The Campaign Spot

“Smells a Little”: The AP’s Faith in Obama Reaches Its Expiration Date

Can you believe this is the Associated Press?

Barack Obama, being from Chicago, knows there are two basic ways to play foul in politics. One is to break the law. The other is to keep it legal, if shadily close to the line. It may not stink to high heaven, but it smells a little. In the 2008 campaign and after, Obama said he’d tolerate neither as president, and he set the bar high. How’s he doing now? Well, it’s not all smelling like roses on the political front. In a couple of known cases, his operatives tried to game the system ahead of Democratic congressional primaries, dangling job possibilities in front of challengers in hopes they would get out of the way of Obama’s preferred incumbents. (They didn’t.) . . . dispensing favors for political ends was a specialty of the old ward bosses, not to mention some

bare-knuckled presidents. Obama presented himself as above that sort of thing. He staked a claim to purity on that front, said primaries belong to the people not the pols and decried even the subtle back-room tactics “that are within the lines of legality but still don’t fulfill the spirit of service.” . . . Democrats face the prospect of embarrassments trickling out as private conversations and usually hidden maneuverings become public from the courtroom.

Not far from where I am, the Savannah Morning News doesn’t mince words:

DEPRIVING VOTERS of a viable candidate by paying that person not to run is just as wrong as selling a gubernatorial appointment to the U.S. Senate. That’s how the Obama administration’s alleged actions are similar to charges faced by former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, and why a special prosecutor should be named to look into the alleged back-room dealing.

It’s normal for things that reach their expiration date to smell a little at first, before really starting to stink . . .


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