Against Chicago

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This FT piece arguing that Obama's Chicago circle is killing him is making the rounds on the progressive blogs. John says he hasn't read it, but is skeptical. He probably should be:

But those around him have a more specific diagnosis - and one that is striking in its uniformity. The Obama White House is geared for campaigning rather than governing, they say.

In dozens of interviews with his closest allies and friends in Washington - most of them given unattributably in order to protect their access to the Oval Office - each observes that the president draws on the advice of a very tight circle. The inner core consists of just four people - Rahm Emanuel, the pugnacious chief of staff; David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett, his senior advisers; and Robert Gibbs, his communications chief.

My issues with anonymous sourcing aside, I came away thinking that there probably was a critique to be made, just not a geographical one. Anyway, check it out yourself. I'd love for a journalist to really report out this charge that Rahm Emanuel is ruining everything. This piece kinda tries it, but it isn't convincing.

People are talking about the Jane Mayer piece. I haven't read it, but there aren't many journalists whom I respect more. I'll report back after I've had a chance to read.

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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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