June 18, 2007
Obama's little problem with the truth
Senator Barack Obama, who spent last year battling cynicism and earning almost a million dollars at it, has been fumbling his defense against news of his involvement with indicted Chicago political fixer Tony Rezko. First he averred that "no favors" were given for donations from Rezko. But the record proved this to be a lie:
Obama wrote a letter of support for Rezko to help him snag "$14 million from taxpayers to build apartments for senior citizens," according to a report by Tim Novak in the Chicago Sun-Times. Rezko and his partner received $855,000 in development fees.
Now, it turns out that the amount of cash given to Obama's campaign from Rezko and his group is triple what Obama said:
During his 12 years in politics, Sen. Barack Obama has received nearly three times more campaign cash from indicted businessman Tony Rezko and his associates than he has publicly acknowledged, the Chicago Sun-Times has found.Obama has collected at least $168,308 from Rezko and his circle. Obama also has taken in an unknown amount of money from people who attended fund-raising events hosted by Rezko since the mid-1990s.But seven months ago, Obama told the Sun-Times his "best estimate" was that Rezko raised "between $50,000 and $60,000" during Obama's political career.
Obama is hoping that his Teflon is still intact, given that there is a tendency in the media to practice omerta with regard to his mistakes and gaffes. But the Hillary Clinton campaign, with its many friends in the press, is taking a steel brush to the Teflon surface and scratching it away.
Obama does not seem to be very adept at estimating: he estimated 10,000 people died in a Kansas Tornado (in order to criticize George Bush) when the actual death toll was 12. He was off by a mile (or two or three) when he ludicrously claimed that Japan's automobile fleet gets an average of 45 miles per gallon.
Imagine how far off he is when he dreams of efficiency savings from his putative health care plan.
Obama's sobriquet as "The Not Ready for Prime-Time Player" seems increasingly apt.