Monday, April 2, 2007

Politics of Destruction - Obama's Rovian Stategy

Barack Obama has found great success through his Rovian campaign techniques of personal attacks. These attacks have been very effective for him in diverting the attention of the public from the issues most affecting the public.

Obama needs to divert people's attention from his 8 major votes against choice, his 29 major votes against civil rights and civil liberties, his 14 major votes against the environment, and his 20 major votes in support of continued war. A thorough breakdown of Obama’s Senatorial votes is listed at

At Obama's side is his key political consultant and advisor, David Axelrod. Axelrod and Obama have a long history of pushing exposés about the personal lives of Obama's opponents, sort of a Kenneth Star approach to politics.

"Axelrod is known for operating in this gray area, part idealist, part hired muscle. It is difficult to discuss Axelrod in certain circles in Chicago without the matter of the Blair Hull divorce papers coming up. As the 2004 Senate primary neared, it was clear that it was a contest between two people: the millionaire liberal, Hull, who was leading in the polls, and Obama, who had built an impressive grass-roots campaign. About a month before the vote, The Chicago Tribune revealed, near the bottom of a long profile of Hull, that during a divorce proceeding, Hull’s second wife filed for an order of protection. In the following few days, the matter erupted into a full-fledged scandal that ended up destroying the Hull campaign and handing Obama an easy primary victory. The Tribune reporter who wrote the original piece later acknowledged in print that the Obama camp had “worked aggressively behind the scenes” to push the story. But there are those in Chicago who believe that Axelrod had an even more significant role — that he leaked the initial story. They note that before signing on with Obama, Axelrod interviewed with Hull. They also point out that Obama’s TV ad campaign started at almost the same time. Axelrod swears up and down that “we had nothing to do with it” and that the campaign’s television ad schedule was long planned. “An aura grows up around you, and people assume everything emanates from you,” he told me."

If the Blair Hull situation were an isolated incident, it could be viewed as an unfortunate episode of political misjudgment. It was so successful in giving Obama a win that his campaign did it again in the general election. Once again, Obama's campaign checked the court papers for an something dirty about an opponent's divorce and found that Jack Ryan had taken his former wife Jeri (Seven of Nine from "Star Trek Voyager") to some inappropriate club. Jeri stood by her ex-husband, but Obama's campaign of destruction resulted in Ryan dropping out of the race with the Republican Party only having two and one-half weeks to find his replacement. Obama's Rovian tactics landed him the Senate seat.

In Obama's current Presidential race, the candidates are finding he is continuing his path or Rovian destruction of his opponents. Obama, through his fundraiser David Geffen, is once again on the personal attack, this time going after Hillary and Bill Clinton. Hillary is considered by Obama's campaign to be the frontrunner and ripe for Obama's Rove-style politics. If other frontrunners emerge, they will have to be prepared to see Obama publicizing their personal lives and attacking them for things completely unrelated to politics.

If Obama could tell the truth about his voting record, he might not have to resort to Rovian tactics to do well in the 2008 primary. So from what is it that Obama is trying to distract voters? Obama's trouble with Hillary is that her voting record is less pro-war, less anti-choice, more pro-civil rights and better on health care and the environment than that of Obama. If Obama told the truth or stuck to the issues, he wouldn't have many supporters outside of Karl Rove and conservative Democrats. However, he would have a lot more integrity than the entire lack thereof he has been demonstrating in politics up to this point.

While Hillary's voting record is more progressive than that of Obama, she is a long way behind true progressives, such as Dennis Kucinich when it comes to issues of peace, health care, protecting the environment, civil rights and civil liberties. Kucinich has always stood for integrity and courage. He doesn't back down from a fight and he sticks to the issues.

Voters deserve to a chance to see the issues discussed fully. They are most likely to see this in debates between Clinton and Kucinich, both of whom are more interested in issues than in the kind of personal attacks for which the Obama campaign has become known.


Anonymous said...

Obama forced rivals off '96 ballot
Senator defends use of legal tactics
April 5, 2007



The day after New Year's 1996, operatives for Barack Obama filed into a barren hearing room of the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners.

There they began challenging hundreds of signatures on the nominating petitions of state Sen. Alice Palmer, a longtime progressive activist from the city's South Side.

And they kept challenging petitions until every one of Obama's four Democratic primary rivals was forced off the ballot.
An examination of Obama's first campaign clouds the image he has cultivated throughout his political career: The man now running for president on a message of giving a voice to the voiceless first entered public office not by leveling the playing field but by clearing it.
Playing by selective rules

Asked if the district's primary voters were well-served by having only one candidate, Obama smiled and said: "I think they ended up with a very good state senator."
"I liked Alice Palmer a lot. I thought she was a good public servant," Obama said. "It was very awkward. That part of it I wish had played out entirely differently."

Had Palmer survived Obama's challenge, he would have faced the daunting task of taking on an incumbent. Palmer's elimination marked the first of several fortuitous political moments in Obama's electoral success: He won the 2004 primary and general elections for U.S. Senate after tough challengers imploded when their messy divorce files were unsealed.
He wondered if we should knock everybody off the ballot. How would that look?" said Ronald Davis, the paid Obama campaign consultant who filed objections to Obama's rivals as a 13th District citizen.

