I've written somewhat positively of Barack Obama since he announced his candidacy for President. Although his position on Iraq would rush our troops out, one gets the feeling that he has at least contemplated the issue, and is not simply pandering to his base.
Obama is clearly a powerful orator, with fairly powerful credentials and resume. Serving as a State, and now Congressional Senator does not imbue the most worldly experience, yet when one considers the highest office Rudy Giuliani held was mayor of New York City, and is leading the Republican ticket, critics are silenced.
Indeed, Obama and Giuliani have a lot in common: Both are socially liberal, both are lawyers, both have somewhat limited government experience (as far as presidential nominees go), both are seen as relative outsiders, and both are [at least near] front runners in their respective parties. As a matter of fact, both can be seen as challenging the Washington establishment; Obama with Hillary, and Giuliani with McCain.
Granted, the comparisons only go so far, but they are similarities nonetheless. One last striking similarity that I would offer are personal mistakes each man has made in the past. Giuliani is twice divorced, lived with two homosexuals for a time [Which Republicans certainly frown upon], and broke up with his ex-wife at a press conference.
Obama, too, has skeletons in his closet. He admitted to prior drug use, hard drug use ("Maybe a little blow"), he recently paid off a number of very old unpaid parking tickets, and this past week other news has called his judgement into question... The New York Times calls him out, claiming that In ’05 Investing, Obama Took Same Path as Donors:
Less than two months after ascending to the United States Senate, Barack
Obama bought more than $50,000 worth of stock in two speculative companies whose major investors included some of his biggest political donors.
Considering he lost $13,000, I would give the guy a break. This would suggest the story is a non-issue, questioning the story's prominece on the top of the nytimes.com home page. Breitbart further confirms that Obama was Unaware of Investment Conflicts.
A spokesman for Mr. Obama, who is seeking his party’s presidential nomination in 2008, said yesterday that the senator did not know that he had invested in either company until fall 2005, when he learned of it and decided to sell the stocks. He sold them at a net loss of $13,000. The spokesman, Bill Burton, said Mr. Obama’s broker bought the stocks without consulting the senator, under the terms of a blind trust that was being set up for the senator at that time but was not finalized until several months after the investments were made.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said Wednesday that he was not aware that he had invested in two companies backed by some of his top donors and did nothing to aid their business before the government.
The Illinois senator faced questions about more than $50,000 in investments he made right after taking office in 2005 in two speculative companies, AVI Biopharma and Skyterra Communications. Obama said his broker bought the stocks as part of a quasi-blind trust.
I find these accusations miniscule in the extreme. Yet, other recent accusations seem to carry more weight. Michelle Malkin noted all the Pandering in Selma in a post this past Monday. In it, she wrote:
The reports found no evidence that any of his actions ended up benefiting either company during the roughly eight months he owned the stocks. Obama lost about $15,000 on Skyterra and earned a profit of about $2,000 on AVI.
Drudge is headlining Hillary's new Southern twang adopted during a speech in Selma, Alabama to commemorate Bloody Sunday. But even more noteworthy: Obama's truth-stretching speech the same day. Allah caught two truthy assertions by The Messiah:Obama's woes continued as a self-professed pedophile posts photos of your young daughters on his Web site, where he describes them as an "angelic duo."
1) His claim that a Kennedy-sponsored airlift in Africa was responsible for bringing the Obama family to the U.S.
2) His claim that events in Selma led to his parents getting together--and Obama being born. Allah questions the timing.
1) JFK didn't take office until two years after Obama's arrived in the U.S.
2) Obama, Jr., was born four years before Bloody Sunday in Selma.
But some "experts" quoted in the report went too far:
Obama's decision to threaten a lawsuit has nothing to do with his knowledge of the law. In all likelihood, he intends to scare the pervert into taking the photos down. Secondly, how would the public react if Obama took no action? He would likely be assailed by many as weak and unwilling to confront the man. Personally, I don't care who you are, but if you posted pictures of my daughter in a salacious manner, I will do everything in my power to get those pictures taken down.
It happened to Senator Barack Obama whose presidential campaign threatened legal action against Lindsay Ashford, a self-professed pedophile who handicapped the 2008 campaign by judging the "cuteness" of several presidential candidates' underage daughters and granddaughters. Attorneys who specialize in free speech say the campaign's handling of the issues raises some questions about the candidate's stance on civil rights.
"Individuals can make comments about the candidates and the candidates' children without running afoul of the law until someone crosses the line into actual or criminal activity," said Lawrence G. Walters, a lawyer who has handled many cases involving pornography and the Internet. "For better or worse, pedophiles retain their free speech rights. If he's a professed pedophile and if he says, 'Let's try to find these kids,' then it could be in furtherance of a criminal conspiracy, then he may be liable."
No matter how distasteful the content of the website, Walters and Jonathan Katz, another First Amendment lawyer, were surprised that the Obama campaign had threatened legal action in this case.
"If Obama knows that his lawyer is doing this, then that's one reason not to vote for him," Katz said. "These are clear free speech issues."
The Presidential race is at too early a stage to make any predictions, but given that Giuliani and Obama will likely remain at the fore, their colorful past will put them in stark contrast to many of their competitors.