Has anyone ever said this about a Clinton?

by lestro

For all the talk about the media being easy on Barack Obama, there is one paper that is not in awe of his celebrity because they knew him back in the day: The Chicago Tribune.

One of the big issues the Chicago Tribune has been all over is Obama’s history with Tony Rezko, a businessman who has been indicted on a number of charges. The Tribune, which did endorse Obama over Hillary Clinton despite their discomfort with the Rezko thing, has repeatedly asked for further explanation and clarification on their relationship.

On Friday, Obama sat down with a whole heaping gaggle o’ reporters and spent an hour and a half explaining the whole situation. Here’s what the Tribune had to say:

The most remarkable facet of Obama’s 92-minute discussion was that, at the outset, he pledged to answer every question the three dozen Tribune journalists crammed into the room would put to him. And he did.

Three dozen journalists, all focused on a single issue for 92 minutes. My lord. Can you imagine Hillary Clinton hosting something like this and making a similar pledge?

Neither could the Tribune, finishing the piece with this:

Barack Obama now has spoken about his ties to Tony Rezko in uncommon detail. That’s a standard for candor by which other presidential candidates facing serious inquiries now can be judged.

A new type of politics indeed. But what was the outcome of the discussion?  In a word, they seem satisfied:

To be precise about that: Obama contends that all of his Rezko-related transactions were lawful and above reproach, but he didn’t keep a prudent distance from Rezko….

Obama fleshed out his relationship with Rezko — including the disclosure that Rezko raised as much as $250,000 for the first three offices Obama sought. But Obama’s explanation was less a font of new data or an act of contrition than the addition of nuance and motive to a long-mysterious relationship.

We fully expect the Clinton campaign, given its current desperation, to do whatever it must in order to keep the Rezko tin can tied to Obama’s bumper….

And we’ve been saying since Nov. 3, 2006 — shortly after the Tribune broke the story of Obama’s house purchase — that Obama needed to fully explain his Rezko connection. He also needed to realize how susceptible he had been to someone who wanted a piece of him — and how his skill at recognizing that covetousness needed to rise to the same stature as his popular appeal.

Friday’s session evidently fulfills both obligations. Might we all be surprised by some future disclosure? Obama’s critics have waited 16 months for some new and cataclysmic Rezko moment to implicate and doom Obama. It hasn’t happened.

The only way this hurts Obama is that his campaign has based a lot on his judgment, his ability to make the right call when it matters and this is the first real chink in that armor. As Obama said himself:

[The] “bigger lapse of judgment,” he said, came later when he bought a strip of the Rezko lot to expand his own yard. That embroiled the two men in negotiations over fencing and other issues at a time when Rezko was under increasing suspicion. That involvement with Rezko in the land deal, Obama said Friday, was the “boneheaded move” to which he’s previously confessed. “In retrospect,” he said Friday, “this was an error.” […]

Obama should have had Friday’s discussion 16 months ago. Asked why he didn’t, he spoke of learning, uncomfortably, what it’s like to live in a fishbowl. That made him perhaps too eager to protect personal information — too eager to “control the narrative.”

But then again, these seem like judgments about people that were wrong, but not the type of commander-in-chief judgments most voters are concerned with.

You can bet this won’t go away because this was not a front page type story, especially this week, and Hillary Clinton still won’t even disavow rumors about Obama’s religion. You can bet she and that screwhead beast Mark Penn will keep trying to hit on this for as long as they can fool people into thinking they are still in the is race.

6 Responses to Has anyone ever said this about a Clinton?

  1. 1dumblonde says:

    “Obama contends that all of his Rezko-related transactions were lawful and above reproach…” Thanks for clearing that up. I wasn’t sure if he thought they were unlawful and not above reproach, and I am glad to know he has confidence in himself and his judgment, even he does see that he made a little booboo.

    In your title, you asked whether anyone had ever said this about Clinton. Do you remember the Whitewater investigation? Not a single charge ever emerged against either Clinton, despite their associations with people who did go to jail. They answered all kinds of questions. It’s not new for political candidates to be associated with shady characters. John McCain was too close to people involved in the savings and loan scandal in the 1980s, like Charles Keating. But I don’t think that means the press should stop investigating Obama’s connections to Rezko. If they find nothing, good. If they find something, uh-oh.

  2. Lia says:

    Darn, the above poster mentioned the exact thing I was going to say, Watergate. Not only Hillary sat with a barrage of newsman to answer each and every question they could think of, she sat with investigators, senators, committees, etc. etc. etc. And the Clintons did it with more class and nothing came out of a complete, very detailed investigation.

    Sorry, but this article doesn’t wash. The Clintons did it better. Even I have to say that. And I do not love the Clintons.

  3. twitterpaters says:

    Not a single charge emerged? how about the attempt to impeach Bill Clinton?

    “while some of Starr’s tactics have come under fire, his case against the president eventually led to Clinton’s impeachment.”


    Bringing up Whitewater is a perfect example of exactly what politicians are ‘typically’ known for, and even more so when we’re talking about the Clintons.

    For example, Clinton’s new campaign manager:

    “A Kansas City native, Williams, 53, was a central player in the Clinton damage-control machine during the White House years.

    In 1995, a uniformed Secret Service officer swore under oath he saw her leave White House lawyer and Hillary confidant Vince Foster’s office carrying documents after Foster committed suicide. Williams denied it.

    She ran up more than $100,000 in legal bills defending Hillary in various investigations. ”


    The unanswered questions about the Clintons are legion. We don’t even get to review their recent tax returns at this point:

    “The equivalent question to Clinton concerned the income tax returns that she and her husband, former President Clinton, file jointly.

    “I will release my tax returns,” Clinton said, if she becomes the Democratic nominee. She then added she might do so “even earlier,” but not before Tuesday’s primary.”


    or Hillary Clinton’s archived schedules from when she was first lady:


    and then there’s the pending audit of their library:


    and then there is all the noise about a pending trial against Bill Clinton. I would like to know more about this:

    “Sen. Clinton’s participation in soliciting performers and planning the event would make his more than $1.2 million in contributions a direct donation to her Senate campaign rather than to a joint fundraising committee, violating federal statutes that limit “hard money” contributions to a candidate to $2,000 per person. Knowingly accepting or soliciting $25,000 or more in a calendar year is a felony carrying a prison sentence of up to five years.”


    It isn’t new for politicians to be associated with shady characters. The Clintons are the posterchildren of shady associations and unanswered questions.

    If the Clintons sit down with 36 reporters and pledge to answer all of their questions, then they also would help alter the common perception of politicians in general.

    but I’m not holding my breath…

  4. 1dumblonde says:

    1) The charges against Bill Clinton for impeachment did not relate to Whitewater but to the Paula Jones case. 2) Hillary Clinton was not impeached or implicated in any of the findings of Kenneth Starr.

    I thought we were comparing apples here.

    It seems to me that every reporter everywhere knows just about everything about Hillary Clinton. If there were dirt to turn up, they’d do it. I am all for real investigative journalism. Granting an interview is great. Reporting on the interview is fine. But it’s hardly surprising that the person being interviewed has good answers for the reporters.

  5. twitterpaters says:


    whew. heh.

    thank you. I appreciate a good laugh wherever I can find it.

  6. lestro says:

    I feel it important to point out that the title is in reference to the quote that said Obama answered every question to the reporters’ satisfaction, not about the comparison between the two real estate scandals.

    I have never heard the same said about either Senator or President Clinton, the man who gave us the phrase “depends on what your definition of the word ‘is’ is.”

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