Just as it’s impossible to fully grasp the nature of the Clintons’ criminality without understanding the town of Hot Springs, Ark., so is Barack Obama unthinkable detached from his background in corrupt Illinois politics. Here’s the latest example of the Chicago Way in action:
The chief executive of the public school system here, Barbara Byrd-Bennett, who has been the subject of a federal investigation into possible misconduct, has resigned, the district announced Monday. Ms. Byrd-Bennett has been on leave from Chicago Public Schools since April, following local news media reports that a grand jury was hearing evidence about a no-bid school district contract that was awarded to a former employer of hers.
In a resignation letter that was to take effect Monday, Ms. Byrd-Bennett wrote that she would “remain forever thankful for the opportunity to serve the children of Chicago.” She did not give a reason for resigning in the letter, which was dated May 29 and was released by the district.
What’s the fuss? Her intentions were good:
In his successful re-election campaign this year, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who in 2012 appointed Ms. Byrd-Bennett to her position, repeatedly cited improvements to the city’s challenged school system. Nonetheless, enrollment has dropped, many students fail to meet learning standards and the district is facing a massive budget deficit.
“I am saddened by the circumstances that have led to Barbara’s resignation and I wish her well,” Mr. Emanuel said in a statement. “As a city, our focus must remain on finishing the school year strong and tackling the billion-dollar budget deficit that threatens the progress our students, teachers, principals and parents have made over the last several years.”
Ms. Byrd-Bennett has not been charged with a crime, and a spokeswoman for the United States attorney’s office in Chicago on Monday declined to comment on reports of an investigation.
It’s so easy to be a Democratic: no matter how many years, decades or eons your party has been in control, there’s always something to run against: yourself.