New Yorker cover flap; inside magazine Ryan Lizza story about Obama's Chicago political roots. Rahm Emanuel says Obama "top strategist" for Blagojevich bid.

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New Yorker cover
Credit: New Yorker


Put aside the flap over the cover of the new New Yorker, a cartoon portraying the Obamas' in the Oval Office--- Barack Obama in a turban with Michelle Obama wielding an AK-47 machine gun with a picture of Osama Bin Laden in the background. The Obama campaign finds it offensive and with good reason. It is tasteless. David Axelrod on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” said “did we like it? No. Is it the focus of our attention? No.”

The cover hides an in-depth story about Obama’s political roots, taking us to Hyde Park, the North Side and Springfield. New Yorker political writer Ryan Lizza brings us inside Obama’s Chicago political world and the political culture that spawned the presumptive Democratic nominee.

Among Lizza’s scoops:

*Ald. Toni Preckwinkle (4th), with Obama at the launch of his political career—when he ran for state senate and knocked his opponents off the ballot—is lukewarm in the article and is critical of Obama’s relationship with Tony Rezko. She also sidesteps a question about whether Obama has retained his personal integrity.

"I asked her if what she considered slights or betrayals were simply the necessary accommodations and maneuvering of a politician making a lightning transition from Hyde Park legislator to Presidential nominee. 'Can you get where he is and maintain your personal integrity?' she said. 'Is that the question?' She stared at me and grimaced. 'I'm going to pass on that.'


*Lizza reports that Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) told him that Obama was a “top strategist” for Gov. Blagojevich’s first gubernatorial campaign.

“He and Obama “participated in a small group that met weekly when Rod was running for governor,” Emanuel said. “We basically laid out the general election, Barack and I and these two.” A spokesman for Blagojevich confirmed Emanuel’s account, although David Wilhelm, who now works for Obama, said that Emanuel had overstated Obama’s role.”

*The 2000 remap of state senate districts is a critical benchmark in the Obama history. With Democrats in control of the legislature—winning the ability to dictate the maps—Obama in 2001 was able to create a district that stretched from Hyde Park to the Gold Coast. That let him connect with a network of wealthy donors whose support was crucial to his future success

“In the end, Obama’s North Side fund-raising base and his South Side political base were united in one district. He now represented Hyde Park operators like Lois Friedberg-Dobry as well as Gold Coast doyennes like Bettylu Saltzman, and his old South Side street operative Al Kindle as well as his future consultant David Axelrod.”

34 Comments

I don't mind the cover photo.
The two of them deserve a little ribbing. Obama and Blago have effectively stifled reasoned commentary about their 'leadership' in Illinois more effectively than Chairman Mao --and they did so under the guise of an "ethics law" which prevents those with time to study what the pols are doing from commenting without risking their careers.
Michelle's 'to the victor goes the spoils' gig at the University of Chicago in ADMINISTRATION where she can alter the careers of nay-sayers is disgusting.

This is disgusting!!! They knew what message the cover would send to American voters. Some won't get past the cover to read the story and the Editor had to know this would happen. Everyone wants to part of American history even if the way they contribute is in a bad way. Shame on you New Yorker magazine;you have made your Racist point. There should be an apology from the NEW YORKER magazine, and the apology should be just as in your face as their disgusting cover.

That picture is a disgrace to the Obama Family as well as the nation as a whole!!!! This is the type of thing that can really get a person hurt seriously. I've come to the realization that some reporters are trash and have no other means of survival and should be ashamed!!!!!

OBAMA HAS A DREAM FOR THIS CONTRY AS A WHOLE EVEN THE DUMMIES THAT PUBLISH STUPID PICTURES LIKE THIS ONE!!! CHANGE, CHANGE, CHANGE............OBAMA 2008

Not all AMERICANS think or view the Obama's in this venue - just a few stupid white racists cartoonists with no insight and no religion.

As an American (of African descent), I cannot say that I am truly shocked at the display of th blatant sabitoge and racism perpetrated by the New Yorker. It is however my inclination that this publication wants something horrible to happen to Senator Obama. Images like this have the potential of insighting more unwarranted fear into people of this nation. This type of image could dangerously target O'bama and his family to rasicst zealots in our nation who already have a warped sense of adoration and patriotism to our nation. "people belive the meida!" The New Yorker has a responsibility for abiding by morals and ethics. Why didn't we see any insulting garbage like this illustrated towards Arnold the terminator when he was pursuing the govenor's office? His father was a Nazi for God sakes! If the media had reason to fear his motives, I'm sure we would have seen images of the governor pushing Jews through gas chambers! There is something really wrong with this nation but brace yourselves. We will see more shameful antics manifest the closer November approaches...and we will see more when Obama becomes president. It is time for a change and people need to embrace it...it will be better for all of our souls!

