Illinois Keeps Obama at Arm’s Length

Pat McMahon Contributor
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WASHINGTON — If you listen to the mythology of Washington conservatives, then you might think the close circle of Chicagoans who run the White House are masters of a modern political machine, tough-minded enforcers of what Sean Connery’s character in “The Untouchables” called “the Chicago way.”

In real life, though, President Obama seems to have about as much control over Illinois politics as he does over who judges “American Idol.” When he campaigns in Chicago on Thursday in an effort to avoid the embarrassment of his old Senate seat being lost by the Democrats, the president will find himself promoting a candidate he did not prefer and whom he has spent most of the past year avoiding.

All of which probably says as much about the political moment as it does about Mr. Obama’s influence in Illinois.

Full story: Political Times – Illinois Keeps Obama at Arm’s Length – NYTimes.com