Just the latest senior Obama man who is "awash in cronyism"
By Jeff Emanuel Posted in 2008 | Barack Obama | Democrat Hypocrisy | Eric Holder | Obamafiles — Comments (7) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
At the time, Dayton wrote the following:
I would like to introduce you to Eric Holder, Bill Clinton's former Deputy Attorney General. Holder was involved in the pardon of Marc Rich, the Democratic donor who had fled the country. In March of 2003, the NYT wrote about the case. They make it clear that Holder is awash in cronyism, skirts ethics laws, had horrible judgement, and is simply incompetent. He also advocated for clemency for terrorists. And this is Obama's primary advisor on his first decision as the Democratic nominee.
So this is the change Obama brings. Warmed-over shady operators from the Clinton administration. These guys do favors for each other for jobs. They give favored access to donors. They skirt around ethics rules. And they don't do their jobs.
This isn't a hypothetical. This is the change that Obama is bringing to Washington right now. This is the guy that Obama is putting in charge of his first major decision, after his previous choice was found to be ethically flawed.
Now, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has caught on, as well, running an op-ed from Jack Kelly titled "There goes another one: Obama seems blind to the ethical problems of his associates," which says:
A day later than would have been politic, Jim Johnson joined the burgeoning crowd under Barack Obama's bus.
In a press conference in St. Louis Tuesday, Sen. Obama dismissed criticism of Mr. Johnson as "a game," and said he would keep him on.
"Obama's cavalier response utterly contradicted his campaign's supposed crusade for reform," said pundit Craig Crawford. "Not only did these words come across as tone deaf to the very ethical issues that he has raised in this election, but his remarks sounded like the ethical relativism we so often hear from the Washington business-as-usual crowd that Obama claims to be running against."
A day later, after The New York Times and The Washington Post raised more serious questions about Mr. Johnson, he resigned.
We may see this pattern repeated soon. The more problematic appointment to his vice presidential search committee may be Eric Holder, deputy attorney general during the Clinton administration. Mr. Holder was a key figure in the last-minute pardon of fugitive financier Marc Rich, whose ex-wife, Denise, was a major contributor to Clinton campaigns and to the Clinton library fund.
Mr. Rich, who fled to Switzerland to avoid prosecution on 51 counts of tax fraud, was not eligible for a pardon under Justice Department guidelines. But Mr. Holder circumvented normal procedures and kept other Justice Department lawyers in the dark. A congressional committee described his conduct as "unconscionable."
If Mr. Obama were as smart as he imagines himself to be, he would have thrown Mr. Holder under the bus at the same time as Mr. Johnson. But some people are slow learners.
The Obama New-Politics Express appears to be running a bit behind schedule, mowing down friends, advisors, and confidantes after, rather than before, they embarrass the candidate in a very public way.
In fairness to Barack Obama, though, it's got to be tough to be a "quick learner" when you grew up steeped in, and continue to represent, the oldest brand of politics America's Second City has to offer.
Changing the wrapper is easy, as Obama has shown with his Potemkin HopeChangeHopeChange campaign. Actually changing yourself, though, to represent and embody something different than the identity-politicking, underhanded, cronyist world you come from and have always worked in?
That would appear to be a far more difficult feat -- and it is one that Obama, if trying at all, is failing at miserably.