Flashback: Remember When Obama Deplored Selling Access to Power?

Posted: Feb 27, 2013 12:28 PM

Obama's hypocrisy reel on the subjects of transparency and money in politics is long and sordid, but BuzzFeed's Andrew Kaczynski isolates an especially revealing illustration of The One's abject shamelessness (click through for video).  Here's candidate Obama announcing his candidacy for President of the United States in 2007:

As people have looked away in disillusionment and frustration, we know what's filled the void. The cynics, and the lobbyists, and the special interests who've turned our government into a game only they can afford to play. They write the checks and you get stuck with the bills, they get the access while you get to write a letter, they think they own this government, but we're here today to take it back. The time for that politics is over. It's time to turn the page.  

Now this man's former campaign organization is basically selling tickets to special presidential summits at the White House for five hundred grand a pop.  Before you go on, read the transcript of the Springfield speech for a very special bonus passage about the perils of mounting debts (cough -- ahem -- cough).  As Chuck Todd's segment revealed on Monday, Obama exploited the issue of high-dollar influencers and access-peddling as a major point of departure between himself and Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary.  Indeed, he once called it "the difference" between them.  Another big one, by the way, was their divergence of opinion on the individual mandate to purchase healthcare, which Obama strongly opposed (cough).  To their credit, some lefty good government groups are getting on Obama's case about his latest means-to-an-end betrayal:



But Ed Morrisey notes that much of the press has greeted the New York Times' scoop with a collective meh, despite the ethical and legal questions it raises:

How about the rest of the media? So far, they’ve said “meh” to power, or at least to Obama and his campaign organization. While conservative-leaning outlets like Fox, Washington Times, and Washington Examiner have covered the story, a search of news stories mostly shows other outlets repeating Jay Carney’s rather strained, non-specific denials without much further comment. Politico reported that the offer was part of a “preliminary” strategy, and the Washington Post just carried an AP report with a mostly non-denial denial from OFA. The effort in the media seems more aimed at avoiding uncomfortable questions about power than speaking truth to it.  

The president's credibility on one of his supposed core convictions has been reduced to rubble, and much of the press corps can barely muster a yawn.  Ed also addresses the prodigious irony that these mega-donors will be feted at quarterly meetings with the president, who only found the time to meet with his fiscal commission and jobs council once.  Each.  Ever.   Barack Obama has his priorities; debt reduction and job creation aren't anywhere near the top of the list.  He wants to stave off lame duck status as long as possible and enact an aggressive agenda over the next four years.  To do so, he needs more power.  For that, he needs more votes.  For those, he needs more influence in certain Congressional districts.  And for that, he needs lots of money.  He's found a way to get what he wants, and he's not going to let any inconvenient "principles" stand in his way.  I'll leave you with Jay Carney laboring to explain why OFA -- again, formerly known as the, um, Obama campaign -- is now an "independent," non-partisan group.  So independent, in fact, that they run @BarackObama's Twitter account, which the president has personally used.  Really, Jay?

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