Smarting from ridicule about the way John Edwards' sexual mischief was covered up or ignored for months, the mainstream media have decided to avoid similar charges that they are protecting Barack Obama. Hence the unprecedented New York Times Page One treatment of Jerome Corsi's latest best-seller, "The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality."
Corsi's book, copiously footnoted, assembles thousands of facts to present a newsworthy picture of the personality and character of the presumptive Democratic nominee. After all, that's what Obama's supporters say is of primary importance.
His political strategist, David Axelrod, is known for projecting personality as the principal factor in electing a candidate. Paul Waldman, the Media Matters spokesman chosen by "Larry King Live" and C-SPAN to rebut Corsi, claims that it's not specifics or issues but character that counts the most,
Maybe Axelrod and Waldman are correct that the voters don't demand to be told about their presidential candidate's specific plans for withdrawal from Iraq, or health care, or tax policy. Maybe they don't even care that Obama does not have a single legislative accomplishment from his service in either the U.S. Senate or the Illinois Senate,
The Obama campaign immediately issued a pathetic 40-page rant against Corsi's book, citing minor inaccuracies such as the date of Obama's marriage. The campaign rebuttal, however, was silent about Corsi's main points,
Corsi's book tells us what the voters do want to know about the personality and character of the candidate, who are his friends, who and what were the influences that shaped his worldview, and who does he owe for his rapid ascendancy to political power. The voters do care a lot about who will have access to the Oval Office and who will be invited to sleep in the Lincoln Bedroom,
Corsi's book introduces us to Obama's friends and mentors, most of whom we would not want to see as White House guests. The majority of evidence for these answers comes from Obama's own words and his two books, "Dreams from My Father" and "The Audacity of Hope."
Obama's books reveal him as having the personality of a man embittered by being abandoned by his African father and his unconventional white mother, and who came to believe that race is the issue that trumps all else and must be used for the redistribution of power and wealth. Obama sought out relationships with the socialist-radical Saul Alinsky, the unapologetic bomb-thrower Bill Ayers and his Weather Underground associate Bernardine Dohrn, the Communist poet Frank Marshall Davis, leftwing Muslim-supporting politicians in Kenya, the corrupt political fixer Tony Rezko, and the black-liberation-theology Rev. Jeremiah Wright who preaches hate America and accuses the United States of creating the AIDS virus to kill blacks.
Corsi's book quotes Obama's own words as he established his relationship with these radical characters and then, when they became embarrassments, progressively changed his responses in order to distance himself from his friends. Obama's disavowals are not persuasive.
Who would Obama appoint to fill the upcoming vacancies on the U.S. Supreme Court? Certainly not justices like John Roberts or Samuel Alito; Obama voted “no” on both of them and offensively called Justice Clarence Thomas the worst justice on the Supreme Court.
Obama is even more pro-abortion than Senator Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., which is hard to be. In the Illinois Senate, he voted against the law to ban partial-birth abortion, and against the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act.
Later, he said, if his daughters "make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby." When the Rev. Rick Warren asked Obama when life begins, he said he couldn't reply because that "is above my pay grade."
In that same televised interview, Warren asked Obama whom he would call on for advice. His response was his wife Michelle, whose Princeton thesis showed she shares Barack's bitterness about race, and his aging grandmother in Hawaii.
When Obama ran for the Illinois Senate, he had four primary opponents including the black female incumbent. In a remarkable and probably unique display of political chicanery, Obama managed to get the Chicago political machine to throw all the other four off the ballot by challenging the names on their petitions, so that Obama ran unopposed.
Axelrod and Obama have decided to run a presidential campaign on the cult of personality and character. If that's the battleground of the 2008 race, Corsi's book provides all the information needed to defeat him.
Maybe Hillary Clinton's top strategist and pollster, Mark Penn, had it right when he wrote this in a secret memo on May 19, 2007, recently unearthed by Atlantic magazine. Obama lacks "American roots" and "is not at his center fundamentally American in his thinking and in his values."
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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