Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Not so Swift, Barack

I'm not sure that the New York Times story today about Barack Obama's stock investments is a major revelation. But the story did have this wonderful little fact: One of Obama's contributors was also a contributor to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

In May 2005, Mr. (Jared) Abbruzzese, who was vice chairman of Tejas and a principal investor in Skyterra, contributed $10,000 along with his wife to Mr. Obama's political action committee — a departure from his almost exclusive support of Republicans. Eight months earlier, for instance, he had contributed $5,000 to the Swift Boat group, and he has given $100,000 to the Republican National Committee since 2004.
What makes this so satisfying is that Obama a few days earlier upbraided another Swift contributor, St. Louis businessman Sam Fox, President Bush's nominee for Ambassador to Belgium. Along with John Kerry, Obama gave Fox the third degree for daring to contribute to such a negative political action committee.

Senator Barack Obama (D-IL), who was chairing the meeting, told Fox that he found his answers to Kerry "somewhat unsatisfying" and said that "The swift boat ads were of a different degree, even in the ugly arena of politics. They were extraordinarily well publicized, that there was essentially a fraud being perpetrated on the American people. It had a profound impact on the election."

And Obama tied a nice bow around the whole afternoon by basically calling Fox, who spent the entire time disavowing any knowledge of the Swift Boaters' mission or methods, a liar.

"To say that you gave because it's ugly out there and somebody asked you to give. I mean, it sounds to me like you were aware of it -- that this was not the best of political practices -- and you thought it was OK to go ahead and contribute to that," said Obama. "By the time you contributed, it was pretty widely noted -- it would have been hard for you to miss the fact that there was something particularly nasty and insidious about these ads. It had been well publicized at this point."

"I don't think you necessarily crafted the message but you certainly knew at that point what the message was."
Someone ought to ask Barack if he grilled his own contributor, Mr. Abbruzzese, about his contribution to the evil Swifties.

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