West Virginians will be very familiar with this kind of situation. When people from a certain political party want support for a statewide election, they must make a pilgrimage to see people they would probably rather not deal with (or should want to avoid anyway.) The southern coalfield bosses with their cheesy nicknames and tradition of corruption have helped manipulate results for politicians willing to "play ball" for many decades now. Some embrace the corruption, others do only what they must to get what they need. Few walk away untarnished.
Chicago is Southern West Virginia writ large. More money, more ruthless operators, and more sleaze. The main difference is that Southern West Virginia bosses may be corrupt, but none of them turned against their country.
Obama's biggest Chicago problem involves William Ayers. Today he has been embraced by left wing academics as an anti-war hero. In the 1960s and 70s he helped to organize and lead the notorious Weather Underground. This group targeted the US Capitol and police officers with the same kinds of bombs Al Quaeda uses in Iraq and Afghanistan. Ayers claims that his only regret lay in the fact that they were not more effective (i.e. violent.) Obama worked with Ayers on the board of a Chicago foundation and has been described by many as a friend of Ayers. A meeting with Ayers helped to kick off Obama's original Senate run. Robert C. Byrd was blackballed from consideration for national office because of his ties to domestic terrorism; now Obama has been shown to have ties as well.
Another problem lies in close Obama ties to disreputable slumlords in Chicago. He bought a house in Chicago under market value with a mortgage deal that average Americans could only dream about. These Obama friends are notorious in Chicago for providing substandard housing, at times they failed to keep the heat on for their poor tenants during the harsh Chicago winters. Obama jumped on McCain for not knowing how many houses he and his wife owned. However McCain used one of those houses to care for a child in need. Obama did not even use one room in his multi-million dollar mansion to house his half brother who lives in a Kenya hut on less than a dollar a month.
Corruption, lack of compassion, and questionable competence continue to erode the Obama candidacy. The careful Clinton orchestration of the Democratic convention indicate that they are looking past the looming Democratic disaster of 2008 to a candidacy for Hillary at the end of John McCain's tenure in office. Meanwhile Barack Obama has gone from utopian uniter to just another corrupt Chicago political hack without the effectiveness of someone like "Old Man" Daley.
*****************************************************By the way, take some time to visit www.nomomojo.org This site keeps you up to date on the campaign of Russ Weeks and the growing reasons why we need change at the top in West Virginia.