You’ve probably seen the ad linking Barack Obama to Franklin D. Raines, the former CEO of Fannie Mae. The Washington Post calls foul.
Linking Obama to Ex-Fannie Mae Chief Is a Stretch
So what evidence does the McCain campaign have for the supposed Obama-Raines connection? It is pretty flimsy, but it is not made up completely out of whole cloth. McCain spokesman Brian Rogers points to three items in the Washington Post in July and August. It turns out that the three items (including an editorial) all rely on the same single conversation, between Raines and a Washington Post business reporter, Anita Huslin, who wrote a profile of the discredited Fannie Mae boss that appeared July 16. The profile reported that Raines, who retired from Fannie Mae four years ago, had “taken calls from Barack Obama’s presidential campaign seeking his advice on mortgage and housing policy matters.”
Since this has now become a campaign issue, I asked Huslin to provide the exact circumstances of that passage. She said that she was chatting with Raines during the photo shoot, and asked “if he was engaged at all with the Democrats’ quest for the White House. He said that he had gotten a couple of calls from the Obama campaign. I asked him about what, and he said, ‘Oh, general housing, economy issues.’ (‘Not mortgage/foreclosure meltdown or Fannie-specific?’ I asked, and he said ‘no.’)”
In other words – Liars. I’d like to see Obama fire back with a Keating Five ad. It would certainly be less of a stretch than this.
Let’s play a game. Here’s your assignment – Complete the following:
“John McCain admits that economic issues aren’t his strong suit. Yet he wants you to believe he can solve the current financial crisis. He talks of greed and corruption on Wall Street. But back in 1989…”
Clearly, for McCain, all you have to do is walk past something to be politically and morally implicated in it. Palin’s Alaska is near Russia, so she’s an expert on foreign policy. Obama has a generic phone call with Raines, so he’s a big government bailout guy (or whatever).
I’ll bet that at some point McCain has shaken hands with Mark Foley. He also once read a book on Nazi Germany. He passed a woman in the street who had had an abortion. He’s used the phrases “god damn it” and “go to hell,” Etc.
Obama’s campaign provided The Associated Press with a copy of the e-mail.
“Carly: Is this true?” Raines asks above a forwarded note informing him that Fiorina was on television saying he was an Obama housing adviser. “I am not an adviser to the Obama campaign. Frank.”
Obama’s campaign says Fiorina did not respond.
Steve Benen over at The Washington Monthly completely dismantled this line of attack by McCain.
This stuff is going to be mostly in the noise if McCain’s quote on healthcare gets any traction:
Connecting Tim Raines to Sen. Obama? Not such a stretch; Raines played left field, after all…
Sorry this is OT, but I wanted to place this somewhere that people will see it:
A petition to protest the screw up of the financial bail-out… please sign and share it with others.
i know. brilliant. tie that in with social security privatization you’ve won the election.
They’re both black. Very sinister. That’s probably the real connection McCain’s aiming at.
I think Obama’s probably well on his way to that regardless. This just isn’t a winning issue for McCain, what with his 70+ lobbyists on the payroll. His image as a maverick, which was never all that deserved anyway, has really lost a lot of its sheen in the last couple of months, and that’s the sort of thing that’s tough to regain once you’ve lost it.
“But back in 1989…John McCain was a sprightly 87 years old.”
“But back in 1989… John McCain was passing Keating’s Saving and Loan buck back to the taxpayers. What will we pay for next?”
Dennis - SGMM
Mmmmm, deregulatory goodness from John McCain. Let’s not forget that McCain jumped on the Bush bandwagon to privatize Social Security. Can you imagine how much bigger the mess would be if SS funds had been put in the hands of Wall Street?
Jake, someone sent me an email about that this morning, so I blogged it. If people are sending emails to me, a guy who gets 300 hits on a good day (depending on how well I link myself around), then I can only imagine this is going to get a lot more play, especially since it’s the Sept./Oct. issue of the magazine, and McCain is trying to play like he was for banking regulation two years ago.
The rule is, every time your campaign ad mentions the name of somebody other than your opponent, you lose two-thirds of your audience. This isn’t going to work, not even with McCain’s base. The direct quote from McCain is going to beat McCain’s smear to pieces.
