Obama’s main man will do whatever it takes to fell Republicans and conservatives. Where does his ruthlessness and drive come from?
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Do such radical mentors mean that David Axelrod is a closet communist? Of course, not. Nonethe-less, they are formative to Axelrod’s life and political rise, and cannot be ignored. Any biographer knows that you do not ignore mentors; no, you start with mentors. A biographical profile that ignores such figures is guilty of journalistic dereliction. Mentors matter.
And these figures reveal that Axelrod—just like Barack Obama—is the product of some far-left influences, from the progressive left to the communist left. Like Obama, who was impacted by Frank Marshall Davis, Bill Ayers, Jeremiah Wright, and others, these figures unquestionably had an impact and surely help explain why Axelrod is on the left—and not the moderate left. Moreover, it is telling, but not surprising, that the mainstream media has dared not touch these influences, surely fearful of the danger of exposing them and their possible impact on today’s Oval Office.
When it comes to influence, a common bond among these fellow travelers, from the mentors to the mentored, is political work for African-American Democrats. David Canter and Don Rose seem to have had an influence not only on Axelrod’s politics but on his work in politics.
David Canter, in a remarkable foreshadowing of David Axelrod’s interests, became a political adviser with a special interest in advancing “progressive” black candidates, including Illinois pols Harold Washington, Carol Moseley Braun, and Bobby Rush. Canter was especially close to Harold Washington. In an interview with Chicago Jewish History, Canter’s son Evan recalls his father sitting at the dining-room table with candidates like Washington, going through their petitions and other items ensuring everything was in order.
Marc Canter backs that up: “One day I stumbled downstairs into our kitchen to meet Harold Wash-ington talking to my father. Harold was the Congressman from our district and my father was explaining to him how he could split the white vote and become the first black mayor of the city of Chicago. My father had been mentoring, encouraging and working for Harold for 15 years by then and it worked. They won the election and Harold became history.”
Harold Washington rewarded David Canter with a job as Deputy Streets and Sanitation Commissioner. Chicago’s “progressives” were thrilled. The old pro-Soviet journalist turned his publishing skills from defending Nikita Khrushchev to stumping for Harold Washington. Canter edited Washington’s “Second Term” newsletter—apparently an alternative Chicago endeavor from his pro-Moscow Translation World Publishers.
Prior to the advent of Obama, Harold Washington excited David Canter and Don Rose and also David Axelrod. All three worked together for Washington’s reelection campaign in 1987, with Axelrod formally serving as an adviser—one of his first campaign gigs.
As for Barack Obama, he was emerging as a community organizer in Chicago, fresh from the halls of Columbia University. Like Axelrod, he had come to Chicago by way of New York City.
Obama soon met Axelrod and Rose, and almost surely encountered David Canter as well.
Marc Canter is “pretty sure my father knew Barack.” They could have easily met if not through Axelrod then through mutual friends who served on Harold Washington’s campaigns or administration, including Valerie Jarrett. They all ran in the same circles. Among other efforts, all of them—Axelrod, Canter, Rose, and Obama—could have also met during Carol Moseley Braun’s Senate campaigns.
Other family connections continue to this day.
David Canter had long ago met his wife, Miriam, in Boston. (He told Miriam he did not want to be married by a rabbi. “It’s not that I’m non-religious,” he told her. “I’m anti-religious.”) She joined her husband in all sorts of “progressive” or suspected front-group activities, from the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights to opposing the Vietnam War and the McCarran Subversive Activities Act.
Miriam became active in the Hyde Park community as president of the PTA. Public-school officials responded by renaming Wirth Middle School in her honor. Today it is the Miriam G. Canter Middle School.
Interestingly, Chicago’s public schools have an annual “Principal for a Day” program. The Canters’ son, Evan, has been honored as co-principal several times. On one occasion, in 2004, he served as co-principal with a woman named Michelle Obama.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online