- Rahm Emanuel as White House Chief of Staff. As veteran Chicago Tribune political reporter John Kass put it best upon hearing of Emanuel's appointment: "It took only 36 hours for President-elect Barack Obama to take the off ramp from the Change We Can Believe In Highway and slam his foot on the gas in the express lanes of the Chicago Way." Mayor Daley's former Water Department boss, Donald Tomczak, is sitting in a federal prison convicted of bribery. In another trial of Mayor Daley's political patronage bosses, Tomczak testified on behalf of the government how he was ordered to put city workers out on the political stump for Emanuel during his inaugural 2002 run for Congress.
- David Axelrod as Senior White House Advisor. Once upon a time, Axelrod was one of the good guys working as a well-intentioned reporter for the Hyde Park Herald. He later sold out and crossed over to making bigger bucks and more money as the mouthpiece for Mayor Richard Daley and his corrupt political organization. His public relations firm earned a reputation for its success at astroturfing, another word for the act of manufacturing grassroots support for businesses and political candidates.
- Valerie Jarrett as Senior White House Advisor. She formerly served as Mayor Daley's Chief Deputy Mayor and headed up the Chicago Transit Authority. She has also made a lot of money in the management of subsidized government housing for the City of Chicago as the CEO of the Habitat Company where she helped steer business to Obama political cronies like Tony Rezko and Allison Davis. According to the Boston Globe, one of the housing complexes Jarrett's company managed in Obama's former state senate district was considered "uninhabitable by unfixed problems, such as collapsed roofs and fire damage...In 2006, federal inspectors graded the condition of the complex an 11 on a 100-point scale -- a score so bad the buildings now face demolition."
- Eric Holder as Attorney General. Holder is best known as the former Clinton Administration Deputy Attorney General who approved a last-minute pardon of Marc Rich, the worst tax cheat in American history. Most people aren't aware of his ties to the corrupt Chicago organization. Gov. Rod Blagoyevich, who is enmeshed in a federal corruption investigation of a pay-to-play scandal within his administration, paid Holder $300,000 a few years back to determine whether a casino company headed by a man who had violated Illinois' gambling laws should be allowed to build a new casino in Rosemont. Holder's work was pretty much a wasted effort after he got into a jurisdictional war with the state's Attorney General, Lisa Madigan, the daughter of Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan. So a guy who accepted $300,000 from the corrupt Illinois governor will be in charge of administering justice and supervising the work of the U.S. Attorney in Chicago working over-time to root out political corruption.
- Greg Craig as White House Counsel. Why not? Craig served as former President Bill Clinton's chief impeachment counsel. Craig also represented the Cuban government in their efforts to return Elian Gonzalez back to Cuba after he washed ashore in Florida with other Cuban asylum seekers. And Craig represented John Hinckley, the man who attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan and William Kennedy Smith when he was accused of rape. Nothing like covering all your bases.
Yeah, John Kass had it right. "Change We Can Believe In" is really just a euphemism for the "Chicago Way." Move over East Chicago, Indiana. Welcome the new and improved East Chicago.