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The [Friday] Papers

The more Barack Obama changes, the more he stays the same. And the Chicago boys couldn't be more thrilled.

"Windy City White House Begins," the Sun-Times proclaims on its front page today, noting the appointment of Rahm Emanuel as chief of staff and the other Chicago appointments to come.

And this is a good thing?

The media speaks out of two mouths around here. Out of one mouth comes the investigative reporting and subsequent decrying of our deeply ingrained corrupt political culture, and out of the other comes the pride of that culture elevating our pols to positions of national stature, whether it's Denny Hastert or Dan Rostenkowski, Bill or Richard Daley, Rahm Emanuel or Barack Obama.

The media loves the appointment of Emanuel to Obama's White House; both the Tribune and Sun-Times penned love letters today to the man nicknamed Rahmbo and is charmed and endeared by oft-told anecdotes of how he once sent a dead fish to a pollster and another time wielded a steak knife while proclaiming those who had dared to disagree with him as "Dead, dead, dead."

The Tribune editorial page today calls the appointment of Emanuel a "savvy" move, while its front page assures readers that "Selecting hardball players for team signals [Obama] knows the reality of D.C. politics."

You can hear the sigh of relief through the corridors of power; Obama isn't going to change anything at all! Thank God!

Hope won, and now it will be safely tucked away in the closet until it's time to run for re-election.

"It took only 36 hours for President-elect Barack Obama to take the off ramp from the Change We Can Believe In Highway and slam his foot on the gas in the express lanes of the Chicago Way," John Kass writes.

After all, who is Rahm Emanuel? He's the guy Daley sent - with the backing of his goon squad - to defeat an actual, real grassroots candidate for Congress. Change was squashed in the 5th District that year - change from the old politics of beloved felon Dan Rostenkowski. That kind of change Chicago could do without.

"Loyal readers know why I put the (D-Tomczak) at the end of Emanuel's name," Kass writes. "It refers to the corrupt Daley administration Water Department boss, Donald Tomczak, now in federal prison in Duluth, Minn. He sits there because he was convicted of bribery. Emanuel didn't have anything to do with that. But he was a political beneficiary of Tomczak and the Chicago Way.

"Two years ago, at the federal trial of Mayor Daley's patronage chiefs - who were eventually convicted for building an illegal political army of city patronage workers to maintain the mayor's control on Chicago - Tomczak was a key witness.

"And he testified that he was ordered to put his political regiments on the streets in 2002 to elect Emanuel and defeat a liberal Democratic grass-roots candidate. The mayor put hundreds of political hacks on the city payroll stumping for Emanuel back then. Tomczak controlled them."

In its news pages, the Tribune incredibly pens this passage:

"Some might have harbored concern that Obama, with his message of inclusion and unity, would not be a fighter. Maybe those people missed the significance of Obama's political upbringing in Chicago, where politics, as they say, 'ain't beanbag'."

In other words, some - a lot I would say, like the majority of a nation - might have actually believed Obama meant it when he said he wanted to change the way business was done in Washington. You know, no more partisan bickering, no more attack politics - no more fighting. Fighting is what Hillary Clinton promised.

But, whew, that was just talk!

Just like when Obama used to say during the primaries that if you keep sending the same people to Washington - you know, Clintonites like Rahm Emanuel - you'll just get the same results.

I can hardly wait to see where Bill Daley - a senior Obama advisor and member of his transition team - ends up.

Nothing says more about what we're in for than how thrilled the Daley boys are.

"Chicago Mayor Richard Daley," the Tribune reports, "was almost giddy about Emanuel's appointment."

A Windy City White House indeed.

If Obama wasn't exactly a Machine pol coming up, he is now. His transformation is complete.


See also The [Rahmbo] Papers.

The Beachwood Tip Line: The real deal.


Posted on November 7, 2008

MUSIC - Christgau Loves Chicago Neonatologist.
TV - Amazon & The Way Of The World.
POLITICS - The Political Odds.
SPORTS - Another Week Of Trubisky Analysis.

BOOKS - Writers Under Surveillance.

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