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1/18/2007
OBAMANIA!
CATEGORY: Obama-Rezko

In what I hope will be a regular feature on this site, I will be following the progress of Illinois favorite son, Barak Obama, as he seeks to become the Democratic nominee for President of the United States.

There really is no other way to describe the fawning, goo-goo eyed coverage of Mr. Obama in the press except “Obamania.” More has been written about his pecs than about his thoughts on Iraq. One would think his first name is “Rock Star” given how many times that appellation has appeared as a descriptive of his impact on a crowd. His books have rocketed to the top of the bestseller charts - thanks to millions of dollars in free publicity given by the media.

Every move he makes is doted on. Every sound he utters has reporters swooning. Every step he takes toward declaring his candidacy for President starts a new wave of hagiography about his life story; his humble, mixed race upbringing, his bootstrapping college and law school, and his political career (necessarily the shortest and least informative of what’s written about him).

Here in Illinois where Obama was something of a known quantity prior to his being anointed a rock star cum savior, local reporters have jumped on the Obama bandwagon with gusto, being even more explosively enthusiastic about his candidacy than out of town scribes:

Call me nuts again, but here are the eight reasons why 65 percent of more than 13,000 click voters at chicagotribune.com this week were right when they said that Obama will win the Democratic nomination:

Columnist Eric Zorn then goes on to list reasons such as his likability, his race, his “rock star” status attracting the young, - and on and on. He even opines that Obama will win because “his team is tough:”

The snarks in the water have tried to stick Obama with the schoolyard nickname “Obambi” to suggest that he’s weak and naive. But he has assembled a seasoned campaign crew that will not shy from political street fights.

I pointed out before that “a Democratic corpse plucked from a Chicago graveyard could have won the race for Illinois Senator in 2004.” The Republicans self destructed six months before election day. And their choosing Alan Keyes - an extremely conservative, out of state politician - to replace the scandal damaged Jack Ryun barely 10 weeks prior to the voting was such a clear act of desperation that Obama outpolled Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry by more than 20 points on election day.

Obama as tough campaigner? Ridiculous. The man has yet to be tested. And given the team of cutthroats in Hillary’s shop (blooded in two national campaigns) who are sharpening their knives in eager anticipation of shredding the rookie from cheek to groin, I daresay that there is a very good chance that much of the luster applied to Obama’s personae is bound to be sheared off in the process.

Where will they find the ammunition?

With only a slim, two-year record in the U.S. Senate, Obama doesn’t have many controversial congressional votes which political opponents can frame into attack ads. But his eight years as an Illinois state senator are sprinkled with potentially explosive land mines, such as his abortion and gun control votes.

Obama _ who filed papers this week creating an exploratory committee to seek the 2008 Democratic nomination _ may also find himself fielding questions about his actions outside public office, from his acknowledgment of cocaine use in his youth to a more recent land purchase from a political supporter who is facing charges in an unrelated kickback scheme involving investment firms seeking state business.

That “land purchase” is a scandal waiting to happen. In June of 2005, Obama purchased a House on the South Side of Chicago for $1.65 million. On that same day, the wife of a top Democratic fundraiser (who was under suspicions for illegalities and influence peddling at the time) purchased the adjoining vacant lot for $625,000:

Obama and Rezko then engaged in a series of private transactions to redivide and improve their adjoining parcels, the Tribune disclosed in November.

These arrangements came after Rezko was widely reported to be under a federal grand jury investigation.

Obama said it was “boneheaded” to engage in those transactions when Rezko was “under a cloud of concern.” Obama further told Tribune editors and reporters Dec. 14: “In retrospect, it was stupid. So I’m happy to own up to that. And, I will also acknowledge that from his perspective, he no doubt believed that, by buying the piece of property next to me, that he would, if not be doing me a favor, that it would help strengthen our relationship.”

Obama added that he had never “done favors for [Rezko] of any sort. Most of the time, I’ve never been in a position to do favors for him. I don’t control jobs. I don’t control contracts. There were no bills that he was pushing when I was in the state legislature that I know of or that he talked to me about. And there were no bills in federal legislation that he was concerned about, so there was no sense of the betrayal of the public trust here.”