Look all you politically correct asses out there in dream land. If you can't take a silly political picture then get the hell out of the fire. This is America where freedom still reigns. The socialist views of the democratic party is not change but is a failed policy that has been demonstrated over and over again around the world. If you can't take a picture on the front of a magazine what will happen when reality comes knocking at your door.

I find the cover extremely offensive and racist. And I'm an african-american that is normally reluctant to make any assertions of race from non african-americans. Putting a back picture of Osama Bin Laden and a burning flag with Michelle O'Bama looking like a 60s revolutionary and Obama with turban makes me really mad. I am thinking about the idiot at the New Yorker who made the decision to put out such crap that is not true. Obama is not a muslim, is more American than those that criticize that he isnt, and Michelle Obama is a product of mainstream american achievement and hard work. This cover is a lie and disgusting. I will never touch the New Yorker ever again.

There is a dearth of humor at Camp Obama and elswhere. That illustration is obviously mocking the irrational Obama critics.

The New Yorker Magazine should be legally punished for slander against the highest integrity candidate we have seen in decades. The Obama family and campaign should fully seek out the publishers of this cover! This country sinks lower every day...away from our greatest possibility to inspire the world. We have transistioned from the most popular kid in school to the nasty bully that no one wants to know.

Reporters have a right not to be patriotic, but they do not have a right to be unpatriotic. They are suppose to report the news. While the story seems interesting it has nothing to do with the cover. The New Yorker should be ashamed of allowing such a disgraceful cover to be published. They better not be offended if the Obama media team doesn't invite them to any events when he becomes president.
It may have been more appropriate to show an image of Obama falling in line with the other Chicago politicans, but not this.

Illustration is provocative and misleads the visual American public, a disservice to the flurrying false and misleading and often associational character of OBAMA....if the viewer moves past the cover, what a jewel of a clever politician they'll discover in one of America's greatest political leaders- VOTE BARACK OBAMA 2008!!!

People, ESPECIALLY OBAMA SUPPORTERS, this is to be expected during soon to be President Obama's term(s) in office. If some are angry NOW, just wait until he actually IS THE PRESIDENT!

The jokes, pokes, and the okey-doke is going to run amuck in the media regardless from the right or left. Comedians are going to have a field day EVERY DAY with the FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT as fodder! A lot of it is going to be cruel and unmerciful - but HE CAN TAKE IT!

Some of us need to grow up quickly, if we want to stand/shield the onslaught of critque - be it constructive or destructive - thrust upon President Obama and First Lady Michele Obama.

I am ready are you?

If a "C" student (George Bush & numb-skull cronies) can brush off the anger of the American public, even though leading us into an unjust war (NO WMD(s) FOUND!!) and wrecked the American economy - ya know, Home Foreclosures, Sky High Gas, Food, Clothing Prices but bail out Financial Instituions with a blink of the eye,

( 1. Bears & Stearns,
a.) http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/17/business/17fed.html
b.) http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSWAT00924220080403

2. Freddie and Fannie Mac, http://www.bloggingstocks.com/2008/07/14/fannie-freddie-spike-following-unprecedented-government/

(Two is enough - don't need to ruin hard-working people's day who struggle to make ends meet!)

I will bet HUGE SUMS of money that the (1st Black) Harvard Law Review President who GRADUATED at the TOP of his class - previously taught Constitutional Law - will be a much better leader of this nation, then many who came before him.

The NOT so funny jokes, sickening RACIST satire, unwarranted CRITIQUE is going to happen, whether it is deserved or not. Just become more astute to BLUNT this IGNORANCE with TRUTH!

If I were Obama, when I became president, my first order of business would be to close the magazine down. Then I would obtain photos of all of the New Yorkers editors and staff, and superimpose them in lude positions with farm animals using Adobe Photoshop. I would put the photos on public display at the whitehouse.

I would then obtain photos of all their dead relatives, and have their faces painted on the inside of all toilet bowls nationwide.

That way evertime someone takes a shit or piss, they are defecating on a photo of a New Yorker employees dead relative.

Furthermore, Id have their photos printed on toilet paper.

Hows that?

Poor baby Obama can not take it! All the things that have been said about the Bush family, has been worse then this cover. What happened at Jenna Bush's wedding by the libs was shameless and sickening. Absolutely no family members whether it be from Obama's or Bush's family at a private event should ever be exposed to sophmoric humor. Where was all the big Obama cry babbies when the Bush family has had disgusting pictures or stories written about them.

