The Campaign Spot

Be Sure to Tip Your Gunrunner!

There’s campaign news and talk of war in the Middle East in today’s edition of the Morning Jolt, but the two sections dealing with Obama seem the most likely to generate buzz . . .

Good Morning, Mr. President!

Breaking this morning:

Two American brothers of a Mexican casino magnate who fled drug and fraud charges in the United States and has been seeking a pardon enabling him to return have emerged as major fund-raisers and donors for President Obama’s re-election campaign.

The casino owner, Juan Jose Rojas Cardona, known as Pepe, jumped bail in Iowa in 1994 and disappeared, and has since been linked to violence and corruption in Mexico. A State Department cable in 2009 said he was suspected of orchestrating the assassination of a business rival and making illegal campaign donations to Mexican officials.

When The New York Times asked the Obama campaign early Monday about the Cardonas, officials said they were unaware of the brother in Mexico. Later in the day, the campaign said it was refunding the money raised by the family, which totaled more than $200,000.

At least these guys are courteous enough to tip the administration that supplies their friends with guns so well . . .

What It Takes to Get Barack Obama to Leave a Room

I’m surprised to see this complaint in Al Hunt’s column:

The White House put out a picture of a private meeting in the Oval Office on Jan. 27 that included former President George H. W. Bush and his son, Jeb, the former governor of Florida.

The Bushes were in town for the annual black tie dinner the next night at the Alfalfa Club, a gathering of business and political elites. The two featured speakers, both intended to be brief and humorous, were Obama and Jeb Bush. The president spoke to good reviews. He left before Bush spoke.

Obama hates such dinners. Some of his aides, in particular his political adviser David Plouffe, urged him not to spend an evening mingling with the 1 percent. Yet he chose to go, and attendees said it was the first time they could recall a speaker leaving before the other side had its fun. In addition, Obama’s 87-year-old predecessor was present.

Imagine the criticism five years ago if President George W. Bush had walked out on a dinner before Hillary Clinton spoke, with Bill Clinton in the audience.

I mean that I am surprised that a non-conservative made the complaint, not that Obama behaved this way.

Put another way, Obama will walk out on Jeb Bush, or debt-ceiling talks, but not a 50-minute anti-American diatribe from Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega.


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