Friday, December 22, 2006

John Kass on Obama mania and the Daleys

The Chicago Tribune's excellent columnist John Kass has his latest take on Obama mania, tying it in to the fortunes of the Daley family. Mayor Richard M. Daley has already endorsed a Barack Obama presidential run, and his brother and former Al Gore campaign chairman, William Daley, has signed on to Team Obama as a senior advisor.

Kass wonders if the Daley brothers will rename the senator "O'Bama."

In my opinion, that would serve two purposes. First, a lot of people in Chicago pronounce "Obama" in a way the that rhymes with "Alabama." Secondly, even in the 21st century--after wave upon wave of newer immigrants have arrived here--Irish or Irish sounding names tend to do well on Cook County ballots.

Kass and other members of the Chicago Tribune editorial board met with Illinois' junior senator last week. Kass asked if Obama--if he's elected president--would reappoint US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald?

Now outside of the state, Fitzgerald is best known for his role in the "Plamegate" investigation. Here, Fitzgerald's name is associated with prosecutions that touch near the nerve center of the Daley political machine, as well as the administration of his fellow Democrat, Governor Rod Blagojevich. Fitzgerald goes after Republicans too, his office, pending appeals, successfully prosecuted former Governor George Ryan.

And what about Obama's property neighbor Tony Rezko? Fitzgerald's office is handling that case too.

Kass reports that Obama hedged on whether he'd re-appoint Fitzgerald. Of course, Mayor Daley, whose administration has been pummelled by Fitzgerald, wants Fitzgerald out yesterday.

The Kass column is available here. Free registration may be required.

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