George Bush has more class then Obama will ever have!

THIS IS THE SAME THING JACKIE ROBINSON, JACK JOHNSON, MUHAMMAD ALI
DR. MARTIN L. KING, JR, BOOKER T. WASHINGTON, W.E.B. DUBOIS, AND
A HOST OF OTHERS, BARACK OBAMA HAS BEEN VALIDATED AS A WINNER, AND
UNFORTUNATELY, WINNERS IN THIS COUNTRY GO THROUGH THIS TYPE OF
NONSENSE!
AT THIS TIME I WOULD LIKE TO CONGRATULATE OUR NEXT PRESIDENT,
BARACK OBAMA, AND THANK-YOU NEW YORKER MAGAZINE FOR THE VALIDATION!
I JUST PRAY AND HOPE THAT NO ONE EVER HAS TO ENDURE WHAT I SAW ON
THE MAGAZINE COVER OF THE NEW YORKER, NO MATTER WHAT SKIN COLOR
YOU MAY BE!
AMERICA MAY BE THE GREATEST COUNTRY ON EARTH, BUT SOME INDIVIDUALS
IN THIS GREAT COUNTRY HAVE FALLEN SHORT OF WHAT A TRUE AMERICAN
SHOULD BE!
AND THAT'S THE TRUTH RUTH!

AMERICA CAN BE GREAT, BUT THE NEW YORKER MAGAZINE SHOULD BE
HORSE-WHIPPED FOR PUTTING THAT PICTURE ON THEIR COVER, VERY TASTELESS MATERIAL, THE NEXT TIME YOU SEE A RAP VIDEO AND DON'T
APPROVE OF IT, SHUT YOUR MOUTH, BECAUSE IF YOU APPROVE OF WHAT
THE NEW YORKER DID, THAT'S WHAT YOU SHOULD DO, BARACK OBAMA IS
AND HAS GONE THROUGH HELL TO BECOME PRESIDENT, HE HAS TWO DAUGHTERS FOR CHRIST SAKE, HOW DOES THIS AFFECT THEM, I KNOW SOME
OF YOU DON'T CARE BUT I DO, JUST BECAUSE THEY FIST BUMP EACH OTHER
AND SOME OF YOU COULDN'T HANDLE THAT, MOCKERY IS MADE AGAINST
THEM, I LOVE THE OBAMA'S BECAUSE I KNOW THEY ARE ON THE FRONTLINE
FOR ME AND MY FAMILY, WE LIVE IN A SICK WORLD, AND TO PRINT SOMETHING LIKE THAT, MADE WHAT JESSE JACKSON DID NULL-IN-VOID!
GROW UP AMERICA, AND IT'S CITIZENS, LIFE IS TO SHORT TO REMAIN
IGNORANT!

"If I were Obama, when I became president, my first order of business would be to close the magazine down."

This is how Hitler got started. What's next, book burning? Then what, camps for dissidents? And, if that doesn't work, what, just kill 'em all? We don't need a president with followers who think this is "cool."

the last time i saw such an hysteria about a cartoon.....
was those radical muslims against the danish cartoon and cartoonist
makes ya wonder doesn't ???
how many times have we seen cartoons about bush and cheney
and mccain and hillary and clinton and every other political figure
get over it ...
obama is just another politician he's not a god and he's not president ...
people who can't laugh at themselves are just tooooooo important
in their own eyes and that sounds like the obama's and their hysterical followers

That cartoon was no worse then satire cartoons that have been drawn at other people..........BTW, what none of you are mentioning: It is a very LIBERAL magazine which did this cartoon cover.

I think the cover connects well with the article; the point of which is, if Obama wins, will all this movement to the center be shoved aside in favor of reverting to his and Michelle's political history. The cover would have been better in my view if Rev. Wright were included. It is a fair question. If this movement to the center by Obama is mere political expedience, when the smoke clears if Obama wins, will Rev. Wright be on the first guest list to the White House along with Bill Ayers and his wife? I don't rule it out. Do you? Why not? The New Yorker is asking an honest question both on the cover and in the article. Where is the problem?

What's up with you people? You people are worse then the New Yorker! What's next with you people because it seems as if you want another Salem Witch Hunt.

To me this is not what change is all about! It seems as if you people want to start reeducation camps and that within itself is scary.

I think the cover connects well with the article; the point of which is, if Obama wins, will all this movement to the center be shoved aside in favor of reverting to his and Michelle's political history. The cover would have been better in my view if Rev. Wright were included. It is a fair question. If this movement to the center by Obama is mere political expedience, when the smoke clears if Obama wins, will Rev. Wright be on the first guest list to the White House along with Bill Ayers and his wife? I don't rule it out. Do you? Why not? The New Yorker is asking an honest question both on the cover and in the article. Where is the problem?

