WASHINGTON--Most of you, I bet, may be curious about the increased number of references lately from McCain campaign and surrogates about one Saul Alinsky as they try to make Barack Obama a risky presidential pick because of his associations.
I just heard Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) tell Andrea Mitchell on her MSNBC show that "Obama started out with Saul Alinsky." Not true, if Bond was being literal. Alinsky, born in Chicago on Jan. 30, 1909 died on June 12, 1972 in Carmel, Calif. Obama was born in 1961.
Obama followed in the footsteps of Alinsky, the legendary Chicago community organizer whose techniques and teachings influenced generations of community and labor organizers, including the group hiring a young Obama to work on Chicago's South Side.
Alinsky's techniques were more tactical than radical. Alinsky--whose "Reville for Radicals" was the training manual for generations of organizers, also influenced a young Hillary Rodham Clinton who was growing up in Park Ridge at the time Alinsky was the director of the Industrial Areas Foundation in Chicago. While at Wellesley, Clinton wrote her senior thesis on the "Alinsky Model" of organizing.