Barack Obama showed very poor judgment when he accepted $250,000 of campaign funds from slumlord Tony Resko (now on trial), who was Obama's first substantial contributor in Obama's meteoric political rise. When Obama bought his $1.65 million South Side home, there was an adjacent landscaped lot, which Rezko's wife purchased on the same day for the full asking price of $ 625,000.
Obama's changing excuses for his lack of judgment are even more troubling. Here are three of many unconvincing justifications:
First he claims ignorance. "I didn't know about Rezko problems." He told Sun Times reporter Tim Novak on April 24, 2007. He also didn't know the unsafe conditions of Rezko's buildings, some of which were in Obama's district. "Should I have known these buildings were in a state of disrepair? My answer would be that it wasn't brought to my attention,''
Why didn't Obama know? Jay Stewart, Chicago's Better Government Assn., told the LA Times:
"Everybody in this town knew that Tony Rezko was headed for trouble. When he got indicted, there wasn't a single insider who was surprised. It was viewed as a long time coming. . . .Why would you be having anything to do with Tony Rezko, particularly if you're planning to run for president?"
Second, Obama underplayed Rezko's financial contributions and said it was his "best guesstimate" that Rezko raised $10,000 to $15,000. "Obama said he didn't have more certainty because he didn't then have the staff to maintain better campaign finance records."
If Obama had so little management and understanding of his small campaign coffers, how will he govern a nation whose complex economy faces many challenges?
On March 15, 2008, to quell the increased press scrutiny of the Obama-Rezko relationship, Obama explained, "My instinct was to believe him.... In my interactions with him [Rezko], he was very gracious. He did not ask me for favors. He was not obtrusive. He wasn't one of those people who would insist on coming around all the time or constantly being photographed with me."
So the candidate was too trusting, too gullible. Did he think that a conman and influence peddler would be the movie stereotype of a cigar-smoking thug with a scar slashed across his face and wearing a trench coat and dark glasses? Of course, the most effective criminal would be gracious. If Barack Obama is indeed so gullible, then he is not ready for the cons and maneuvers he will encounter with our adversaries in Iran, Venezuela, and North Korea.
Ignorance? Ineptitude? Gullibility? None are excellent credentials for the highest office in the nation.