Bill Daley leaving the Obama administration was big news for ten minutes. But as my friend Streetwise Professor and I discussed on Twitter after the news broke, this really signals a big change in direction on how Obama will campaign.
It’s going to get really ugly. How ugly? Think of the election cycle from 1796-1804. It will be that ugly. The culmination of those election cycles was a duel by Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, with Hamilton losing his life after the gun battle.
Both Hamilton and Jefferson manipulated the press of that time to scandalize the other side. Character assassination is a mild phrase to use when describing the vitriol that went back and forth. Look for more in the coming months.
It takes a thick skin to be a politician, but in Chicago, no one ever plays fair. The game is rigged before the ballots are printed. They say backroom politics are dead, but the political bosses in Chicago are alive and well. As Craig correctly points out, what you just saw in the White House was a street fight from Chicago manifesting itself into an internal power struggle in Washington.
Even though they are all Democrats, there are still big political divisions within Chicago. Mayor Daley’s special talent was mitigating the special interests of all the factions. Truly, it is a special skill that should be admired and not chided, even though he accomplished it on the back of the tax payer. Daley would be an excellent CEO of a large company. I have a lot of respect for him. He is an extremely bright and energetic person. He isn’t a political hack.
There are different kinds of Democrats in Chicago. You need to know the species before you jump to conclusions. Nothing happens in a vacuum, and nothing happens without a consensus.