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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Obama File 46 The Axelrod Axis-Who Is Behind the Man Behind Obama?

Obama File 45 here

Chicago based political consultant, David Axelrod is chief strategist and media adviser for Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign. He has known Obama since 1992 and helped Obama win his 2004 Senate race. He is the ideas man of the campaign-the man behind Obama.

Axelrod reportedly told the Washington Post;

"I thought that if I could help Barack Obama get to Washington, then I would have accomplished something great in my life."

The obvious question here is-great by what standard?

Many key figures in Obama's political life come from the far left. Does David Axelrod comform to this pattern?

Axelrod was born in New York in 1955 to leftish parents Joseph and Myril Axelrod.

In the 1940s Myril Axelrod wrote for a left leaning magazine PM. though not officially a communist publication, several Marxists (including labour editor Leo Huberman) and Communist Party members worked on the paper.

According to the Traditional Values Coalition

Former Communist Eugene Lyons, writing in The Red Decade: The Stalinist Penetration of America, noted that PM’s staff included a former editor of the Daily Worker; another was former editor of The Communist; and a third was a leader of the Communist Youth League; a fourth was a Soviet government official; and a fifth was the former staff cartoonist for the Daily Worker, the official newspaper of the Communist Party, USA.

PM's Washington DC correspondent IF Stone was later identified as involved in Soviet Intelligence operations.

Incidentally one of PM’s writers, Earl Conrad, also wrote for the leftist magazine Negro Story, as did Frank Marshall Davis the Communist Party member who was later to mentor the teen-age Barack Obama in Hawaii.

David Axelrod's own mentor was a well known Chicago journalist/political activist named Don Rose.

From the Chicago Tribune

In his early years as a political consultant, Axelrod, following in the footsteps of his mentor, the political strategist Don Rose, carved out a reputation for himself as a skillful specialist working for local progressive candidates...says Rose. "I think he's a principled, generally progressive guy... ."

Axelrod first met Rose in the early 1970s while studying political science at the University of Chicago and working as a reporter on the Hyde Park Herald

Around that time Rose edited and co-owned a small newspaper called the Hyde Park Kenwood Voices. The paper's radical tone suited the neighbourhood. It tended to follow the Communist Party line campaigning for example to abolish the House Committee on Un-American Activities. The Voice's co-owner, the late David S Canter had personal experience with the committee, being hauled before it and named as a Communist Party member in the late 1960s.

Canter and Don Rose took the young David Axelrod under their wing. They took it upon themselves to "mentor" and "educate...politically", a the young journalist. Don Rose later wrote a reference letter for Axelrod that helped win him the internship at the Chicago Tribune which launched his career.

Rose was a member of a Communist Party front at the time, the Alliance to End Repression.

The Alliance was set up to abolish the Chicago Red Squad, the police unit charged with monitoring communist and radical organisations.

Rose's personal Red Squad file accused him of being a "member of the anarchists".

The Alliance's executive director was Communist Party member Richard Criley. Further Party members involved included Abe Feinglass, Jack Spiegel, Jesse Prosten and Norman Roth.

Other radicals active in the Alliance included former Communist Party member Milton Cohen (later a founder of Chicago DSA), Quentin Young, Timuel Black and Rabbi Arnold Wolf. All three went on to join or support DSA and to form close personal friendships with Barack Obama.

Quentin Young, incidentally became the family physician to both the Obama and the Bill Ayers/Bernardine Dohrn households.

Don Rose also went on to chair another Communist Party front, the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights, succeeding comrade Richard Criley.

Rose had been radical since the 1940s when he joined Henry Wallaces's communist controlled Progressive Party.

In the '50s Rose was involved in the campaign for nuclear disarmament and in the '60s was involved in the civil-rights movement. He was Dr. Martin Luther King’s Chicago press secretary for several

In 1968 Rose was asked to serve as press secretary to the Chicago Mobilization Committee-the Students for a Democratic Society/Communist Party influenced alliance that wreaked havoc at the Chicago Democratic Party Convention. It was during these violent times that Rose coined the famous phrase-"the whole world is watching"

Through the mobilization Committee Rose met Marilyn Katz, the SDS security officer for the demonstrations.

Marilyn Katz, Chicago 1968

By the late 1970s Rose was linked to the Chicago coalition of former Trotskyists, Socialist Party members and communists that would in 1982 form Democratic Socialists of America.

