Weather Updates

Sneed: Obama on the links — without buddy Eric Whitaker

President Barack Obamsteers his cart while golfing Farm Neck Golf Club Oak Bluffs Mass. islMartha's Vineyard Sunday Aug. 11 2013.

President Barack Obama steers his cart while golfing at Farm Neck Golf Club in Oak Bluffs, Mass., on the island of Martha's Vineyard Sunday, Aug. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

storyidforme: 53456350
tmspicid: 19726834
fileheaderid: 9013234
Article Extras
Story Image

Updated: September 14, 2013 6:22AM

The Obama vacation . . .

The things they carried . . .

So what did President Barack Obama schlep with him on his vacation to Martha’s Vineyard this week?

◆ Two large mesh bags full of basketballs

◆ Bo the dog

◆ Top National Security Adviser Susan Rice, to brief him daily

Turf talk . . .

Fore? Nope, three teed with he: President Obama played golf Sunday with aide Marvin Nicholson, former White House chef Sam Kass and Wall Street consultant Robert Wolf (Obama hit the links on Saturday with longtime pal Vernon Jordan and Chicago lawyer Allison Davis.)

◆ The chip shot: Noticeably absent from both divot groups was Obama’s buddy, Dr. Eric Whitaker, whose former aide was indicted last week on charges of fraud and embezzlement when she worked for Whitaker at the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Hill swill . . .

Setting the groundwork: The Democratic National Committee has hired Mo Elleithee, a longtime Democratic strategist with close ties to presumed 2016 presidential contender Hillary Clinton, as its new communications director.

Dixon data . . .

Former U.S. Sen. Alan Dixon, once a household name in Illinois, has just penned an autobiography, “The Gentleman from Illinois.”

Dixon, who lost re-election in 1992, served 43 consecutive years in elected office. He was a . . .

◆ State representative? Check.

◆ State senator? Check.

◆ State treasurer? Check.

◆ Secretary of state? Check.

◆ U.S. senator? Check.

◆ Ink spot: Dixon, who won election 30 times and suffered one defeat, will be signing books at Boone’s Saloon in Springfield on Tuesday night.

The police blotter . . .

Bang! Bang!

In case you missed it, Philadelphia Police Department Commissioner Charles Ramsey — who is making headlines for asking the Department of Justice to review shooting deaths by Philly cops over the past year — came this/close to becoming Chicago’s top cop when Rahm Emanuel became mayor.

◆ Buckshot: Ramsey, who was dealing with a 50 percent increase over the previous year in police-involved shootings in 2012, also called for a deadly force review by the Department of Justice when he was appointed police chief in Washington, D.C.

◆ Upshot: Before Ramsey left Washington to become commissioner in Philadelphia, police shootings dropped 87 percent.

◆ Quoth Ramsey to Sneed: “I took a gamble in 1998 when I became the first police commissioner to ask the DOJ to conduct an excessive force review. It’s worked out great.”

◆ The final shot: Would he suggest it be done in Chicago? “I am not really familiar with what’s going on in Chicago anymore,” Ramsey said.

The Daley watch . . .

Sneed hears Dem gubernatorial hopeful Bill Daley is loaded for bear.

Gobble! Gobble! Watch for Daley, who purchased a live turkey at the recent McHenry County Fair in anticipation of it being his Thanksgiving dinner, to do a little carving at the Illinois State Fair on Wednesday when he and Gov. Pat Quinn share the stage.

“Both of them are addressing the Illinois Democratic County Chairmen’s Association, which does not include Cook County,” said a source. “If sparks are going to fly, it’ll be there.” This is the only event at the fair where both Daley and Quinn will speak.

◆ Translation: The turkey Daley bought from a farm kid at the McHenry County Fair “was not pardoned,” quipped the source. “It met its maker, is frozen and ready for shipping.

Over and out.

Sneedlings . . .

Congratulations and best wishes to the stellar Mellody Hobson and new hubby, George “Star Wars” Lucas, on the birth of their baby daughter, Everest Hobson Lucas. . . . Tuesday’s birthdays: John Slattery, 51; Danny Bonaduce, 54, and Kathleen Battle, 65.

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.