Obama came from the Chicago tradition of machine politics. That style of politics, not just in Chicago, was the backbone of the Democratic party for much of the 20th Century. Now it’s the Republicans who are the party of machine politics – although Trump is bad at it; he does not reward the people who are loyal to him. He does for a while, but eventually he cuts those people off
Machine politics explain why some counties who supported Obama then went on to support Trump. They went with the machines. (Cory Doctorow/Pluralistic)
I had a college poli-sci professor who said the transition from machine politics to progressive politics a century ago was a step backwards. Party bosses had to reward their followers, and that system trickled down to the lowest level, down to individual people and families living on individual streets of the city. That kind of accountability was not present in progressive politics, which is theoretically based on objective criteria such as civil service exams.