Our own, appropriately named, JoeFriday reports:
During the “predictions” segment of the ‘Mclaughlin Group‘, Monica Crowley (RightWing) said:
“I now think that the trial of Tony Rezko, which is due to begin on March 3rd, will have a bigger impact on this campaign than any of us foresaw.“
According to JoeFriday, those remarks led to further speculation:
Yes, it was the end of the show, but it was bombshell-like in that it set off a flurry of responses.
John McLaughlin said to Crowley: “Sounds like your saying more than you’re saying“.
Chicago’s Clarence Page leapt to Bambi’s defense, claiming it was nothing but rumors, old news, etc.
McLaughlin responded: “Wait and see Clarence. Wait and see.“
Obama did not help himself by avoiding answering questions by the Sun-Times, nor by his many “I don’t recall” type answers. [Click Here To See Video] Obama running away from reporters and cameras, car tires screeching away, played over and over on Chicago television news programs forced the Obama campaign to answer questions even if the answers had little to do with what was asked. There are plenty of questions still to be answered and many of the answers provided thus far lack credibility. The Obama/Rezko history belies Obama’s autobiographical boasts of being an affordable housing activist and representative. Obama’s answers on how much legal work he performed for slumlord Rezko are simply not satisfying and lack either honesty or logic or both. Taxpayers lost approximately $100 million on Rezko’s housing fiascos which Obama apparently did legal work on. Rezko is under indictment. The Sun-Times clearly does not believe Obama. The questions have just begun.
Also, way back in April 2007, we wrote:
The national media are missing the big picture in their coverage of the hundred-million dollar plus scandal involving Barack Obama and his friend of 17 years, major donor, former Finance Committee Co-Chair and now indicted slumlord.
Debate moderator Brian Williams asked Obama about the scandal during last Thursday’s first Democratic Candidates for President debate. But Williams did not reference the political implications of the Obama scandal: the trial of Obama’s decades long friend and major donor and fundraiser will coincide with the 2008 primary calendar.
On May 1, 2007, in regards to Chicago newspapers, we wrote:
As we pointed out yesterday, the media are examining the circumstances of Obama’s house purchase. Republicans will examine and exploit the story too. It is imperative that presidential candidate Obama explain clearly and quickly all the circumstances surrounding his purchase of his house.
It only took 10 months, but Big Media (well, OK, the British press) is finally catching up to what was obvious to us – 10 months ago:
LEADING Republicans believe they can trounce Barack Obama in the presidential election by tarring him as a shady Chicago socialist. They are increasingly confident that his campaign could collapse by the time their attack machine has finished with him.
Grover Norquist, an influential conservative tax reform lobbyist, said: “Barack Obama has been able to create his own image and introduce himself to voters, but the swing voters in a general election are not paying attention yet. He is open to being defined as a leftwing, corrupt Chicago politician.”
Obama is unwilling, more likely incapable, of responding credibly to the questions rising like a great summer stink from the Chicago stockyards:
“Hillary could lose the election, but Obama could collapse. People already know Hillary and she is not popular, but the disadvantage for Obama is that Republicans can teach people who don’t know him who he is.” [snip]
Norquist believes Obama’s questionable Chicago connections will stir things further.
It will not be difficult to rip Obama to shreds. Chicago corruption and gangsterism is a topic that resonates:
The city has a reputation for corruption from the days when Al Capone and his mob ran the town in the 1920s. Obama is tainted by his long association with Antoin “Tony” Rezko, a Chicago property developer who is scheduled to go on trial for extorting kickbacks in return for political favours on March 3, the day before the Ohio and Texas primaries.
Obama bought his family home in Chicago for $1.65m, $300,000 less than the asking price, on the day that Rezko’s wife Rita bought an adjoining lot at the full price of $650,000. Obama later paid her $105,000 for a sixth of her yard in order to expand his garden.
The seller insisted on both plots being sold together, which suggests that Rezko did Obama an enormous favour even if the deal was not illegal. The seller has so far evaded press inquiries, but he is regarded as a potential “ticking timebomb” should he decide to go public.
The Hillary campaign has thus far not sought to define Obama via advertisments. Republicans will not be so kind:
Clinton briefly raised the question of Rezko, whom she described as a “slum landlord”, in a televised debate with Obama in California, but was silenced when a 1990s picture emerged of her with Rezko and President Bill Clinton. Obama has returned around $85,000 in campaign contributions from Rezko.
“Hillary put the issue into the bloodstream, but it didn’t get focused on,” said Norquist. He believes that well financed “527” attack groups – named after their tax-exempt status – will mercilessly pursue Obama over his ties to Rezko. It was a conservative “527” group, the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, who did grave damage to John Kerry’s reputation as a war hero in the 2004 White House race.
It is not fear that has prevented the Hillary campaign from employing Rezko in campaign advertisments. One sole picture with Rezko and Hillary, at a fundraiser for either Senator Durbin or Senator Brown, has not been the reason to hold off on advertisments featuring Rezko. Once the Rezko trial begins and drags on for months, through the summer, while Superdelegates deliberate on whom to support, the country will be ready to listen to the full Rezko story.
The Republican nominee’s campaign, or allies, will not hesitate to mention Rezko and other Obama problems:
But other members of McCain’s team have already gone for the jugular. A testy exchange last year between the two senators over the Iraq troop surge led a senior aide to take aim at Obama’s former drug use by claiming he “wouldn’t know the difference between an RPG [rock-et-propelled grenade] and a bong [smoking pipe]”.
Obama could run into further difficulties over his relationship with William Ayers, a professor of education at the University of Illinois and former member of the Weather Underground, a leftwing terrorist group that planted bombs in the Capitol and the Pentagon in the 1970s.
Ayers told The New York Times on the day of the September 11 attacks: “I don’t regret setting bombs. I feel we didn’t do enough.” It emerged last week that Ayers served with Obama on the board of the Woods Fund, an antipoverty group, from 1999 to 2002, and donated $200 towards his Illinois state Senate campaign in 2001.
Maybe the answers to Obama’s 17, or is it 20, years of Rezko entanglements will be answered by an FBI mole:
But sources said that, for more than two years when he was giving information to agents, Thomas provided a fly-on-the-wall look inside Rezko’s real estate operations and his desperate attempts to keep his projects afloat.
Sources said Thomas also logged frequent visits to Rezko from Gov. Blagojevich and U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.). Blagojevich and Obama were among the many politicians for whom Rezko raised campaign cash. Neither has been charged with any wrongdoing.
As we wrote in The REZKO Cometh: Either Superdelegates will get the answers to Obama entanglement questions or the Republicans will.
If Obama continues to refuse to answer questions, maybe Rezko will answer for Obama – at his trial, or in a plea bargain when Rezko “flips”.