Remember how you had to move as a kid and you totally promised to keep in touch with your friends, but you didn't? Barack Obama's Chicago buddies worry they're going to be those friends.
So what are Martin Nesbitt, Valerie Jarrett and Eric Whitaker doing about it? Why, last Sunday, they met in Hyde Park, a sinisterly academic enclave on the South Side of Chicago which houses the University of Chicago, where Obama taught law before beginning his unexpected journey of hope and change and audacity to becoming the most powerful man in the world. (Full disclosure: I graduated from the University of Chicago and lived in Hyde Park for four years, and boy am I sorry I didn't go to the right political fundraisers at the time!)
The subject of the meeting: How to keep their claws sunk deep into President Change. Oh, the New York Times makes it sound like they just want to keep playing Scrabble and throwing barbecues with Barry and Michelle. Suuuuuure.
Jarrett is following Obama to D.C. to join the administration, while Whitaker, who works on public-health programs at the University of Chicago Hospitals, is staying. But he's going to fly into D.C. on the weekends! The plan echoes a campaign rule of "no new friends," when Obama's inner circle hit the road to make sure Obama did not acquire any new hangers-on. Completing the Hyde Park honor guard: Desirée Rogers, who will jealously guard the White House calendar as Obama's social secretary.
Here's what's ridiculous about the whole plan: Jarrett and any other former friend who goes to work in D.C. will be an employee, not a BFF. The president has no friends, new or old. It's part of the job, which invariably isolates its holder in a bubble. His Chicago friends are just mad that theirs has been blown.
(Photo by David Katz/Obama for America)