Obama’s ‘Chicago Way’ plunders the private sector

by Michael Barone

Senior Political Analyst
June 2, 2010

 

An interesting thing about Barack Obama is that he chose, on two occasions, to live in Chicago — even though he didn’t grow up there, had no family ties there, never went to school there.

It was a curious choice. Chicago has a civic culture all its own and one that is particularly insular. Family ties and personal connections are hugely important. Professionals who have lived and worked there for a quarter-century are brusquely reminded, “You’re not from here.”

Nonetheless Obama moved upward in the Chicago civic firmament with apparent ease. The community organizer joined the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s church in search of street credibility in the heavily black South Side. The adjunct law teacher made friends around the University of Chicago from libertarian academics to radical organizer William Ayers. The young state senator designed a new district that included the Loop and the rich folk on the Near North Side.

Obama could not have risen so far so fast without a profound understanding of the Chicago Way. And he has brought the Chicago Way to the White House.

Read the whole article in the Washington Examiner online.

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