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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Post-Fitzmas Democratic Scandal Watch on Obama and Richardson



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Obama says he had no idea what was going on with his investments, and that there’s no way he could possibly know about this:

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.

One of the companies was a biotech concern that was starting to develop a drug to treat avian flu. In March 2005, two weeks after buying about $5,000 of its shares, Mr. Obama took the lead in a legislative push for more federal spending to battle the disease.

The most recent financial disclosure form for Mr. Obama, an Illinois Democrat, also shows that he bought more than $50,000 in stock in a satellite communications business whose principal backers include four friends and donors who had raised more than $150,000 for his political committees.

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.

Meanwhile, Mickey Kaus is offering hints to people looking for dirt on Bill Richardson:

Oddest carefully-crafted sentence of the still-young week:

“So far, rumors of personal pecadilloes are unfounded.”–David Brooks, writing favorably about Dem. presidential candidate Bill Richardson.

The rumors are either founded or not, right? That shouldn’t change over time. But, as a Slate colleague says, a word like “unproved” would have been “more of a challenge than a reassurance.” … Kf ‘s tip for reporters and others hoping to help the pecadilloes make the ontological transition from unfounded to founded: Ask around at Cafe Milano, D.C. … 10:11 P.M.

In other Democratic news, there are rumors that Chuck Hagel is running for president… what do you mean “he’s a Republican”? I see him quoted ripping the administration and the GOP in the New York Times every single day! I thought he was Biden in a wig!

Finally, I’m currently scheduled to talk about all kinds of political things on Jim Vicevich’s program in Hartford, CT., a little after 11 a.m.


Tags: Barack Obama , Bill Richardson , Chris Dodd , Fred Thompson , Hillary Clinton , Horserace , Joe Biden , John Edwards , John McCain , Mike Huckabee , Mitt Romney , Newt Gingrich , Rudy Giuliani , Sarah Palin , Something Lighter , Tommy Thompson


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