WASHINGTON--Ben Smith of Politico and my colleague, Abdon Pallasch of the Sun-Times both noted that presumptive Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) skipped even a drop by this weekend at the Democratic Leadership Council, meeting in Chicago. Smith opined that Obama did not put the centrist group with deep ties to Bill Clinton on his calendar because a DLC honcho is J.B. Pritzker. J.B. was a major national fund-raiser for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) campaign and the brother of Penny Pritzker, the Obama national finance chairman.
Let me add another conference in Chicago to keep watch on to see if Obama attends. Just a few miles from the Obama home, the annual Rainbow PUSH Coalition and Citizen Education Fund conference is running June 28-July 2. The conference will honor not the historic Obama bid but the 20th anniversary of the historic 1984 White House run of the Rainbow PUSHfounder, the Rev. Jesse L Jackson. The 1984 and 1998 Jackson presidential campaigns marked the first major African American run for president.
As for Obama--he keeps himself above the fray of Democratic faction politics by not appearing before the centrist DLC or the more left Rainbow PUSH crowd.