As expected, February has been a tough month for the Hillary campaign. For Obama, February has been a bonanza of hilarilty.
At this late date in February 2008, Obama spokespersons and supporters prove incapable of answering simple questions about Obama “accomplishments”.
Plagiarism by Obama began, just began, to get some coverage in February.
In February 2008, Michelle Obama, a Princeton graduate with a gorgeous mansion in Chicago, played right into the Republican stereotype of Democrats regarding patriotism. Michelle stated And let me tell you something — for the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country. Republican attacks ads, once again, write themselves.
But our favoritie February Obama hilarity has to be the latest bumbling from the Obama camp regarding his mansion in Chicago and indicted slumlord Rezko. It now appears that Obama and Rezko were strolling through the house Obama could not afford shortly before Obama and Rezko purchased the manse and its “lush side yard” in June of 2005.
Previously, Obama has been at pains to state how infrequently he met with Rezko.
Q: Senator, when did you first meet Tony Rezko? How did you become friends? How often would you meet with him, and when did you last speak with him?
A: I had attracted some media attention when I was elected the first black President of the Harvard Law Review. And while I was in law school, David Brint, who was a development partner with Tony Rezko contacted me and asked whether I would be interested in being a developer. Ultimately, after discussions in which I met Mr. Rezko, I said no.
I have probably had lunch with Rezko once or twice a year and our spouses may have gotten together on two to four occasions in the time that I have known him. I last spoke with Tony Rezko more than six months ago.
Obama recalls meeting with Rezko “once or twice a year”. However, at the same time an FBI mole says Obama visits with Rezko were much more frequent:
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.
The Obama campaign, perhaps in anticipation of testimony at the Rezko trial is “refreshing” the memory of potentially troublesome witnesses and all of a sudden recalling the stroll through the manse with Rezko.
Here is what happened: After pushing the line for a year, that the entire story of how Obama financed the purchase of his mansion on June 15, 2005 with money from indicted slumlord Rezko, was old – the Obama campaign has brought new facts to the drama. We now finally know the names of the sellers, they are doctors who worked with Michelle Obama. They are supporters of Obama. The Obama campaign wrote memos for the sellers of the now Obama mansion, had the sellers agree to sign off on the memos, then sent the memos via email to a reporter from Bloomberg News.
Rezko’s wife, Rita, also an Obama donor, bought the adjoining plot in Hyde Park from the couple, Fredric Wondisford and Sally Radovick, for the $625,000 asking price, the same day that Obama bought the house for $300,000 less than the asking price. Antoin Rezko was under federal investigation at the time. [snip]
The sellers hadn’t previously made their side of the story public out of concern for their privacy, according to Bill Burton, a spokesman for Obama’s campaign. They approached Obama’s Senate office 15 months ago and agreed to break their silence now through the campaign out of concern that the story was being distorted in the media, Burton said.
Burton said Obama, 46, toured the property with Rezko for 15 to 30 minutes at some point before the purchase. Burton said Obama wanted Rezko’s opinion of the property because Rezko was a real-estate developer in the area. Burton said he didn’t know when the pre-sale tour occurred.
Burton said a campaign adviser discussed the sale with Wondisford by phone and followed up with an e-mail to Wondisford repeating his points. Wondisford responded: “I confirm that the three points below are accurate,” according to the e-mail, provided to Bloomberg News and authenticated through records shown by the adviser. [snip]
Wondisford has declined to talk directly about the matter.
So for 15 months the Obama campaign and Obama supporters Wondisford/Radovick, the sellers of the Obama/Rezko manse/yard, have been communicating and getting the story “right“.
Not to disparage in any way Bloomberg News, but why did the Obama campaign provide these additional details to Bloomberg News and not to the Chicago Sun-Times or the Chicago Tribune? Both Chicago papers have repeatedly asked the Obama campaign to speak with reporters conversant with the details of the Obama/Rezko entanglements.
The Chicago Tribune agrees that this latest Obama attempt to shush the Rezko story has merely raised additional questions:
Before he bought his South Side mansion in 2005, Sen. Barack Obama took his friend and fundraiser Antoin “Tony” Rezko on a tour of the premises to make sure it was a good deal, Obama’s campaign revealed Monday.
Weeks after saying he’d answered all questions about his controversial dealings with the now-indicted Rezko, Obama released new details about their purchase of adjacent lots from the same seller on the same day. But the disclosures by Obama’s presidential campaign left unanswered questions and raised new ones.
Obama was able to buy the house for $300,000 less than the listed price while Rezko, in his wife’s name, paid the full $625,000 asking price for an undeveloped side lot. [snip]
Obama has been reticent to discuss Rezko since the Tribune in 2006 revealed their property transactions. He has called their financial dealings “boneheaded” because, at the time, Rezko was reported to be under grand jury investigation. Rezko is set to go on trial next month on corruption and fraud charges.
The campaign declined to share the sellers’ e-mails with the Tribune or elaborate on the Bloomberg story. Spokesman Bill Burton said in a statement: “Despite the many extensive investigations into these questions and the numerous attacks we have weathered from the [ Hillary] Clinton campaign, the resounding conclusion has been that the transaction was completely aboveboard.”
It’s not clear why Obama had not previously divulged Rezko’s tour of the house with him. In 2006, he told the Tribune he recalled talking to Rezko and his wife “either at an event or some conversation we had where they mentioned to me that they either knew the property or knew the developer or something like that.
Obama and Rezko strolling through the soon to be purchased house Obama could not afford. That’s a vivid image. It set us to whistling “While strolling through the house one day… In the merry, merry month of May… I was taken by surprise…. By a pair of roguish eyes…”