Now explain how Obama isn’t connected to Jim Johnson
back in 1989, John McCain was just getting warmed up when he helped bankers loot the S&L system. Now he’s back, badder than ever, and this time he’s taking out the whole financial system!
See John McCain in Get off My Lawn II: The Mother of All Bailouts!
Warning: Do not attempt sanity after watching this film.
Now explain why you aren’t a fucking nut job.
“But back in 1989, a new Senator McCain was strongarming Federal regulators with a gang of 5 lawmakers to keep corrupt Savings and Loan operator Charles Keating from being investigated. Some of the Keating 5 went to jail, but Senator McCain’f friend Keating cost the American taxpayer hundreds of millions.
And John McCain championed the same sort of deregulation that has cause the Banking collapes..”
Poor sperring iz amd indecks to menntall derringement.
So let me get this straight: in July, the WaPo issues a story from an interview with Raines where it is said Raines had been contacted by the Obama campaign, then issues a couple of more pieces saying this. The Obama campaign does not call for a retraction or correction. The McCain campaign puts out an ad tying Obama to Raines, stating that Obama did ask for advice from Raines on mortgage and housing policy, and uses the July WaPo story as evidence. In the linked article in this post, WaPo confirms the McCain campaign’s story, even the part on what Raines and the Obama campaign were discussing, mortgage and housing policy. So, how is the McCain camp doing the stretching? And instead of invalidly trying to take the McCain camp to task for an ad that is confirmed by the WaPo itself, why wouldn’t WaPo try to find out what other conversations Raines and the Obama campaign may have had, even if unofficial?
I know that I shouldn’t respond to Myiqis0, but the Jim Johnson thing may pop up again from the right-wing noise machine. So here’s the answer:
Jim Johnson was a lawyer who administrated the V.P. vetting process. He had no other advisory role, economic or otherwise.
Compare with McCain’s coterie of economic advisors (w/out even bringing up Keating). Done and done.
The Moar You Know
I didn’t read what you posted but I’m sure it was pretty pointless and probably smacked of raw desperation.
The Moar You Know
No, he was the longtime coach for the Dallas Cowboys.
McCain’s campaign doesn’t understand something – save for a few rare cases, “linking” someone to someone else in an attempt to harm their reputation doesn’t usually work. It did work with Wright because the wingtard noise machine had such a plethora of material to work with – “God Damn America”, taken wholly out of context, sent shivers up the spine of every racist in America, playing perfectly into their fears about black people.
I might note that it didn’t even do that much to Obama’s support. And that’s as damaging as that kind of attack can ever be. Pretty thin gruel.
When you start dealing with names like Rezko or Johnson, where both the connection and offense have to be explained in more than five words, it fails. Always.
You see the same phenomena on the left as well. 90% of this country has no fucking clue who or what “Halliburton” is or why they should care. And the left has been trying to “catapult that propaganda” for eight years now. It hasn’t done anything but rile up the base – and the base is not where elections are won or lost anymore.
“John McCain admits that economic issues aren’t his strong suit. Yet he wants you to believe he can solve the current financial crisis. He talks of greed and corruption on Wall Street.
And he would know.
But he does make a heckuva barbeque…”
Calling somebody and asking a question does not make that person an advisor to your campaign.
If Obama calls me and says “How about that Brandon Webb?” does that make me his advisor on sports?
That’s about the moronic level we are at on this “issue.”
Cut the crap, please. McCain is at the point now where if he said the sun were coming up tomorrow, there would be a nationwide run on flashlights.
A process which produced arguably the best VP choice in modern history.
That Johhnson must be some kind of bad guy. He couldn’t even do as good a job as the VP choosers over at the McCain campaign, amirite?
Al Gore! Al Gore! Al Gore!
Besides not being economic advisors, Johnson and Raines also did NOT get paid with taxpayer money. McCain’s ad talks about $21 million of “your money”.
Wrong. Fannie & Freddie were private companies. Shareholders paid. No tax dollars. First Read has info from Lucian Bebchuk of Harvard Law School, an expert on corporate governance: http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/09/19/1427108.aspx
It’s their story and they’re sticking to it.
