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March 7, 2008

Obama Swamps the Good Ship Clinton

“He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and a third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world’s believing him.” –Thomas Jefferson

In my last essay, “What dogs hear,” about Barack Obama’s surging political fortunes from meaningless rhetorical tripe, I noted, “Reports of Hillary Clinton’s defeat have been greatly exaggerated. NEVER underestimate the Clintons.”

Indeed, after a week of playing victim, the beleaguered damsel in distress mustered enough female voters to pull off wins in Ohio, Texas and Rhode Island.

Including pledged so-called super delegates, Obama now has 1,567 delegates to Clinton’s 1,462. For Obama to claim the Demo nomination, he would need to win 458 of the remaining 611 delegates, while Clinton would need 563. Neither scenario is likely, which means that the nominee will instead be brokered by the remaining 346 uncommitted super delegates, most likely at the Demo convention in late August.

If all those numbers confuse you, just remember that Obama’s is the “yes we can” campaign and Clinton’s is the “yes we will” campaign – and that “we will” trumps “we can.”

Despite Obama’s lead, the Clintons are master dealmakers, which is to say, I still believe Hillary Clinton will be the Democrat nominee when the convention dust settles. In her mind, she has already spent eight years as Vice President (Gore was a mere straw man), and she simply won’t subject herself to the lesser half of an Obama-Clinton ticket.

The last time Democrats went to the convention looking for a nominee, it was Jimmy Carter v. Teddy Kennedy. However, that was somewhat amicable compared to the assault Clinton is now preparing against Obama.

Clinton, though, knows that the Democrats can’t afford another bloodbath like the 1968 convention, so she needs to take Obama out before then. She also knows that the campaign is going to get very ugly in the next three months, so putting Obama on the bottom of her ticket may not be an option. Clinton must therefore dispense with Obama, with prejudice, so she can choose her own veep, (say, former general, Wes Clark).

How will she attempt to recover?

For starters, she’ll claim to be the legitimate victor, but for being robbed of hundreds of delegates from her faux victories in Florida and Michigan. (Notably, Obama was not on the Michigan ballot).

The Democrat National Committee has stripped all 350 delegates from those two states as punishment for having moved their primaries ahead of Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina, which the DNC had decreed were the only four states that could hold their contests prior to 5 February, a.k.a. “Super Tuesday.”

Demos in Florida and Michigan are now asking for a do-over, to which DNC Chairman Screamin’ Howard Dean has responded, “The Democratic nominee will be determined in accordance with party rules, and out of respect for the presidential campaigns and the states that did not violate party rules, we are not going to change the rules in the middle of the game.”

Translation: Yes, Clinton won, but this is a “top-down” Party, and as duly instructed by Ted Kennedy and John Kerry, we are backing Obama.

Clinton fired back, “I’d like to see [the Florida delegates] counted because I think that’s in the best interests of the Democratic Party and our eventual victory in November.” That’s the Clintons – always putting the party first.

Second, after claiming to be the real victor, she will hang Antoin “Tony” Rezko around Obama’s neck, and throw them both overboard.

“Tony who?” you ask.

Rezko (a.k.a. “Tony the Obamanator”) is Obama’s Chicago fundraising patriarch, a “fixer” who was indicted in January on fraud, various extortion charges and money laundering for an Iraqi billionaire, Nadhmi Auchi, whom military analysts describe as one of Saddam’s bagmen. (No wonder Obama opposed Operation Iraqi Freedom.)

Rezko was jailed after being indicted, not because of a risk of flight, but for his own safety. Given the history of high-profile defendants in federal racketeering cases in Chicago, he would likely not survive outside of his solitary cell. (For the record, Rezko is not Italian, he is a Syrian immigrant.)

Chicago politics hasn’t changed much since the reign of one Alphonse Gabriel Capone, whose legacy of organized crime is thriving today under the safeguard of the current Demo boss, Mayor Richard M. Daley. He, and his father, the late Richard J. Daley, have ruled Chicago with an iron fist for more than 40 years.

While Obama has yet to be directly implicated in any of Rezko’s mischief, their relationship demands far greater scrutiny than a fawning mainstream media has so far given it.

After Rezko’s indictment, Obama returned $150,000 to Rezko associates, and donated $72,650 to charity, an amount equal to Rezko’s contributions to Obama’s campaign. This is a phony gesture usually reserved for anonymous campaign donors who show up on police blotters. But Obama and Rezko have been friends for 15 years, and Rezko “raised” a lot of graft for Obama’s first congressional campaign.

Obama says he did not end his relationship with Rezko until recently because “there was no evidence of wrongdoing.”

For the record, Obama went to Harvard Law School, was elected Harvard Law Review’s first black president in its 104-year history, and completed his J.D. degree magna cum laude. I am confident, therefore, that Obama has the perspicacity to realize that his friend was a gangster.

However, their relationship goes well beyond politics, and that is why Clinton has Obama by the, uh, has him cornered.

According to The Economist, “Mr. Rezko helped [Obama] buy his home in Chicago in 2005. The seller would close the deal on Mr. Obama’s house only if the adjacent empty lot was sold on the same day. In June 2005 Mr. Obama bought his home for $1.65 million, $300,000 less than the asking price, and Mr. Rezko’s wife bought the adjacent lot.”

Rezko’s fingerprints are all over Obama’s purchase of his plush Georgian mansion on Chicago’s south side – right down the street from where Obama’s new neighbor, terrorist William Ayers, launched Obama’s political career. (I know, given Obama’s rhetoric, you thought he lived in a government housing project and commuted by mass transit.) That mansion and the adjacent lot were originally one parcel, but the owner divided it into two and the adjacent lot was purchased by Rezko’s wife for the full $625,000 asking price, way above market value. On the same day, Obama purchased his mansion on the adjacent lot for well under market value.

One might conclude that Rezko subsidized Obama’s discount with the purchase of the adjacent lot. Notably, Rezko’s lot purchase coincides with receipt of a “loan” from his Iraqi friend, Auchi.

Rezko’s trial began Monday, and his relationship with Obama will be a hot topic for as long as the trial lasts. Of course, Hillary will have to let the Leftmedia do her billing, and withhold any direct accusations, lest Obama will have time to resurrect the Clinton’s association with Jim and Susan McDougal and their Whitewater real estate “deal.” Of course, we previously published a photo of the Clintons with Rezko.

Clinton has a pocket full of additional silver bullets. Obama’s connection with the “Afrocentric” read: “Racist” preacher of hate, Jeremiah Wright, is next out of the gun.

As the division between Clinton and Obama threatens to split the party, one question is looming larger – speculation I have offered several times in the last few months: Will Albert Arnold Gore reemerge on the scene to save the day? Unless Hillary can sustain the fire, Obama will defeat her. Of course, she may be motivated to “fight to the bitter end” so that Bill can continue to rake in those enormous speaker fees, which would be far less if not for the prospect that he is married to a woman who insists her candidacy still has a chance.

The remainder of this campaign will be interesting.

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