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Entries in Chicago Magazine (1)

Tuesday
Mar222011

Chicago Magazine Publisher: Obama Is Not Loyal

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- A local Chicago publisher who was once tight with Barack and Michelle Obama, and an early financial backer of his, complains to Chicago Magazine that she has not been invited to the White House and says that “Barack is not necessarily loyal.”

Hermene Hartman, publisher and editor in chief of a local weekly newspaper targeted at African-Americans, says she’s known Obama since 1995.

For his 2004 Senate run, “Barack came to me, and said, ‘I need you to raise about $50,000 for me.’ I said, ‘When do you need it?’ [He said,] ‘Next week.’  I said, ‘You’re out of your mind. I don’t have $50,000, and if I did I wouldn’t give it to you.’ [He said,] ‘But I gotta get it. I opened up the office, turned the phones on, the lights are on, and I gotta move forward. Don’t you know Oprah? C’mon, think of something. Michelle’s gonna kill me.’ So I called a friend named Al Johnson, who was the first African-American General Motors car dealer -- he was very involved with Harold Washington and John Stroger, in fundraising capacity, and over the years, we’ve done a lot of things together. I asked him to meet with Barack. [I said,] ‘He’s a cut above and he’s gonna be something.’ They hit it off, and Al gave him $50,000. “

Hartman says that “Barack was launched by black businesspeople…We’ve not been to the White House; we’ve not had appointments. I have barked a little bit about it…. I said something to Valerie Jarrett. I haven’t seen Valerie since she has been in the White House. That whole group—they forgot… or they don’t care. “

“Barack is not necessarily loyal,” she says. “In Chicago politics, that’s rule number one: be loyal; dance with the one who brought you. I see that as a key trait. I see Rahm having it. Rahm is very appreciative and very thankful. I was very loyal to Barack, but he has not been loyal to some of the people who were there for him from day one. That’s my personal disappointment in him. Did you outgrow us, or did you forget?”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio