Obama Failed With Earmark Attempt, Yet Attacks Others For Taking Earmarks?
By: Warner Todd Huston
This is the pot calling the kettle for sure. Earlier this week, Obama made an early attempt to attack Governor Sarah Palin on the earmark issue. He claimed that Palin is responsible for taking many earmarked funds for her state as she sat in the Governor’s office in Juneau and that her attack on him for earmarks is, therefore, illegitimate.
“I know the governor of Alaska has been, you know, saying she is change and that is great. She is a skillful politician. But when you been taking all these earmarks when it is convenient and then suddenly you are the champion anti-earmark person. That is not change, come on. I mean, words mean something. You canâ€™t just make stuff up. You canâ€™t just make stuff up. We have a choice to make and the choice is clear.”
But, this return fire on Palin’s ridiculing of Obama for his many earmarks is not very effective. While Obama is pointing fingers at Palin, news came out this week that Senator Obama had unsuccessfully tried several times to get multi-million dollar earmarks for one of his biggest Chicago contributors. So, his attack on Palin seems more like smokescreen than cruise missile.
Obama twice attempted to direct more than $3 million dollars in taxpayer funds to the Adler Planitarium Museum in Chicago. It just so happens that the Adler’s chairman is one of Barack’s biggest Chicago fundraisers.
The planetarium’s chairman, then and still, is Frank Clark, chief executive of ComEd, a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Energy. He has pledged to raise more than $200,000 for Mr. Obama’s run for the White House.
Even more cozy, this earmark would have benefited a Joe Biden supporter.
Moreover, the Adler Planetarium is represented by the lobbying firm National Group LLP, co-founded by William Oldaker, who helped launch Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s political action committee in 2005. Mr. Oldaker, a partner with the Delaware Democrat’s son in another Washington lobbying and law firm, is no longer involved with Mr. Biden’s PAC, Unite Our States.
On the other hand, it must be pointed out that taking earmarked funds that someone else arranged for is a little different than actually being the one creating the diversion of funds. Obama criticizes Palin for taking funds that Congress offered her, but Obama is responsible for being one doing the offering.
Palin’s record on reform is clear, of course. But, Obama’s record on over spending is also clear. His finger pointing is hollow rhetoric.