The relationship between Barack Obama and Chicago Mayor Richard Daley is getting a closer look since John McCain's campaign released it's "Chicago Machine" ad Monday, which attempts to tie Obama to a series of purportedly sleazy Chicago politicians.
According to Obama biographer David Mendell, Obama described their relationship as "Cordial, not close."
"Even though he was a state legislator from the city, Obama made sure to maintain a safe distance from Mayor Richard M. Daley and his cronies," Mendell writes in The Run-Up, his election election blog for Chicago magazine. "When Obama's wife, Michelle, told her husband that she was considering working in city hall, Obama waved yellow caution flags because he worried that Michelle was too straightforward and straight-talking for the backroom dealing of the Daley administration.
"In my first extended interview with Obama in December 2003, I asked him to define his relationship with the mayor. Obama winced and paused before finally responding, "Cordial, not close." Since then, Obama has grown far chummier with Daley, but nothing more accurately sums up the ties between Obama and the vaunted Chicago Machine than his own words way back then: 'Cordial, not close.'"