|Notice the headline treatments?|
Well, well, well, isn’t this just swell. According to a
story in the New York Times today, Obama’s above the fray image
is going to need a patch up job. Mind you, I never thought politics was anything
but a contact sport, so to speak. However, that’s not exactly Obama’s pitch.
I’ve been struck by how hungry we all are for a different kind of politics.
… But challenging as they are, it’s not the magnitude of our problems that
concerns me the most. It’s the smallness of our politics. …
Right, the smallness of our politics.
According to the Times, in April, the Clintons decided to divest themselves of stocks they held
in a blind trust. (A blind trust means that trustees buy the stocks for you
and you don’t know what you’re holding.) The blind trust, valued at between
$5 – $25 million, had to be dissolved because of her presidential bid, in order
for Clinton to disclose what she held, which is the law. After finding out what
they’d owned they didn’t like where their money was invested. The blowback could
have been more trouble than the money was worth, because voters can be picky
about a candidate’s investments. They didn’t have to make the move, which came
with whopping capital gains taxes, according to the Times, but they sold off everything in the blind trust.
They ultimately decided that they were better off, with Mrs. Clinton in office
and running for the presidency, to liquidate the entire blind trust and not
keep the stock or reinvest the money for the duration of her campaign, their
advisers said. Senators are not required to have blind trusts.
This is where it gets interesting.
When the Obama campaign found out about Clinton’s investments, they decided
to do a hit on her regarding one in particular. The thing is, they did it anonymously.
Mr. Clinton also has $15,001 to $50,000 in Easy Bill Ltd., an India-based
company that works on electronic transactions and business services for Indians.
Shortly after the Clinton campaign released the financial information,
the campaign of Senator Barack Obama, the Illinois Democrat, circulated to
news organizations â€” on what it demanded be a not-for-attribution-basis
â€” a scathing analysis. It called Mrs. Clinton “Hillary Clinton
(D-Punjab)” in its headline. The document referred to the investment
in India and Mrs. Clinton’s fund-raising efforts among Indian-Americans.
The analysis also highlighted the acceptance by Mr. Clinton of $300,000 in
speech fees from Cisco, a company the Obama campaign said has moved American
jobs to India.
Charming, isn’t it. Now this type of hit job isn’t anything new in the political world, but for a candidate that prides himself on being above petty politics, or beyond the smallness of politics, this is just a tad bit disingenuous. So if you want to keep your squeaky clean image intact, this type of move only works if you cover your tracks. The Obama camp
blew it and Clinton’s campaign found out.
A copy of the document was obtained by Mrs. Clinton’s campaign, which
provided it to The New York Times. The Clinton campaign has long
been frustrated by the effort by Mr. Obama to present his campaign as above
the kind of attack politics that Mr. Obama and his aides say has led to widespread
disillusionment with politics by many Americans.
The coup de grace is that, according to Obama’s spokesman, this isn’t a problem at all.
Asked about the document, Bill Burton, a spokesman for Mr. Obama, said: “We
did give reporters a series of comments she made on the record and other things
that are publicly available to anyone who has access to the Internet. I don’t
see why anyone would take umbrage with that.”
Asked why the Obama campaign had initially insisted that it not be connected
to the document, Mr. Burton replied, “I’m going to leave my comment
at that.” …
Avoid Conflicts, Clintons Liquidate Holdings (emphasis added)
The next thing we’ll hear is that Candidate Obama didn’t know anything about