Oh, and speaking of:
The problem is that everyone sees the McCain BS ads like this, but how many will see the stories calling them on it?
“But back in 1989, John McCain, POW, suddenly remembered that he’d spent 5 and 1/2 years in a prison camp, where he had NO money and NO friends in high or low places. Also, NO briefcases. Because he was a POW, my friends.”
J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford
I’d like to see a quasi-independent* group run an ad like this:
“John McCain says he has a history of bi-partisanship. Back in 1989 John McCain crossed party lines to join four Democrats in forming The Keating Five. The Keating Five went on to participate in what would become the biggest banking scandal in decades, the S&L Crisis. Fast forward to 1999 and John McCain’s financial guru Phil Gramm…”
* – by “quasi-independent” I mean “rat fuckers”
J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford
ChiSox fan? Did you see Alexei Ramirez’s long AB and Grand Slam last night?
And don’t get me started on the news that Carlos Quentin may be ready to return to Tim Raines’ old stomping grounds for the playoffs.
So, what exactly, does a former head of Fannie Mae have to do with the current financial crisis?
I just love the weak-ass attempt at misdirection here. Despite his years and years of “experience” which somehow left him knowledge-free of economics, despite his tenure on the Commerce committee and his hand-holding with other Republicans who championed the legislation that laid the groundwork for the mortgage meltdown, conservatives are bending over backwards to magically remove McCain from his central role in this mess with insipid stories about Obama’s conversations with a former Fannie Mae executive.
McCarthyism must be encoded into conservative DNA. This “what did he know and when did he know it” innuendo BS is just pathetic. And typical.
Sorry Dale Gribble, not a Sox rooter, but a ‘Spos fan.
While waiting for her husband Don to return home from work, she reaches for a can of anchovies. As she spreads the tiny fish across a piece of lettuce, she notices a small note at the bottom of the can. Written on it is a telephone number. Curious, she dials, and is told, “Don’t move, lady, we’ll be right over.” Placing the phone back on the hook, she turns to see three smartly dressed men standing in her kitchen doorway. Before she realizes what is happening to her, she is rolled tightly in long sheets of cellophane, transported to an international airport, and placed on a waiting jet-liner. All this being too much for her to comprehend, she passes out.
Upon awakening, she finds herself in a strange, foreign speaking nation (“Dalas nekcihc dna tihs nekcihc neewteb ecnereffid eht wonk ot suineg a ekat t’nseod ti.”). Alone, fearing her escape impossible, she seeks comfort in the arms of a confidential agent. With the trace of her kiss still warm upon his lips, he betrays her to the hands of three scientists who are engaged in diabolical, avant-garde experiments previously performed only on insects and other small, meaningless creatures. Using her as their subject, they are delighted with the results. For the first time, a human being is transformed into a (“shhh… it’s secret”).
Meanwhile, back in Portland, Maine…
Her husband Don, now chain-smoking 40 packs of cigarettes a day, sits at a local bar and has a few beers with the regulars. Bored, everyone’s attention turns to the television set that just hangs from the wall. (“Welcome to Bowling for Dollars”). Suddenly, crazy Al says, “S-say, Don, there sure is something familiar about that bowling ball.” To which a terrified Don replies, “Oh my God! That bowling ball! It’s my wife!”
And the lesson we learn from this story is, next time you place your order, don’t forget to say, “No anchovies please.”
You may want to lay off the acid and crystal meth, too.
One at a time, man. One at a time.
Duros Hussein 62
“Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation.”
TFJ to you. Well done.
Really, WTF was that, and what does it have to do with anything regarding politics or sports, or beer, or pootie kats?
GregD, are you looking for a career in writing literature? Perhaps you should contact Sally Struthers?
Not much a of a connection but even slimmer is Obama’s efforts to connect Limbaugh and McCain when Limbaugh dislikes McCain and vehemently disagreed with McCain over immigration — the issue Obama uses to connect the two.
This story is three weeks old. Some recent posts have addressed subjects already posted on. (e.g., the health care/banking dereg McCain quote). Are we all paying attention here?
please, stop thinning the gruel.