A chink in Obama’s armor

Stop right there, Mr. President. Whoever is advising you that it’s all right and not a contradiction in any way that you can continue to rail against lobbyists while lining your pockets with their political help is selling you some bad corn whiskey, as my grandfather used to say.
A report by The New York Times last week uncovered that over a dozen of the president’s top campaign fundraisers all have close ties to the lobbying industry. This during the very weeks where Obama is out on the political hustings (at taxpayers’ expense, mind you) throwing all sorts of invectives at fat cats on Wall Street and all those who “influence Washington.” Something’s not right when Obama takes such a purist position on campaign dollars and self-righteously condemns those who would peddle their agendas, and yet has a virtual money-machine behind the White House curtain.
An Obama spokesman said on Friday, “Barack Obama hasn’t accepted a dime from federal lobbyists or political action committees." OK, someone smart set up a technical definition of what constituted a lobbyist and then found a way to flirt the rules. So you don’t actually have a registered lobbyist giving you money. Isn’t it still the same, Mr. President, when they are paid by corporations to run around the country and collect or “bundle” that same money for the same purposes? If it looks like a duck, and walks like a duck ... well, you get the picture.
This is a major chink in the president’s armor, because it begins to speak to his credibility on the campaign stump. I’m not exaggerating. The only bright side in his presidency are Obama’s personal likability scores among the voters; they believe he’s a genuinely sincere guy. But to see him and his campaign skirting around campaign issues in a campaign season … well, he begins to look a lot like Al Gore. And we all know what happened to Gore.
I personally don’t have an issue with accepting campaign dollars from lobbyists or corporations. The money will flow no matter what. Just look at McCain-Feingold and all the good that campaign-finance reform did … NOT.
Up until now, the president had some fairly firm ground upon which to attack Republicans, particularly with a "big business" label. But if circumstances continue to show Obama is dipping his gravy ladle into the same cess-pot of money as others, voters get cynical. And that’s the last thing the president needs now in this climate.

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