A Reaction to the Obama Scandal at Columbia
by Steve White
Sometimes as a moderator you miss things and then see them pop up on the Burg. I was going to post the article, Obama's College Classmate: 'The Obama Scandal is at Columbia' last night but didn't, thinking it might take us away from the WoT.
But screw it: after re-reading it I've come to the conclusion that this is exactly what Mitt Romney should do, each and every time Champ and his minions (particularly and especially the odious Harry Reid) demand to see Romney's tax records.
Mitt Romney has been forthcoming. He's released a lot of financial information about himself. There's little doubt that he's wealthy, that he has paid taxes, and that he has a comfortable income. There's also little doubt that he's complied with the law: that's what tax accountants are for, and he's hired the very best. Digging through his tax records might find an issue or two that could be twisted by the Washington Post, but there is nothing remotely illegal.
Mitt Romney also has been forthcoming about his personal life. We know the details of his birth, his childhood, his young adult years, his work at Bain Capital, and his work as a governor. We know about his family life. Not all of it is complementary; that is normal for any good person.
Mitt Romney also is well vetted: he ran for President in 2008, he's been a governor, he ran for the Senate (and lost to Kerry), and he's been CEO of a US Olympic committee. If he had skeletons in his closet we would have heard about them by now. He might not be squeaky clean, but he's remarkably transparent.
So why the drumbeat about his tax records? Three reasons come to mind. First, it's a diversion. The longer the Democrats and the MSM (but I repeat myself) talk about this, the less they have to talk about the horrendous economy and unemployment news. Obama desperately wants to talk about anything, anything at all, other than the economy.
Second, it's part of Obama's way of politics, refined over the years by David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett. In 2008 they planted stories about McCain's supposed mistress -- not true but the New York Times didn't care, they were just "asking questions" after all. In the 2004 U.S. Senate race in Illinois they unsealed Jack Ryan's divorce records. There's a reason why courts seal divorce records, and sure enough a week after the records were released Mr. Ryan was out of politics. Perhaps Mr. Obama would have won that election anyway, but it didn't hurt at all that the Illinois Republicans imploded completely. Obama managed to get his old mentor knocked off the ballot when he first ran for the Illinois state Senate.
In short: Obama is dirty. He's a Chicago pol. This is what they do, and so it's no surprise that he and Axelrod and Plouffe and the campaign are looking for a way to dirty up Romney.
But finally and most importantly, it's a diversion away from Obama's own issues. Remember, the best defense is a good offense. The more the Democrats and the MSM (but I repeat myself) can accuse Romney of some hidden malfeasance, the longer they can avoid talking about Obama's completely opaque history. It's not just the transcripts, though (as the article posted by Beavis makes clear) those would be interesting to review. It's the trip to Pakistan -- how did he do that? It's the attendance at Trinity United Church. It's the overlap between his path and that of the Chicago socialists like Bill Ayers and the New Party. It's the various grants for the Chicago public schools that he controlled. Who wrote his books? What was his citizenship when he attended school in Indonesia, and was that changed when he returned to the U.S.? And just how did he afford Columbia University?
Obama won in 2008 because he and a compliant media ensured that anyone who asked about these things would be seen as a fringe person -- a 'birther'.
We won't doubt or contest that he was born in Hawaii. That is clear and it is not the issue.
The issue is a simple one: what about the rest of his life?
Ed Morrissey at Hot Air makes a good counter point: that by doing this Mitt Romney would in effect be punching below his weight, and that this would be a distraction at a time when "it's the economy, stupid" resonates with voters. Fair enough, and perhaps Mitt doesn't need to be the one demanding that Obama open up his past. Campaign surrogates could do this, but they wouldn't get the attention. We certainly can't count on the MSM, and conservative media (e.g., the Weekly Standard) don't have the required heft.
It's frustrating because we'd like ALL our presidents to be well vetted. Obama wasn't, and apparently he won't be.
Posted by: Steve White