In 2012, the Chicago Boys will not let their Democratic colleagues go soft. In the homestretch of the presidential race, Obama, Axelrod, Emanuel and Messina will try to bring back their 2008 formula of success: money, message and get out the vote.
Politicians and politics as usual have given voters much about which to be mad; furious, in fact. But bullying is different. It comes from insecurity and fear, and lashes out with tactics of intimidation.
For generations Chicago has dined out on a hard-edged Democratic image. But all the fights were internecine. When it comes to confronting the national GOP, the mythic nature of Chicago politics is just that, a myth.
Green Party activists will turn up the heat on Democratic leaders, drawing in wider circles of the left in the process. The Obama camp and Chicago party bosses will be working to contain that influence.