Version anglaise ; version française en dessous
"It's the biter bit" !
The Obama camp has tried to make fun at John McCain, because he said he did not know exactly how many houses he owns. They have tried to portray him as "out of touch", as a man who is too rich to understand the problems American voters are facing.
The problem is that the McCain team has immediately retaliated, and the response they gave may be quite embarrassing for the presumptive Democratic nominee in coming days...
Brian Rogers, a spokesman for the Republican candidate has said : "We're delighted to have a real estate debate with Barack Obama. The press should focus on Obama's house. It is a frickin' mansion. He doesn't tell people that. You have a mansion you bought in a shady deal with a convicted felon."
Of course, everybody will understand the "felon" reference. This is a clear allusion to Tony Rezko, the businessman from Chicago and one of Obama's friends, who was convicted on fraud and bribery charges this year.
Brian Rogers warned the Obama camp : the Republicans are likely to intensify their efforts in a near future to remind all Americans of Obama's link to Rezko.
"That's fair game now. You are going to see more of that now that this issue has been joined. You'll see more of the Rezko matter from us."
What is funny about Obama is that he can never attack his opponent on any issue, because, each time he does, he is the target of similar attacks in return and he becomes the one who is caught in his own trap. He can never criticize McCain safely ! Republicans have plenty of things to send him back ! For sure, it is going to be an easy electoral campaign for them. They must be thanking God the Democrats made such a grotesque choice !
For those who do not remember well the Rezko matter, the Republicans now provide an in-depth study of the whole story. It must be aknowledged that the Republican National Committee knows how to retaliate in an emergency. Only a few hours after promising to speak about the Rezko issue, the McCain campaign has already fought back : they have opened a website focusing on past questions about Barack Obama’s dealings with the controversial Chicago businessman.
If we try to remember the facts, we may immediately recognize that the Republicans will have a lot of things to write about (the Rezko story is quite complicated), starting with the real nature of the relationship between Rezko and Obama, and the unclear question of Obama’s purchase of his house in Chicago in 2005.
Let's try to simplify it a little :
In fact, when Obama purchased his house in June 2005, he and his wife paid 1.65 million dollars, which is quite a sum, but less than the asking price.
Obama bought it on the same day Rezko’s wife purchased an adjacent lot from the same sellers. The home-purchase deal came a year after it was known Rezko was facing federal scrutiny, but this did not dissuade Obama. In January 2006, Obama bought one-sixth of an adjoining lot from Tony Rezko’s wife, Rita, paying her exactly a sixth of the sum she had paid for the property.
Rezko and Obama met in 1990. Obama was a student at Harvard Law School. He got a job offer from Rezko who was then a low-income housing developer in Chicago. In 1995, Obama began his campaign for the Illinois Senate. Rezko was one of his contributors : two of his companies donated a total of 2,000 dollars. In return, Obama is said to have provided him political favors, as a State Senator, including
writing letters to recommend him and his companies.
When Obama was elected in 1996, he represented a district that included 11 of rezko’s 30 low-income housing projects. Rezko later raised funds for Obama’s U.S Senate campaign.
During the primaries, Hillary Clinton did not hesitate to attack Obama : “We still don’t have answers about Senator Obama and his dealings with Mr Rezko.” (this is what she told Politico on the eleventh of February 2008). Later, in June, a federal jury convicted Rezko of 16 counts of corruption.
No doubt the Republicans will be harsher in their attacks ! They have already questioned Obama’s judgment after the verdict : “Today’s verdict and Obama’s friendship with Rezko raise serious questions about whether he has the judgment to serve as president.”
In coming days, Obama may wish he had never asked questions about John McCain's houses !