THE NEW YORKER MAGAZINE JUST LOWERED THEIR STANDARDS, IF THEY HAD
ANY, THEY NOW ARE NUMBER 1 ON THE SCUM LIST, FOX NEWS IS NOW 2ND!
THIS IS WHY RACE RELATIONS IS VERY LOW IN AMERICA!
FEAR-MONGERING THE RIGHT WING WAY!
ASK THOSE PEOPLE WHO JUST LOST ALL THEIR MONEY IN INDIANA IF THEY
CARE ABOUT THE NEW YORKER MAGAZINE!
AMERICA SHOULD BE BETTER THAN THIS!
WE MUST KEEP OUR HEADS ABOUT US, DON'T ACT LIKE THE NEW YORKER
MAGAZINE AND FOX NEWS!
IF THIS KIND OF RACISM REARS IT'S HEAD BECAUSE THE VERY INTELLIGENT MAN WANTS TO BE PRESIDENT, AMERICA GROW UP THE WORLD
IS WATCHING!
AMERICA IS SUPPOSED TO BE KING OF THE FREE WORLD, WHAT ARE WE
TEACHING OUR CHILDREN, THAT YOU HAVE TO GO THROUGH HELL TO BECOME
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES!
I KNOW IT'S GETTING READY TO GET WORSE, I'VE SEEN THIS BEFORE, WHEN HAROLD WASHINGTON WAS RUNNING FOR MAYOR IN CHICAGO!
ARE WE TO BE AMERICANS WHEN THE MOOD SUITES YOU?
ANYBODY THAT DOESN'T UNDERSTAND THE WRONG OF THE NEW YORKER MAGAZINE, YOU HAVE ALOT OF GROWING UP TO DO!

Wow, are people really THAT stupid?! The cartoon makes fun of the critics of Obama! People, get a clue! This cartoon is mocking all of the the right wing nut cases that have been smearing the Obamas. It's called satire and, again, it's making fun of the disgusting right wing of the Republican party. I find it a brilliant and hilarious bit of commentary. You people missed the freaking point ENTIRELY! Good luck with life.

Ah, people. It was satire. It rolled up into one caricature all of the attacks on Obama from the Right. The New Yorker, and most of its readers, are to the left. As are most of its writers, especially Seymour Hirsch. The long article inside is not an Obama fluff piece, but neither is it a character attack. It is well worth reading to learn more about this man who would be our president. It portrays Obama as a Chicago politician, not the left wing idealist some had hoped for. But he is at least a good politician. And I may not agree with Obama on everything, but I disagree with McCain on everything.

WELL IT WOULD APPEAR THAT YOU ON THE OTHER HAND, CUT WAY TO MANY ROMPER ROOM CLASSES {"babbies"} IGNORANCE IS BLISS,STUPIDITY A VIRTUE BUT IGNORANCE AND STUPIDITY IS NOT ONLY FUNNY IT'S PRICELESS

MY FRIEND IS OF THE OPINION THAT THE SPREAD ON THE OBAMA'S WAS THE NEW YORKER RAGAZINE BEING PEEVED AT THEM FOR THE SCOOP THAT LOWILY ACCESS HOLLYWOOD GOT AND THAT IT WAS THE PROVERBIAL FLEXING OF THEIR MEDIA MUSCLES TO THE OBAMA'S TO REFRESH THEM ON PROTOCOL BUT VEHEMENTLY DISAGREE I BELIEVED THE PAPER'S POSITION THAT THE OBJECT WAS TO SHINE A LIGHT ON ALL OF THE FALSE ALLEGATIONS AND MISCONCEPTION FLOATING AROUND ABOUT THE OBAMAS BABE LIGHTEN UP I SAID WHERE'S YOUR SOPHISTICATED DAILY SHOW,COBERTISH SENSE OF HUMOR THEY'RE JUST USING HARD AND CUTTING EDGE SATIRE TO DISSPELL ALL THOSE NASTY RUMORS THEN SHE ASKED"IF THAT'S THE CASE WILL WE BE SEEING A SPREAD ON THE MACCAINS;WITH JOHN MCCAIN AT HIS EX-WIFE'S HOSIPITAL BED A CROCIDILE Smirk FESTERING ON HIS FACE WHILE HOLDING HER WEAK frail HAND AND BEHIND HIS BACK HIS OTHER HAND CLUTCHES THE DIVORCE PAPERS ALL THE WHILE A BLONDE HAIRED CINDY MADEUP TO LOOK LIKE A HARPY[NO DISREPECT TO THE HARPIES AT FOX NOISE] SITS ON A PERCH PREENING AND PRIMPING HER MOLTING HOP AND YEAST INFECTED FEATHERS WITH HER REARRANGED BEAK AND CLUTCHING A DIAMOND AND GOLD ENCRUSTED HANDBAG IN ONE CLAW' TO WHICH I SAID ""HEY""|||"IS IT GETTING HOT IN HERE OR JUST ME",WHAT SAY WE CALL NAT-SELECT AND ORDER A COUPLE PINTS OF BEN&JERRY'S BEFORE THE DAILY SHOW COMES ON"

