The Campaign Spot

Obama: My Weekly Poker Game With Lobbyists Is Okay, But McCain’s Gambling Isn’t

Politico: “The DNC is buying ads on religious Web sites to highlight the McCain gambling ties reported on Sunday’s New York Times front. BREAKING: “Watch for Obama to use the story about McCain and gambling in the NYT yesterday to drive his change message, especially on the economy and the influence of lobbyists.” Team Obama will argue this reflects on temperament and judgment.”

That would be this New York Times story, describing McCain playing the craps table with Rick Davis and Scott Reed. Davis is a longtime McCain friend and associate, currently his campaign manager, who runs a lobbying firm that represented Indian tribes with casino interests. Reed also worked as a lobbyist for Indian tribes, but he was also Bob Dole’s campaign manager in 1996, where McCain is a top surrogate. To define these longtime buddies of McCain as lobbyists, you would also have to define David Axelrod as a lobbyist.
Beyond that, are we supposed to ignore the fact that the criticism is going to come from the guy who used to have a weekly poker game with lobbyists?
USA Today, July 6 of this year: “On Wednesday nights during Illinois General Assembly sessions, a group of lobbyists and lawmakers used to gather at the headquarters of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association for a weekly poker game. Barack Obama, who represented part of Chicago as state senator from 1997-2004, was a regular.”
I guess gambling with lobbyists is scandalous, but if a Democrat does it, it’s okay.

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