And as far as Obama never having done any favors for Rezko, the fact that he hired a young man as an intern who was the son of one of Rezko’s associates less than a week before the land deal makes one wonder if there are any other “favors” Obama may have done for the disgraced fundraiser or his cronies.

Such speculation has raised the hackles of the Obamaniacs. Eric Zorn again:

All I hear amid the noise is the thrum of resentment and fear:

Resentment that he’s not playing by the old rules–that he hasn’t acquired his political capital by spending years swapping favors and grandstanding in lesser offices or by climbing the coattails of his politically powerful father.

And fear that he’s going to be a hell of a good candidate–brilliant, telegenic, immensely likable and on the popular (negative) side of the war in Iraq from the git-go.

Not to say that he’ll be a perfect candidate

That last appeared to have been hastily added by Zorn lest anyone try and count the stars in his eyes whenever he talks about Obama.

I shouldn’t pick on Zorn. He’s not alone. Sun Times columnist Lynn Sweet:

Obama’s physique is old news to Chicago Sun-Times readers. I’ve worked out several times next to Obama at the East Bank Club, but alas, could not follow him into the locker room. My colleague Neil Steinberg did and reported on Jan. 6, 2006, that the undressed Obama “doesn’t have enough fat on his body to make a butter pat.”

You be the judge in looking at the People photo whether anything has changed in a year. (My blog awaits your comments.)

“Telegenic” and sex appeal to boot! Now that’s what I call reporting!

Clearly, Obama has struck a chord with celebrity watchers, liberal Democrats, and even ordinary Joes who ache for someone to mount the White Horse and ride to the rescue; the shining knight saving us all from our partisan follies and rancorous politics. But is there anything inside the armor our savior is wearing? Or is it simply a matter of us filling that empty suit with whatever hopes and dreams we can stuff inside it?

Obama is not an everyman. He is an “anyman” - he’s anything you want him to be. Until he defines himself, he risks having his political opponents do it for him. And that’s an opportunity that Team Hillary is salivating for.

By: Rick Moran at 10:19 am
6 Responses to “OBAMANIA!”
  1. 1
    OBAMANIA! at Conservative Times--Republican GOP news source. Pinged With:
    10:29 am 

    [...] Original post by Rick Moran and software by Elliott Back [...]

  2. 2
    ed Said:
    10:41 am 

    Rick, I agree with you that Senator Obama is untested and to some degree, a blank slate. You wrote he is seen as, “the shining knight saving us all from our partisan follies and rancorous politics.” While true for some, you are missing a more important point. The charismatic Senator is seen as a fresh alternative to the morally bankrupt Bush presidency. Someone not caught up in the President’s misbegotten adventure into Iraq.

    Much like the post-Jimmy Carter era, America is looking for a fresh, energetic leader with much charm and charisma and who doesn’t look like the typical Washington weasel. This was much of the appeal of President Ronald Reagan (don’t blow a gasket, Reagan’s conservatism was also important to his victory at that point in time, and Obama is no Reagan). John Kennedy had the same qualities to offer as the country transitioned from a WW II mindset.

    While you may not see Sen. Obama as standing for much in a tradional political sense, be careful in underestimating the public’s desire for moving away from the trainwreck of the Bush administration and associated politicians.

  3. 3
    Doug Ross @ Journal Trackbacked With:
    6:20 am 

    Pelosi’s Global-Warming Witch-Hunt

    Nancy “the extremist” Pelosi has a warning for American industry…

  4. 4
    Cao's Blog Trackbacked With:
    9:10 am 

    Obamamania

    Rick Moran has a great post up today about Obamamania. Back when he was running against Alan Keyes, it seemed to me that Keyes was the absolute right man for the job; but I guess I did not take into account that Obama is one of a handful of hand-picke…

  5. 5
    Kansas City Missouri Local Blog » Obamania Pinged With:
    3:02 pm 

    [...] Reprinted from by Rick Moran [...]

  6. 6
    Democrats Launch Desperate Search for Scapegoats | NeoConstant Pinged With:
    11:45 am 

    [...] by fear and horror now that Obamania has utterly collapsed, the hard-left partisans of the Democratic Party have launched a desperate [...]

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