THESE GUYS MAKE FOX NEWS LOOK LIKE A REAL NEWS STATION!

GEORGE BUSH IS PROBABLY THE WORST PRESIDENT IN THE HISTORY OF THE
UNITED STATES!
THE NEW YORKER MAGAZINE DIDN'T PUT FOREIGN GARB ON THE BUSH FAMILY!
THEY DIDN'T HAVE THE YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO SOMETHING LIKE THAT TO
THEM, BUT TO FEAR-MONGER THEY DID THAT TO THE OBAMA FAMILY!
THAT'S WHAT IT IS CALLED- FEAR-MONGERING, IT IS DESIGNED TO PUT
FEAR IN YOUR BALLOT WHEN YOU VOTE!

The question that Senator Obama answered and that I hope he does not "flip-flop" on regards his keeping Patrick Fitzgerald as the United States' Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.
If Obama was a top strategist for Rod Blagojevich and a close friend of Tony Rezko then I fear that he will pull a Clinton and remove Fitzgerald before his work is done.
The citizens of Illinois need Patrick Fitzgerald to remain in office, even if it makes our politicians uncomfortable.

July 14, 2008

To the New Yorker (I will not lower myself to calling you “Dear”):

Your July cover carries what you meant to be an insulting portrayal of Sen. Obama. But it is not really a portrayal of Sen. Obama - it is really a portrayal of New Yorker's seedy and racist underside, issuing this BLATANT INSULT to Sen. Obama and his supporters of all races and ethnic groups, to all black people, and to Muslims.

You even insult decent, fair-minded Americans who do support Sen. Obama for president, those who decided which candidate to support based solely on their honest opinions of what is best for their country and which candidate they feel can best represent America, not racism. They will also be upset at your ignorant, divisive cartoon.

And is that supposed to be a caricature of Michele Obama on the cover with Sen. Obama? Seems that the New Yorker has outdone itself demonstrating its prejudice. So females who dare be opinionated and outspoken are comparable to guerrilla warriors?

Your rag may get plenty of complaints over this outrageously racist, sexist piece of garbage. Many people will contact you and demand an apology regarding this offense. But I much prefer your overt racism and sexism to hypocrisy. Don't bother to apologize -- stand your ground and EXPRESS YOURSELF FREELY. I know how stressful it can be to repress your true feelings. So don't hold back, New Yorker. Keep putting your real feelings out there! Go ahead and stand proud with your pointed white hoods and flaming crosses! And I, in turn, will stand proud in my decision to never read, or speak highly of, your magazine – ever.

Susan
Buffalo Grove, IL

Obama in a turban might seem a little farfetched, but Michelle as Angela Davis seems an apt depiction.

IF THAT WAS SATIRE, THEN MCCAIN IS THE SMARTEST GUY ON EARTH!
ANYBODY THAT DEFENDS THE NEW YORKER MAGAZINE HAS FALLEN SHORT IN
LIFE!
BARACK OBAMA IS A SPECIAL PERSON, BECAUSE ALL THIS NEGATIVITY MAKES HIM STRONGER, GREAT SPEECH TODAY, AND MCCAIN IS STILL AND
WILL ALWAYS BE A WAR-MONGER, HE CAN'T HELP IT, HIS GRANDFATHER
WAS AN ADMIRAL, HIS FATHER WAS AN ADMIRAL, HE NEVER MADE IT THAT
FAR, SO HE DOESN'T CARE ABOUT THE REAL OUTCOME OF IRAQ, HE JUST
WANTS TO WIN, WIN WHAT I DON'T KNOW, HE DOESN'T KNOW, HE JUST WANTS TO FIGHT, HE CAN'T FIGHT, BUT HE WANTS OUR CHILDREN AND
GRANDCHILDREN TO FIGHT, HE NEEDS TO RETIRE, AND OBAMA IS GOING TO
HELP HIM WITH THAT DECISION IN NOVEMBER!

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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