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June 13, 2008
Cook County Dems Rejoice at DNC Move to Chicago
Boy oh Boy Cook County Dems here in Chicago must be licking their chops at the prospect of Obama moving many of the fucntions of the national party to the Windy City.
Think of it; new chances for graft and corruption. New targets of opportunity. Not to mention the prestige of having the headquarters of the party within easy bribing distance:
The move to Obama's headquarters puts the Windy City squarely at the center of American politics for the first time since it was the scene of a Democratic Party meltdown at the 1968 convention. Then and now, it's a city whose central political feature - top-down machine control - is one legacy Obama has taken from his allies in the reigning Daley family. His campaign has been a model of leak-free discipline and clear lines of authority from the candidate and his guru, Chicago-based David Axelrod, through his campaign manager David Plouffe and a tight-knit staff. Mayor Daley is no doubt thrilled that the national committee is in his baliwick. No doubt hizzoner will have some suggestions and input on staffing - a good chance to reward some loyal subordinates.
Dean's Democratic National Committee, meanwhile, has won the affection of state party officials by dispatching paid organizers to supplement state party staff in every state in the country, and has worked to update databases of voters. But it has been outmatched by the muscular Republican National Committee - which benefits from control of the White House - in fundraising and communication. In those latter areas, the RNC - in a mirror image of the Democratic side - has filled gaps in Senator John McCain's smaller organization.
Now, Obama's large, deep-pocketed effort seems set to absorb and transform the committee's key functions, and to reshape it after its own model, and largely on its own turf-though Obama's former Iowa state director, Paul Tewes, will remain in Washington to oversee the party's fundraising and media operations there. Obama's aides credit part of their success to the Chicago location, with its relative isolation from the national media.
But has anyone really asked what this means? For all intents and purposes, allies of the most corrupt city machine in the country are in control of the Democratic party. And perhaps that was the game plan all along.