Sunday, December 17, 2006

Obama's PR fence has holes

If you had a sophisticated enough microscope, you probably could see the fingerprints of Hillary Clinton operatives on the anti-Obama story today in the Washington Post.

The silent-but-deadly Clinton takedown of Obama is a trend we noted here, which we still believe will result in somebody filing a Senate ethics complaint over the Tony Rezko deal.

From a PR standpoint, Obama was smart to admit he showed poor judgement. It has muted some of the criticism. Still, there are two avenues of criticism he hasn't barricaded.

First, it's a bit silly to suggest that he didn't know Tony Rezko was in the crosshairs of newspapers and investigators. Rezko was front page news throughout 2005, even in the early months. It is part of a larger pattern of Obama not speaking out about corruption in his own party. He endorsed the ethically challenged Alexi Giannoulias for state Treasurer and stuck by him after it was revealed he was responsible for bank loans to mobsters. Then he stood silently by at the Illinois State Fair in August, refusing to say a word about nine state and federal corruption investigations of Governor Rod Blagojevich. Then, a few weeks later, he had the Audacity to lecture Kenya about corruption.

The second problem Obama has is his explanation of conversations he and Rezko had before they both purchased the adjacent properties. Obama gives the scantest of explanations and makes it sound as if a couple of casual indirect conversations led to the perfect convergence of transactions.

Much more likely, it seems, is that Obama and Rezko agreed that Rezko would buy the lot and hold it until Obama could afford to buy it. In other words, a gift.

If that's the case, Barack better Hope Rezko's version of events never is made public.

That's why it is in Hillary's best interest to prompt an investigation of some sort.

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