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« Love gone bad | Main | Sarah Smile »

October 31, 2008

Comments

Cliff

Kind of like how George Bush would surround himself "with only those who voice no disagreement"?

jorod

How Obama got to the US Senate:

Threepeat: LA Times/Chicago Trib again help Obama make the close

Jill Stanek

The Los Angeles Times' refusal to cough up a damaging video of Barack Obama kabbitzing with PLO friend Rashid Khalidi should come as no surprise. The LAT/Chicago Tribune sisterhood has been aiding and abetting Obama for years.

Jack Ryan: In 2004 Republican Jack Ryan ran against Barack Obama for US Senate. Ryan was divorced from actress Jeri Ryan of Star Trek: Voyager and Boston Public fame. Their divorce records were sealed, as requested by both. They shared a young autistic son who they were trying to protect.

Obama's chief strategist, David Axelrod, interned for the Chicago Tribune in college and then worked there in "a high-profile job as the lead political reporter," according to the New York Times, from 1977-84.

Does the following have anything to do with Axelrod's ties to the Trib? It sure smells.

The Chicago Tribune decided to go after Ryan's child custody papers. Its sister newspaper, the Los Angeles Times, went to court in CA, where the custody was finalized.

The LAT fought and won, violating the expressed wishes of the Ryans, making the LAT's current protest against showing the Khalidi video out of supposed respect for the informant's wishes laughable.

Obama's part in the Ryan drama? From Wiki:

People alleged to be backers of Barack Obama emailed reporters about the divorce controversy, but refrained from on-the-record commentary about the divorce files.....

On June 22, 2004, the Ryans' divorce papers were released. In them Jeri accused Jack of taking her to sex clubs and wanting her to engage in public sex. Ryan denied the allegations, telling me and the world he took Jeri to an "avante garde" club in Paris but left when she expressed discomfort.

I believed Ryan and was the only woman in a group of loyalists to express support of him at a press conference that night. Along with others, I chalked Jeri's allegations up as just that, never proven and made during a messy divorce. The fact that she didn't want them revealed to the world said something.

I knew Ryan before he ran for the Senate, spending a day with him where he taught at Hales Franciscan High School, for instance, to write a story for the online news org I worked for at the time, The Illinois Leader. Ryan was a multi-millionaire who left his cush job at Goldman Sachs to teach at this all boys Catholic school in Chicago's inner city. Ryan came from a large philanthropic family.

Ryan went down on June 25, was replaced by Alan Keyes, who alienated everyone, and Obama won in a landslide.

Before that?

Obama's main primary contender for US Senate was Blair Hull, who was beating Obama in the polls. According to Wiki:

In early media polls leading up to the March 16, 2004, primary election Hull enjoyed a substantial lead and widespread name recognition resulting from a well-financed advertisement effort. He spent over $28 million of his personal wealth on the campaign...

A month before the primary elections a news story broke regarding his divorce from his ex-wife. The controversy ended up destroying the Hull campaign. Hull tried to keep the divorce records sealed, but pressure from journalists and his opposing candidates forced him to release them.

The papers claimed that his ex-wife alleged that during a physical fight between them he had threatened to kill her. This led to his arrest for battery, however no charges were ever filed.

From what newspaper did the news story break? The Chicago Tribune. Reported the New York Times:

About a month before the vote, the Chicago Tribune revealed, near the bottom of a long profile of Hull, that during a divorce proceeding, Hull's second wife filed for an order of protection. In the following few days, the matter erupted into a full-fledged scandal that ended up destroying the Hull campaign and handing Obama an easy primary victory.

The Tribune reporter who wrote the original piece later acknowledged in print that the Obama camp had "worked aggressively behind the scenes" to push the story. But there are those in Chicago who believe that Axelrod had an even more significant role - that he leaked the initial story.

Now the Tribune newspaper group is going for the trifecta, trying to help Obama - who wouldn't be where he is today if not for them - win the final victory.

Tom Bowler

Interestingly Cliff, that's not how James Bennet, "New York Times" Magazine saw it.

O'BRIEN: All right, if that's the philosophy, then recruiting is a very key thing for an executive who approaches his job that way. Based on what you've seen thus far, as he recruits his cabinet and some of his key people, is his management style working?

BENNET: Well, it's very true of George W. Bush that he's not afraid to surround himself with people that have far more experience than he does, people who are fairly independent minded. We've seen that particularly in his selection of his national security team.

It's true he tried to surround himself with loyalists, but as can be seen by the number of books by departing cabinet officials slamming the administration, he was not always successful.

When Bush finally decided he needed to change course in Iraq, he reached out to people with a variety of opinions in order to come up with a strategy that would succeed. The surge/counterinsurgency strategy that was adopted in the beginning of 2007 was not something he came up with on his own. That by itself should be a convincing argument that he did not surround himself with "yes men".

What he did was to surround himself with people who he believed would share his goals. As president he was entitled to do that. In fact, if he was not prepared to do that you would have to wonder what was his point in running for president. As the man elected to set the direction for the country, it was his responsibility to get the right people to help him do it.

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