Barack Obama is being touted as the fresh-faced outsider, not yet corrupted by Washington and its unsavory ways. Being the "squeaky clean" new guy in town has been one major advantage he has had over and above Hillary. He's been a Senator all of two years now, too soon for him to be corrupted, right?
There's allegations of a new scandal looming on the horizon alright, but it's not a Washington insider making news this time. Read this article from the NYT and see what you think.
Less than two months after ascending to the United States Senate, Barack Obama bought more than $50,000 worth of stock in two speculative companies whose major investors included some of his biggest political donors.
One of the companies was a biotech concern that was starting to develop a drug to treat avian flu. In March 2005, two weeks after buying about $5,000 of its shares, Mr. Obama took the lead in a legislative push for more federal spending to battle the disease.
The most recent financial disclosure form for Mr. Obama, an Illinois Democrat, also shows that he bought more than $50,000 in stock in a satellite communications business whose principal backers include four friends and donors who had raised more than $150,000 for his political committees.
Sure, we all must keep in mind that these are allegations, nothing has been proven. But it's an election year and by announcing his candidacy for President of the United States of America, he has willfully consented to the close examination of his all of his past dealings.
Today, the media has released some of its findings. And today, there may be some reason to believe that in this present day, one need not be in power very long before things begin to come to light.
Again, nothing has been proven. Even if it was, this is no different than others that have been down this same path after being elected to a major office. And, already there has been an attempt at an explanation:
A spokesman for Mr. Obama, who is seeking his party’s presidential nomination in 2008, said yesterday that the senator did not know that he had invested in either company until fall 2005, when he learned of it and decided to sell the stocks. He sold them at a net loss of $13,000.
The spokesman, Bill Burton, said Mr. Obama’s broker bought the stocks without consulting the senator, under the terms of a blind trust that was being set up for the senator at that time but was not finalized until several months after the investments were made.
Is it just me, or is there a lot of "not knowing what's going on with your own money" excuses creeping up in the face of serious allegations, these days? (SEE: Harry Reid)
In light of these allegations, the first thing that Democrats will feel the need to do in order to defend of this kind of thing is, claiming a right-wing hit job. But as we can plainly see, the reporting source on this one is not World Net Daily, not Fox News, or some irresponsible GOP blogger; but it is in fact, the good old New York Times (which is not exactly your typical right wing publication).
This is where Hillary comes into this equation.
It's pretty much common knowledge that the NYT is a Hillary newspaper. Sure, they love to break a story as much as anyone. But, rarely do you see much criticism of Sen, Clinton come from them, when she is the topic of conversation - the talk of the town. Democrats are going to claim that the GOP is responsible for digging up this dirt, you can count on that much. But if we think about it a little, what sense would that make?
One of the key principles of smart and sound campaign strategy is:
If you get information that could be used to the detriment of the opposing party, you do not come out with it, until the general election. You let the various other candidates that oppose each other in the other party, dig up their own dirt. This is why I highly suspect that Hillary's camp is responsible for this story, covered by the biggest paper in the state she conveniently represents.
Be that as it may, just as we can't rule this in (as gospel), we cannot rule it out either. But make no mistake here, something somewhere, sparked an interest in someone. And that someone tipped off a newspaper, by planting a seed of doubt and suspicion.
Please, allow me to say that despite the fact Obama is a hard liberal, I actually was beginning to like him and respect him for being such a relatively, ethically clean politician. I wouldn't vote for him, because there is too much of an ideological difference of opinion between us, probably in 95-99% of the pressing issues. But that doesn't mean he couldn't earn my respect, as a human being. I was starting to see the Democratic version of Richard Lugar, who despite many years in DC, is one the cleanest of the very great few that can even be counted, as such. But now, I have to reserve judgment until more can be learned.
One more time, these are allegations. They name no sources or offer any solid support for their accusations. But I do not mind saying, this doesn't look good for Mr. Obama, right now. Just as he is whittling away at Hillary's lead, here comes this. It's too ironic and certainly no coincidence that this would happen, at this point in the pre-campaign era. These kinds of tactics are necessary to win anything of any political significance, these days. This has become the norm.
If it is a hit job by the Hillary Army, Obama will need to fire back or he'll lose ground. If this keeps up, he'll lose what he has fought so hard to gain. What all this means is, our campaigns are battles of negatives, not positives. They do not produce debates on ideas, they force candidates to defend allegations.
Instead of competing to win the battle for ideology, they have "dirty tricks" committees looking for ways to sabotage the other guy and put him on his heels. And to top it off? Most of it is done by proxy, because the same-party, primary rivals may one day have to kiss and make up.
By my standards, this is a real sad "state of affairs" that we have here. This is especially true when the vast majority of those that get to this level are guilty of some impropriety of some kind (or another), or else they would not get to this level at all.