Chicago is best known for deep dish pizza's, Oprah Whinfrey, and it's tough political atmosphere. The guys who run the show in Chicago have to play dirty to get their job done. With competing forces on all sides, and criticism from every direction, sometimes it can be hard to tell who is fighting for the people and who is merely trying to keep their head above water.
From his political roots on the South Side of Chicago, Barack Obama, has learned how to play political hard-ball. Now that he's President he will have to carry that attitude with him. In order to win his first elected office he had to dig deep for names to be knocked off of the candidate list through legal persuasion. He has made enemies along the way. He seems to know who to piss off and who to be-friend. He's a real power broker, with a take no names attitude when it comes to weak politicians. Unlike Lyndon Johnson, though, Barack Obama has the tough guy attitude, backed up with intellectual skill.
Even with a Democrat controlled congress, Pelosi has made it clear that she's trying to get her agenda passed through before anyone else. Bad thing is we don't exactly know what her policy is. She was a San Francisco style liberal that has changed her colors, lately, to look a little more centrist. She refused to hear anything of impeachment during the last two years of the Bush Administration, and she has done very little to help end the war in Iraq. With that comes low approval ratings for congress. How will Obama's center left agenda play out with Pelosi? Only time will tell.
Obama spiced his cabinet up a bit with the pick of Rahm Emanuel to be his Chief-of-Staff. Rahm also comes from Chicago and is known for his Chicago tough guy attitude and years of experience. As a political director, working in Bill Clinton's Administration, he earned the name "Rahmbo" due to his combative style. He has a background in banking which will help ensure the American people that Obama is thinking first and foremost about the economy. "He's a good tactician. He's a creative thinker. But I think what probably makes him most successful is that he has the will to follow his convictions," Rep. Danny Davis, another Illinois Democrat, said after the 2006 victory.
With Obama's cabinet finally starting to come together my view is that he's looking more and more centrist. Dont be surprised if there aren't a couple Republicans with key-roles in Obama's administration. Obama's close friend Republican Senator Dick Lugar has said he's not willing to serve in Obama's cabinet, but he said he is wiling to help him push his policy through congress.
In the coming days we will start to get a glimpse of the next four years. I am hopeful that there will be a return to moderation. There is a strong wind at President-elect Obama's back. If that wind can stay steady and strong we may just solve our problems as fast as Obama's star rose in Washington.