Agent of change ...........more like double agent.
THE OBAMA STRADDLE NY Sun editorial
So Senator Obama, who is running a presidential campaign of "change" aimed at reducing the influence of special interests and lobbyists in Washington, has a federally registered lobbyist leading the host committee for the Denver convention at which he'll be nominated, and was having his vice presidential candidates vetted by a man who took more than $7 million in loans under a special "Friends of Angelo" program for associates of the chief of sub-prime lender Countrywide.Oh — and the vice presidential vetter also served on the board of UnitedHealth, which granted its chief executive $1.4 billion in stock options. All the while Mr. Obama campaigns against sub-prime lenders and outsized executive pay. Mr. Obama dismissed the concerns about the vetter, James Johnson, as a "game" that was "overblown and irrelevant" — until the political heat got too hot, and he dumped Mr. Johnson.
It's starting to look like a pattern. Call it the Obama straddle. He pals around with anti-Israel figures like Edward Said and Rashid Khalidi, then shows up at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee to announce that Israel's security is "sacrosanct." He's called for withdrawing combat troops from Iraq within six months of taking office, but his Iraq adviser wrote a paper calling for keeping 60,000 to 80,000 troops in Iraq through 2010.
He says he won't shop at Wal-Mart, yet his top economic adviser praises the company as a progressive success story. He said of Reverend Jeremiah Wright, "I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother." And then when he came under more political pressure, he proceeded to disown not only Rev. Wright, but also the Trinity United Church of Christ, which he proceeded to quit.
He ran as an opponent of Nafta in the Ohio primary, yet he sent an aide off to reassure Canada it was just politics, and now that the general election is upon us, he's assuring everyone that free trade is a cause in which he believes. He claims to represent a new post-partisan politics that will bring America together, yet his policies are hard-left: the largest tax increase since World War II and an abandonment of the cause of freedom in Iraq.
And then get on the bus!
It's Getting Crowded Under Obama's Bus Rick Moran, American Thinker
On Tuesday, Barack Obama faced the glare of the cameras and tried to deal with what was rapidly becoming one of those "distractions" he so despises.
It turns out that the man he chose to head up the steering committee to help him choose a vice president, Jim Johnson, had a past that was making Obama out to be a hypocrite on the sub-prime mortgage crisis. After Obama skewered John McCain for his connections with sub-prime lenders, it appears that Mr. Johnson made McCain's connections look positively innocent by comparison.
Johnson, Fannie Mae chief from 1991 through 1998, received more than $7 million in real estate loans from a program open only to "friends of Angelo." The "Angelo" in question is none other than Angelo Mozilo, CEO of Countrywide Financial Corporation. Obama, who has heavily criticized Mozilo for accepting hefty bonuses despite the sub-prime crisis, evidently didn't vet Mr. Johnson thoroughly and failed to discover the sweetheart connection.
It should also be noted that according to the Chicago Tribune, the practitioner of "new politics" accepted $1.9 million from sub prime lenders, which only goes to show that when it comes to a decision between engaging in the "new politics" and old fashioned money grubbing, "new politics" gets the shaft.
The revelations about Johnson led to an incredible exchange with ABC News reporter Sunlen Miller, who grilled Obama on why the information hadn't been discovered by the campaign before he hired him. The ensuing explanation by Obama is a jaw dropper.
So without further adieu, I give you, ladies and gentlemen, Barack H. Obama -- Columbia University graduate, Harvard Law, President of the Harvard Law Review, and noted American orator:
"Now look, the, the, ah, ah, ah, I mean the uh first of all uh I, I, I am not vetting my VP search committee for their mortgages so you're going have to uh d-direct... Well, nah I mean becomes sort of a... um... I mean this is a game that can be played everybody... It who is tangentially related to our campaign I think is going to have a whole host of relationships. I would have to hire the vetter to uh vet the vetter."
It gets murkier -- or more bizarrely incoherent. The following was cleaned up by the ABC website and made into something printable:
"Jim Johnson has a very discrete task," Obama continued, "as does Eric Holder, and that is simply to gather up information about potential vice presidential candidates. They are performing that job well, it's a volunteer, unpaid position. And they are giving me information and I will then exercise judgment in terms of who I want to select as a vice presidential candidate.
"So this - you know, these aren't folks who are working for me," Obama said. "They're not people you know who I have assigned to a job in a future administration and, you know, ultimately my assumption is that, you know, this is a discrete task that they're going to performing for me over the next two months."
Whassat? What'd he say? Johnson doesn't really "work" for him because he's a "volunteer" in an "unpaid position." And after all, he hasn't promised him a cabinet post so it's really OK that he didn't vet him and besides this is just a "distraction" so can we please get back to your slavish worship of my awe inspiring talents?