 @ 1:46 pm:

    Favorite son? Wasn’t he formerly basking in the Hawaiian sun?


  16. - anon - Wednesday, Dec 20, 06 @ 3:14 pm:

    I see this as a subtle anit-Jackson Jr. move. Even if Obama doesn’t run, he will remember Daley’s early support. JJJ is fading in the background while his wife makes the next move.


  17. - values matter - Wednesday, Dec 20, 06 @ 3:20 pm:

    Rich,
    Senator Durbin made a stop in the Quad Cities today. QC TIMES reporter Ed Tibbetts asked him about Senator Obama’s intentions. Durbin repeated the line about having talked with Michelle Obama recently and being surprised at how positive she was toward him running. Durbin told the QC media he thinks Obama will return from Hawaii and is “more likely than not” to say yes on running.


  18. - Tessa - Wednesday, Dec 20, 06 @ 5:23 pm:

    Wow, Rich. I got a card just like that in my e-mail inbox today, too.

    I find this whole Obamarama thing very overwhelming. It’s truly gotten a life of it’s own.


  19. - Bill - Wednesday, Dec 20, 06 @ 6:53 pm:

    The Speaker is none too happy with Obama after the Alexi victory. Maybe that had something to do with the early Daley endorsement. Is the little guy losing his grip?


  20. - Bubs - Wednesday, Dec 20, 06 @ 7:15 pm:

    It’s more ammo for Hillary’s “He’s a Chicago Machine Hack” attack.


  21. - ahem - Thursday, Dec 21, 06 @ 5:50 am:

    Very nice holiday card.


  22. - Tom - Thursday, Dec 21, 06 @ 8:48 am:

    Yes, that picture is outstanding.


  23. - anon - Thursday, Dec 21, 06 @ 5:10 pm:

    and much more appropriate than this one:

    http://www.wonkette.com/politics/john-edwards/john-edwards-wishes-you-a-leggy-christmas-223386.php


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