In the end, Davis filed objections to all four of Obama's Democratic rivals at the candidate's behest.

Peace said...

Barack Obama’s Ongoing Ethics Troubles

Barack Obama, the popular Illinois senator and top Democratic presidential candidate, has evidently violated Congressional ethics rules by using his taxpayer-funded Capitol Hill office for campaign activities.

Obama apparently met with his chief political and media adviser, David Axelrod, in his Capitol Hill office and a popular web site has posted a color picture of the violation. Congressional rules forbid the use of federal office space for any kind of campaign or political activity.

Although Obama has made ethics a key issue in his presidential campaign, this isn’t the first time he contradicts his own motto with questionable ethics. Last month he admitted purchasing stocks in obscure companies that donated generously to his senatorial campaign and that he later helped by pushing favorable legislation.

Obama had no problem taking $10,000 from one of the company’s principal investors although the man is the target of a federal public corruption investigation involving New York’s State Senate majority leader Joseph Bruno.

Last December, the Illinois senator accepted big campaign contributions from a shady political fundraiser indicted for taking hefty kickbacks on government deals. Obama was also involved in a questionable real estate deal with the Chicago businessman who he still considers a good friend.


Anonymous said...

#10: Obama Was A Constitutional Law Professor:

At A Recent Fundraiser, Obama Claimed He Was A “Constitutional Law Professor.” “‘I was a constitutional law professor, which means unlike the current president I actually respect the Constitution,’ Obama told an audience at a campaign fundraiser.” (Brendan Farrington, “Obama: Bush Fails To Respect The Constitution,” The Associated Press, 3/30/07)

On The University Of Chicago Law School Website, Obama Is Listed As A “Senior Lecturer In Law (On Leave Of Absence).” (University Of Chicago Law School Website,, Accessed 3/30/07)

Obama Made This False Claim In His 2004 Senate Race. “Several direct-mail pieces issued for Obama's primary [Senate] campaign said he was a law professor at the University of Chicago. He is not. He is a senior lecturer (now on leave) at the school. In academia, there is a vast difference between the two titles. Details matter.” (Lynn Sweet, “Obama's Book: What's Real, What's Not” Chicago Sun-Times, 8/8/04)

#9: Obama’s Parents “Got Together” Because Of The 1965 Selma March:

In His Selma Speech, Obama Said His Parents “Got Together” And He Was Born As A Result Of The Selma March. Obama: “Because some folks were willing to march across a bridge. So they got together and Barack Obama, Jr. was born. So don’t tell me I don’t have a claim on Selma, Alabama.” (Senator Barack Obama, Remarks At Brown Chapel AME Church, Selma, AL, 3/4/07)

“Earlier In The Day At A Prayer Breakfast, The Illinois Democrat Said: ‘If It Hadn't Been For Selma, I Wouldn’t Be Here.’” (Anne E. Kornblut and Peter Whoriskey, “Clinton, Obama Link Selma March To Present,” The Washington Post, 3/5/07)

But Obama Was Born In 1961, 4 YEARS BEFORE The 1965 Selma March. “Barack Obama was born in Hawaii on August 4th, 1961.” (Obama For America Website,, Accessed 3/6/07; Anne E. Kornblut and Peter Whoriskey, “Clinton, Obama Link Selma March To Present,” The Washington Post, 3/5/07)

#8: Obama Was Fluent In Indonesian As A Child:

Obama’s Claim That He Quickly Became Fluent In Indonesian As A Child Was Disputed By A Former Teacher. “Obama has claimed on numerous occasions to have become fluent in Indonesian in six months. Yet those who knew him disputed that during recent interviews. Israella Pareira Darmawan, Obama's 1st-grade teacher, said she attempted to help him learn the Indonesian language by going over pronunciation and vowel sounds. He struggled greatly with the foreign language, she said, and with his studies as a result.” (Kirsten Scharnberg and Kim Barker, “The Not-So-Simple Story Of Barack Obama's Youth,” Chicago Tribune, 3/25/07)

#7: Obama Mistakenly Received A Letter From A Company In Which He Owned Stock:

“Obama Said At Some Point In Fall 2005 He Got A Stockholder Letter. He Said He Believes It Was From AVI Or Skyterra, But He Couldn't Remember Which Company.” (Nedra Pickler, “Obama Unaware Of Investment Conflicts,” The Associated Press, 3/7/07)

According To SEC Records, SkyTerra Did Not Send Investors Its SEC Proxy Forms In Fall 2005. “The origin of the shareholder update Obama referred to remains unclear. SkyTerra, like many public companies, sends investors copies of its Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proxy forms, also known as 14As, but none were issued during the fall of 2005, according to SEC records.” (Elana Schor, “2008 And Counting: Sen. Obama Pivots After Bad Press,” The Hill, 3/8/07)

