Two more damaging lies…I mean, mis-remembrances from Barack Obama. First, Thomas Lifson on finances:
Barack Obama is trying to have it both ways again. On the campaign trail he decries “predatory” subprime lending, and declares,“Part of the reason we got a current mortgage crisis has to do with the fact that people got suckered in to loans that they could not pay,”
Yet his campaign's finance chief, Penny Pritzker, who was chairman of the board of subprime lender Superior Bank of Chicago, which subsequently failed, leaving 1400 of its customers without part of their savings.
We know all of this thanks to the excellent work of Chicago Sun-Times writer Abdon M. Pallasch:
Obama's campaign notes that Pritzker stepped down as chairwoman of the bank's board in 1994, seven years before it failed. She then went on the board of the bank's holding company.
But a letter obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times shows that until the end, Pritzker appeared to be taking a leadership role in trying to revive the bank with an expanded push into subprime loans.
Pritzker wrote in May 2001 that her family was recapitalizing the bank, and she pledged to “once again restore Superior's leadership position in subprime lending.” The bank shut down in July 2001.
Pritzker's attorney Kevin Poorman and Obama's campaign spokesman emphasized that not all “subprime lending” is the “predatory” kind that Obama and White House rival Hillary Clinton rail against. The kind of subprime lending Superior was doing in 2001 was not predatory, Poorman said.
But at least some of the 1,400 victims who are still owed money seven years after the bank failed say Pritzker is the wrong person for Obama to put in charge of the campaign's finances when part of his campaign is about reforming the banking industry.
I would be very interested in hearing an explanation from Barack Obama of the precise difference between predaory and non-predatory subprime lending. Especially keeping in mind the widespread liberal outrage (and subseqent government penalties) over so-called “redlining” (the denial of credit to poor people, especially blacks).
Prizker is, incidentally, heiress to the Hyatt Hotels fortune, and a Chicago buddy of Barack Obama. She has her many millions of dollars, while Superior Bank customer have lost their savings. I guess this is the sort of hope and change Obama plans to bring to America, with financial help from Prizker.
Then there's also this about his association with Tony Rezko:
Barack Obama's connection to Tony Rezko may rival his Rev. Wright ties as a damaging electoral issue. Wright is a racist, and Rezko is an alleged crook currently on trial. As with Wright, Obama's handling of the matter is only making things worse. Obama does not seem to be able to handle controversy well, apparently believing that his misstatements will escape close examination.
Rick Pearson and John McCormick of the Chicago Tribune report:
Late last week, Sen. Barack Obama said he didn't recall meeting a controversial Iraqi-born billionaire at a party held at the home of his former friend and fundraiser, Antoin “Tony” Rezko, on April 3, 2004, because it was in the midst of his campaign for the U.S. Senate seat from Illinois.
Obama didn't deny the assertion of Stuart Levine, a key witness in Rezko's federal fraud trial, that the now-Democratic presidential contender attended the party held on behalf of Nadhmi Auchi, a British citizen appealing a fraud conviction in France. Rezko was allegedly trying to partner up with Auchi and may have been using an Obama appearance to demonstrate clout.
“I just don't have a recollection of the event,” Obama said Friday. “As I said, I was in the middle of running a U.S. Senate race. So, you know, I was speaking all the time, probably six, seven, eight times a day.”
Obama may not recall Rezko's party for Auchi, but he was not in the “middle” of a U.S. Senate race or speaking all the time. The Saturday party was held less than three weeks after Obama had won the March 16 Democratic primary nomination and, as is tradition, the candidates slow their immediate post-primary campaign schedules considerably before reheating the fall general election contest in late summer.
Indeed, an archived copy of an Obama “upcoming events” schedule on his old Senate campaign web site shows that on a Saturday two weeks later, he had no personal campaign activities. On Friday, April 13, the web site shows Obama touring Illinois coal-country at four morning events with the state's senior senator, Dick Durbin.
I've said it about Hillary before, and now it applies to Obama, too: a mistake is one thing, a pattern of behavior is totally another! But the day gets worse for Barack Obama. Not only are these things coming out, but he also took the opportunity to finally throw away his relationship with Rev. Wright.
Democrat Barack Obama said Tuesday he was outraged and appalled by the latest comments from his former pastor, who asserted that criticism of his fiery sermons is an attack on the black church and the U.S. government was responsible for the creation of the AIDS virus.
The presidential candidate is seeking to tamp down the growing fury over Rev. Jeremiah Wright and his incendiary remarks that threaten to undermine his campaign.
“I am outraged by the comments that were made and saddened by the spectacle that we saw yesterday,” Obama told reporters at a news conference.
After weeks of staying out of the public eye while critics lambasted his sermons, Wright made three public appearances in four days to defend himself. The former pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago has been combative, providing colorful commentary and feeding the story Obama had hoped was dying down.
“This is not an attack on Jeremiah Wright,” Wright told the Washington media Monday. “It has nothing to do with Senator Obama. It is an attack on the black church launched by people who know nothing about the African-American religious tradition.”
Obama told reporters Tuesday that Wright's comments do not accurately portray the perspective of the black church.
“The person I saw yesterday was not the person that I met 20 years ago,” Obama said of the man who married him.
More analysis here.
This is a strange turn of events. First, he said he could no longer disown Wright than the entire black community, now he disowns Wright. Is this a sign of finally figuring out that he was getting killed in the public eye by this association? Is he going to take more heat for throwing over a life-long mentor just because it's politically expedient? How can he navigate out of this hole with the least amount of damage?
Obama's in a pickle that he could have avoided months ago (by denouncing Wright at the beginning of his campaign) or even years ago (if he had actually left the church). You make your bed, you lie in it. The wheels are coming off Obama's machine right now…and Hillary's loving it.
There's my two cents.