Monday, March 03, 2008

A Closer Look at Obama's Record in Illinois

This article, by a journalist named Todd Spivak who worked in Barack Obama's State Senate district when he was an unknown entity, has shed some valuable light on the man who is on the verge of becoming the Democratic Presidential contender.

The picture he paints is very underwhelming, especially when contrasted with the media darling Obama has become today. Obama worked his way up the chain of command not through hard work and community activism, like his recent television campaign commercials would have you believe but through hiring a Harvard Law buddy to comb over Illinois election laws and find loopholes to ensure he was the only candidate on the ballot and all the other Democrats (including the longtime incumbent) were kicked off the ballot.

The story also shows an incredible lack of leadership on Obama's part. He refused to get involved in community redevelopment and eminent domain abuse by the city of Chicago within his own district.

Crime, quality of life? Obama usually silent.

Obama's main objective appeared to be a constant rise in position and prestige. He ran for U.S. Congress against incumbent Congressman Bobby Rush but was portrayed as an Ivy League elitist who was out of touch with rank and file South Side Chicagoans.

And all the bills and passed legislation that Obama constantly rattles off as proof that he is experienced at passing laws and working across the aisle? They were bills originally authored by various other members of the Illinois State Senate. Obama's name was attached to the legislation by Illinois Senate President Emil Jones, Jr. Obama's role in actually crafting the legislation and negotiating the eventual passage is cast in an uncertain light here.

Emil Jones is responsible for Barack Obama's rapid rise in national politics. Much more so than Obama is responsible for it himself.

And Obama's squeaky-clean image is tainted by his endorsement of Chicago Alderman Dorothy Tillman who once brandished a gun and was involved in serious corruption allegations months before Obama's endorsement came.

The bottom line here is evident. Obama wasn't the courageous community activist who rejected a lucrative career on Wall Street. He was an ambitious, well-educated young man who was intent on advancing into national politics. Leadership, clean government, etc. all came second to ambition.

That's not to demonize Obama. McCain and Hillary are both guilty of that same offense to some extent. But the problem here is that the mainstream media is allowing Obama to cast his own image of himself. When he says he will clear out the Washington lobbyists and power brokers, no one challenges him. No one, most especially Tim Russert or Brian Williams, are willing to do the research and visit Chicago's South Side.

They appear unwilling to accept the fact that the Obama hype isn't what it's all cracked up to be.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home