In 1982 David S Canter and nine others invited black Democratic Congressman Harold Washington to stand for the Chicago mayoralty. Washington had a long history with Chicago's communists and socialists. When he accepted, the Communist Party and DSA formed a multi-racial alliance behind Washington.

Washington, right at a 1981 Democratic Socialist dinner in Chicago

The alliance targetted black voters in a huge voter registration drive on the city's south side.

Rose, Katz and Canter all worked on the successful campaign and all later secured jobs in Washington's administration.

In 1987 Washington successfully re-stood, aided by a young political adviser named David Axelrod.

Though Washington died in office shortly after, the communist/socialist alliance lived on.

In 1992 the alliance elected the Communist/DSA friendly Carol Moseley Braun to the US Senate.

In 2004 it helped put Barack Obama into the same Senate seat. In 2008 it is campaigning hard to put Obama in the White House.

According to Salon January 2008

When Barack Obama was 22 years old, just out of Columbia University, he took a $10,000-a-year job as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago. It was a shrewd move for a young black man with an interest in politics...

The politician who truly set the stage for Obama's rise was also a South Side congressman: Harold Washington, who was elected mayor of Chicago in 1983...In New York, Obama read about Washington's victory and wrote to City Hall, asking for a job. He never heard back, but he made it to Chicago just months after Washington took office...

Washington dropped dead of a heart attack in his second term. But the confidence he instilled in black leaders became a permanent factor in Chicago politics. His success inspired Jesse Jackson to run for president in 1984, which in turn inspired Obama, who was impressed to see a black man on the same stage as Walter Mondale and Gary Hart. Washington also strengthened the community organizations in which Obama was cutting his teeth, says Ransom. Obama's Project Vote, which put him on the local political map, was a successor to the South Side voter registration drive that made Washington's election possible.

Chicago has two unique advantages, says political consultant Don Rose. First, it's in Cook County, which contains nearly half of Illinois' voters. Second, the local Democratic Party is a countywide organization. After Chicago's Carol Moseley Braun beat two white men to win the 1992 Democratic Senate primary, precinct captains in white Chicago neighborhoods and the suburbs whipped up votes for her in the general election.

"They had to go out and sell the black person to demonstrate that the party was still open," says Rose, who sees "direct links" from Washington to Moseley Braun to Obama.

Rose, Canter and Axelrod both worked on Moseley Braun's 1992 campaign. Marilyn Katz worked with Obama on Project Vote, the huge voter registration drive that ensured Moseley Braun's victory.

By the early 2000s Rose, Katz and another Obama associate and former SDS member Carl Davidson had formed Chicagoans Aainst the War in Iraq.

It was this group that organised the 2002 Chicago anti war rally where Obama famously came out strongly against the Iraq War.

The speech was a major turning point in Obama's career. Obama carefully consulted David Axelrod before staking out his position.

Katz incidentally is now an Obama fundraiser and an endorser of the Progressives for Obama website. Carl Davidson helped found the organisation moderates its website.

In August this year Don Rose and Marilyn Katz gave an interview to the DSA linked journal In These Times, just before Obama's "coronation" at the Democratic Party Convention in Denver.

Here are some excerpts

ITT 40 years ago this week, Chicago police battled protesters at the DNC. Two ’60s radicals remember the madness, and look to Denver for change...

The ‘68 Democratic National Convention debacle remains a symbol of everything that went wrong with American politics, society and culture in that tumultuous and iconic year. It was five days of mayhem in the Windy City, five days that left the Democratic Party in shambles...

In August 1968, those explosive battles put Chicago at the epicenter of one of the most searing political and social upheavals of the 20th century. In August 2008, a U.S. senator from Chicago will be anointed the first black major-party nominee for the presidency of the United States.

Don Rose...the political wise man has helped elect mayors and senators since then, from Harold Washington to Paul Simon. Now 77, Rose - a mentor to David Axelrod, Obama’s top campaign strategist...

The 1983 election of Harold Washington as Chicago’s first black mayor came courtesy of a progressive coalition of blacks, Latinos and so-called “Lakefront liberals.” Katz and Rose were there, once again, as advisors and operatives.

Katz: My straight line goes from ‘66/’68 to the folks who began to work together and formed the core group of the Harold Washington campaign. (Almost) everyone I worked with in 1982 I had met as a kid in ‘68. I believe that Barack Obama could only have emerged in Chicago. Why? Because since ‘68 there was a web of relationships between black civil rights groups, anti-war groups, women’s activities, immigrant rights activities, that has sustained and grown...

