Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton both have strong Chicago support stemming from their deep roots in the city. So it only makes sense that some of Chicago’s most powerful families are torn when it comes to choosing between a presidential candidate.
First, the warring and wealthy Pritzker family projected their fued onto presidential politics. And as a prominent donor to Barack Obama pointed out to me, the family of Rev. Jesse Jackson, while not bickering, has also distributed its support between the two Democrats.
Rev. Jackson, as we first reported here, is endorsing Obama, despite his long relationship with the Clintons. His son, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. has been one of Obama’s earliest and most vocal boosters. His other son, Yusef, who owns one of the major beer distributors in the Chicago area, was one of the chairs for a big Hillary fund-raiser on June 25th at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago. (Yusef, of course, is the investor behind the latest incarnation of the magazine Radar; his “silent” partner, it’s been widely rumored, is California billionaire Ron Burkle, Bill Clinton’s private plane pal.) Earlier this year, Sandi Jackson, the wife of Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr, successfully ran for alderman in the 7th Ward with Obama’s endorsement. Her finance chair in that winning effort was Coety Wyse. Wyse now works as Hillary’s deputy finance chair for Chicago.
That said, the donor made the case that, generally speaking, Chicago is still Obama town.
On June 8 alone, the donor said, Obama raised nearly three million dollars. He attended two major donor events that brought in $1 million each and spoke at another that raised about $500,000. Later in the day, Obama drew a crowd of about 1,000 young professionals for a $100 event at Union Station.
Not a bad day’s work.