Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

ABC News -- Obama contradicts a year of denials

ABC News seems to be the only ones that took note of these contradictions. At least among the MSM outlets they were. Bloggers poured over the speech and hoisted him up by his own petards. Today ABC News tosses some cold water on the man who speaks of hope and change, and notes that he's changed quite a bit over the last few weeks, which contradicts his statements over the past year:

Buried in his eloquent, highly praised speech on America's racial divide, Sen. Barack Obama contradicted more than a year of denials and spin from him and his staff about his knowledge of Rev. Jeremiah Wright's controversial sermons.

Similarly, Obama also has only recently given a much fuller accounting of his relationship with indicted political fixer Antoin "Tony" Rezko, a longtime friend, who his campaign once described as just one of "thousands of donors."

Until yesterday, Obama said the only thing controversial he knew about Rev. Wright was his stand on issues relating to Africa, abortion and gay marriage.

"I don't think my church is actually particularly controversial," Obama said at a community meeting in Nelsonville, Ohio, earlier this month.

"He has said some things that are considered controversial because he's considered that part of his social gospel; so he was one of the leaders in calling for divestment from South Africa and some other issues like that," Obama said on March 2.

His initial reaction to the initial ABC News broadcast of Rev. Wright's sermons denouncing the U.S. was that he had never heard his pastor of 20 years make any comments that were anti-U.S. until the tape was played on air.

But yesterday, he told a different story.

"Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes," he said in his speech yesterday in Philadelphia. ...

In the case of his relationship with Rezko, Obama has also been slow to acknowledge the full extent of his relationship.

It was only last week that he revealed Rezko had raised some $250,000 in campaign contributions for him.

The campaign had initially claimed Rezko-connected contributions were no more than $60,000, an amount the campaign donated to charity. Then the figure grew to around $86,000, and there were additional revelations that put the amount at about $150,000. Obama's $250,000 accounting was a substantial jump and clearly contradicted earlier campaign statements that Rezko was just one of "thousands of donors." ...

Obama was initially vague about Rezko's role in helping him buy a new home on Chicago's south side. Unable to afford an adjacent vacant lot the seller wanted to sell at the same time as the house, Obama approached Rezko. Rezko's wife bought the lot on the same day Obama bought the house, and then later, Mrs. Rezko sold the Obamas a strip of the lot which gave the Obamas a larger backyard.

Obama called it a "bone-headed" mistake but never revealed, until he met with Chicago reporters last week, that Rezko had actually toured the house with him and been deeply involved in the transaction.

In a statement, campaign press secretary Bill Burton said, "Last week, Sen. Obama spent almost three hours answering every single question about Tony Rezko posed by the local reporters who've covered the story closest for years. Those newspapers said they were more than satisfied with his open, honest answers. We've given all of the money contributed to Barack Obama's federal campaigns that could reasonably be credited to Mr. Rezko's political support to charity. Sen. Obama also provided an estimate of the most that could have possibly been raised as a result of Mr. Rezko's efforts, but that estimate is not a basis upon which any individual contributions can be donated to charity. "

As to Rev. Wright, Burton said, "While Sen. Obama was not in church for the incendiary and offensive statements of Rev. Wright that have been played on television over the last week, yesterday he delivered a deeply personal, honest speech on race in America in which he acknowledged that over the course of 20 years, of course he heard statements from Wright that could be considered controversial."

Regarding Wright, Obama's contradiction isn't reflected in the newest polls, but the gap between him and Hillary has definitely closed to within five points. He had a much larger lead prior to the furor over Wright. As more information comes out about his relationship with Wright, the more this is likely to bleed him even more. His "shame on you" rhetoric in his speech wasn't smart, and that is probably going to hurt him amongst white voters. (Look, he decided to bring race into the mix here, not us.) Over at his desk in the Hot Air offices, Allah notes that his national lead has slipped eleven points against Hillary from last month's numbers. Geraghty the Indispensable highlights some new unfavorable numbers for Obama which shows yet more chinks in his armor.

As for Rezko, the admission that he took in more donations from the fixer than he originally admitted isn't going to sit well with voters either. To them, he looks like another, typical politician. He isn't about change, and he can't bring change to the nation if he can't clean up his own house. Yes, his house is in much more disarray than Hillary's is.

Think about this. What has Hillary done to hurt her campaign? Only two things come to mind. Her planted rally supporters, and her statement that she supported former NY governor Eliot Spitzer's idea to give driver's licenses to illegal aliens. That's it, really. And now that Spitzer's gone, the latter issue is off the table. She hasn't been caught using plants since the third one was found.

Obama has the Wright issue hanging around him, and with his admission that, yes, he did hear some of the controversial sermons, voters are looking at him as a liar now. After denying he ever heard any of them, he then relented and recanted that statement. Of course with the Wright affair, there is a double standard that many probably forgot about. Luckily for readers, we haven't:

In an interview with ABC News Wednesday afternoon, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., called for the firing of talk radio host Don Imus. Obama said he would never again appear on Imus' show, which is broadcast on CBS Radio and MSNBC television.

"I understand MSNBC has suspended Mr. Imus," Obama told ABC News, "but I would also say that there's nobody on my staff who would still be working for me if they made a comment like that about anybody of any ethnic group. And I would hope that NBC ends up having that same attitude."

Yep, there's that "absolute moral authority" card being played by Obama. Fire Imus for saying "nappy-headed ho's," but don't fire Jeremiah Wright for his racist, incendiary sermons.

With Rezko, that's worse. He not only looks like a typical, same-old, same-old politician, but he also looks like an archetypical Chicago politician; a man well-versed in "the Chicago way" of politics. Again, Rezko is the one on trial, and he's the one who will eventually fall. (Good news is he might take Governor Blagojevich down with him.) What Rezko will do for Obama is knock more polish off an already severely-tarnished image.

What's it all mean in the end? It means that Barack Obama is not a man of hope and change. He's a man that wants power. He wants the presidency to wield power like a tyrant. No, we're not saying he is one now, but given some of his more, shall we say, colorful ideas, one has to question how he would govern. And given that he knows "the Chicago way" of politics, one can only imagine the sort of seedy corruption that he might look the other way over.

Publius II


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