What do Barack Obama (D.-Ill.) and Chris Dodd (D.-Conn.) have in common besides being U.S. senators? Both received discount, backdoor mortgages because of their elite titles and may be on a presidential ticket together.
Dodd told reporters Obama’s presidential campaign approached him for “vetting papers” ---news sure to be a blow to their fellow senator and former Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton (D.-N.Y.).
Howard Wolfson, former Clinton chief strategist, said Obama was not making similar inquiries to Clinton “as far as I know” on Fox News Thursday, a day after Obama “forgot” to ask his donors to help Clinton pay off her multi-million dollars’ worth of campaign debts at a joint event with her.
Obama’s decision to approach Dodd presents some difficulties aside from the fallout Obama could face from passionate Clinton supporters who would like to see her become his vice president.
Rumors of an Obama-Dodd ticket highlight a recent controversy with Obama’s former vice presidential “vetter” and Fannie Mae Chairman Jim Johnson. Johnson was ousted from Obama’s inner circle after it was discovered he received a discount mortgage from Countrywide. Shortly after Johnson lost his slot, Portfolio magazine found Dodd also got a sweetheart mortgage from Countrywide raising questions about his bill to extend up to $300 billion on tax dollars to purchase failed mortgages from the housing industry. If passed into law, Countrywide would be the primary beneficiary of the money as the company is the largest mortgage provider in the nation
On July 2, Obama acknowledged he too received a discount home loan, known as a “super, super jumbo” from the bank Northern Trust for $1.32 million. The Washington Post reported the loan, obtained in 2005, financed a new Obama compound that came with “six bedrooms, four fireplaces, a four-car garage and 5 1/2 baths, including a double steam shower and a marble powder room” as well “a wine cellar, a music room, a library, a solarium, beveled glass doors and a granite-floored kitchen.”
The discounted rate Obama received from Northern Trust was worth approximately $300 a month. Judicial Watch, a conservative leaning legal advocacy group, has since filed complaints about Obama’s mortgage loan with the Federal Elections Commission and the Senate Ethics Committee.