ITT What we did here in Chicago had international implications: In ‘68 there was a workers’ movement in Paris, there was a worldwide movement of students. We lost that in the intervening 40 years. Now in 2008, with Barack Obama, we have a renewed sense that the whole world is watching again.

Katz: I think that millions of young people are flocking to Barack, as we did to the anti-war movement...

ITT The Democratic Party will gather once again later this month. Everybody is expecting a big party in Denver. Will it be an Obama coronation? Is that what we should be looking for?

So how do you resolve Obama’s move to the center? What about holding his feet to the fire? Don’t we need to keep him true to progressive issues?

Katz: We have to get him into office so then we can be the left opposition. I think it is a delicate balance between those of us who are progressive, how much you push, how much you don’t want to put him in very difficult positions that would embarrass him or give John McCain some advantage...

Rose: I believe that almost everything the Obama people do, like the McCain people, like the Hillary people, is a fairly well-tested proposition.

Given that, I think Obama’s positions, the ones we like, don’t like and applaud, are all very well-tested. I know the guys who are doing these things, and they have run a virtually flawless campaign. So I have a lot of confidence that they know what they’re doing when they trim their sails and when they attack this way and attack the other way. I believe they are doing what will win and I think they have a concept of what will win.

Indeed Don Rose does "know the guys who are doing these things"

He mentored their leader.

Obama File 47 here


Blogger Doug said...

Chicago Reader - What Makes Obama Run

Obama left for Harvard in 1988, vowing to return. He excelled at Harvard Law and gave up an almost certain Supreme Court clerkship to come back as promised.

Here he met and married his wife, Michelle, a fellow lawyer and activist, joined a law firm headed by Judson Miner, Mayor Washington's corporation counsel, moved into a lakefront condominium in Hyde Park, and launched a busy civic life.
He sits on the boards of two foundations with long histories of backing social and political reform, including his own community work--the Woods Fund and the Joyce Foundation. Recently he was appointed president of the board of the Annenberg Challenge Grant, which will distribute some $50 million in grants to public-school reform efforts.

11:02 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Claire at 10:03 PM on 3/29/2008 said...

So he helped Mosely Braun's election.
Great. His judgment is already in question regarding the folks he reveres and takes as mentors and contributors.

Alan Dixon was a really good man; and Mosely Braun, who was cashing her mom's wefare checks while the old lady was in a State-paid nursing home, and who let taxpayers fund her boyfriend's trips to Africa with her was just the type of pol he purports NOT to admire.
Sorry, but his emphasis on collectivism has turned me off entirely.

11:09 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

William Ayers' forgotten communist manifesto - Prairie Fire

11:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a lot of "who-cares ?", irrelevant, and who knows how veracious, bullshit you get into Trev.

Still, I suppose that's how "defenders" of the Free World go on.

At the same time going hard-out for The Chickenhawk and ilk.

What a pretentious, delusionary dickhead you are Trev !

11:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why does Barack Hussein Obama II aka Barack Obama aka Barack Hussein Obama aka Barry Soetoro aka Barry Dunham aka Barry Obama refuse to produce a certified U.S. birth certificate from Hawaii and proof of Citizenship papers after re-entering the U.S. from Kenya where his grandma says he was born and others and a citizen of Indonesia since Indonesia and the U.S. don't recognize dual citizenship which is required proof to be president of the U.S. and why doesn't the U.S. Justice Department, U.S. Congress, and the media care if he is violating the law while elected to the office of the U.S. President and how could this happen in America where law enforcement arrests illegal aliens, yet the president of the U.S. could be a possible illegal alien in violation of immigration laws!

8:14 PM  
Blogger Arrogant American said...

Maybe he can explain the need for a bill requiring proof of citizenship from future candidates.

H.R. 1503 - To amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to require proof of citizenship for presidential candidates.

5:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For any of you who believe in this ghost than you too walk in his steps and will be drowned by HIM...evil will be shown and people will suffer, but it will make us stronger when this guy and all of his are gone...and I do mean GONE!!

2:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very lucid piece, but the phrase "The Whole World is Watching" is a rip-off from Dylan's song "The Hour that the Ship Sails In." In the original, "The Whole Wide World is Watching."

1:43 AM  

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