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Two Stories Break Out

As if Barack Obama did not have enough problems there are two stories that just won’t go away, and both spell trouble.

First, slowly but surely the Infant Born Alive controversy and Obama’s attempt to revise his own legislative past is coming to light. This is a straightforward account. The McCain team has yet to make much hay from this, but I suspect they’ll have plenty of time to talk about it as the election grows near. Because of the explosive nature of the subject matter and because it touches on growing concerns about Obama himself—namely that he is not being honest about his past–it has the potential to unsettle more voters than just the pro-life segment of the electorate.

Second, we have another story now popping. Why won’t the University of Illinois release records pertaining to Obama’s association with the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, a charitable educational venture, which was co-founded by the unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers, Obama’s neighbor and colleague. To make matters deliciously worse, Mayor Bill Daley steps in and, in essence, says “What’s the big deal?” and “Everyone has friends.” (Hint: Don’t trot out Daley when there are books floating around that question your reformer mantle. People might associate you with strong-arm, non-transparent, old-school politics.)

Together these stories, at the worst possible time, begin to raise the possibility that Obama is not the pristine New Politician he makes himself out to be. In both cases there may be an underlying, damaging issue. But it is the reaction of Obama which is so telling — lie, cover up, don’t disclose a darn thing. Is this any different than the Clinton modus operandi? And what are the Obama-philes to make of this? This is the crowd that excoriated the Bush administration for allegedly covering their tracks, maintaining a veil of secrecy, and giving the media nothing more than canned talking points.

All of this suggests that Obama’s brand of campaigning and politics is not new. Even worse, it suggests he’s no longer escaping scrutiny.


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