AVI Investor-Relations Director: “It Doesn’t Sound Like Anything We Would Have Sent Out.” “AVI generally sends mailings to shareholders or institutional investors that proactively request them or sign up for e-mail lists, said Michael Hubbard, AVI’s investor-relations director. ‘It doesn’t sound like anything we would have sent out,’ Hubbard said.” (Elana Schor, “2008 And Counting: Sen. Obama Pivots After Bad Press,” The Hill, 3/8/07)

#6: Obama’s Campaign Only Had “Very Attenuated” Ties To The “1984” Ad Creator:

Obama Suggested That “1984” Ad Creator Phil De Vellis Was The Equivalent Of A Contract Employee And Therefore Could Not Be Held Responsible For His Conduct. “Thursday, Obama said of de Vellis that his campaign had no way of knowing who this person was.’ ‘If I have a phone contract with Verizon and an employee of a phone company does something that you know … we're not responsible for that,’ Obama said.” (Jake Tapper and Jonathan Greenberger, “Anti-Clinton Ad Maker Lived With Obama Senate Staffer,” ABC News, 3/23/07)

De Vellis Is An Employee Of Blue State Digital, A Computer Firm Consulting For Obama. “Obama's campaign says it had no role in creating or posting the ad. But Wednesday, Democratic operative Philip de Vellis took credit for the ad. It turned out that he worked for Blue State Digital, a computer firm that is among Obama's consultants.” (Dan Morain, “Ad Creator Claimed Role In Obama Campaign,” Los Angeles Times, 3/23/07)

Joe Rospars, A Co-Founder Of Blue State Digital, Is Now Obama’s Director Of New Media. “Blue State helped design Obama's Web site, and one of the firm's founding members, Joe Rospars, took a leave from the company to work as Obama's director of new media.” (Jim Kuhnhenn, “Anti-Clinton Ad Puts Spotlight On Obama,” The Associated Press, 3/23/07)

“On Thursday, An Earlier E-Mail Surfaced In Which De Vellis Boasted To Numerous People About His Role In The Creation Of A Web Page, My.BarackObama. Com, A Site Designed By Blue State Digital.” (Dan Morain, “Ad Creator Claimed Role In Obama Campaign,” Los Angeles Times, 3/23/07)

Obama’s Press Secretary Recently Lived With De Vellis, Undermining Obama’s Previous Statements That His Campaign Had Only “Very Attenuated” Ties. “The press secretary for Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., recently lived with the creator of the scathingly satirical YouTube video ad that attacked Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., a revelation that seems to undermine the senator's claim that he and his campaign had only ‘very attenuated’ ties with the ad's creator.” (Jake Tapper and Jonathan Greenberger, “Anti-Clinton Ad Maker Lived With Obama Senate Staffer,” ABC News, 3/23/07)

#5: Obama’s Campaign Didn’t Have The “Technical Capacity” To Produce The “1984” Ad:

Obama Claims Campaign Didn’t Have The “Technical Capacity” To Create The Ad. Obama: “But it's not something that we had anything to do with or were aware of and that frankly, given what it looks like, we don't have the technical capacity to create something like that.” (CNN’s “Larry King Live,” 3/24/07)

But The Creator Admitted All It Took Was A “Sunday Afternoon” On His Mac. Phillip de Vellis: “I made the ad on a Sunday afternoon in my apartment using my personal equipment (a Mac and some software), uploaded it to YouTube, and sent links around to blogs.” (The Huffington Post, “I Made the "Vote Different" Ad,” Posted By Phil De Vellis,, Posted 3/21/07 )

#4: Obama’s Campaign Claimed His High School Friend Tried To Extort Money From Them:

“According To The Obama Campaign, [Obama’s Punahou Classmate Keith] Kakugawa Explicitly Raised The Possibility That He Could Make Up False Stories About Obama, Implying He Would Do So If The Campaign Did Not Give Him Money.” (Maurice Possley, Kirsten Scharnberg and Ray Gibson, “An Old Friend's Troublesome Return,” Chicago Tribune, 3/25/07)

Kakugawa Was “Infuriated” By The Charge And Flatly Denied It. “That allegation infuriated Kakugawa, prompting him to speak to the Tribune after repeatedly refusing to do so. ‘You must understand, I am not an extortionist,’ he said in a telephone interview from Los Angeles, where he is living out of a car with an acquaintance after being released from a California prison on March 10. ‘Listen, I'm homeless. ... I ask everyone I know for money.’” (Maurice Possley, et al, “An Old Friend's Troublesome Return,” Chicago Tribune, 3/25/07)

“Kakugawa Wouldn't Discuss His School Days With Obama Other Than To Say He Considered The Senator ‘A Brother’ And ‘Wouldn't Do A Damn Thing To Ever Hurt His Campaign.’” (Maurice Possley, et al, “An Old Friend's Troublesome Return,” Chicago Tribune, 3/25/07)

#3: Obama Places Himself In The Central Role In The Altgeld Gardens Asbestos Campaign:

Obama “Unfairly Omits Others Responsible For The Successes Of The Asbestos Campaign.” “And though most memoirs place their authors at the center of events, critics of Dreams From My Father say the book unfairly omits others responsible for the successes of the asbestos campaign, an event that Obama portrays as central to his maturation as a political leader.” (Peter Wallsten, “Obama Memoir Left Out Credits For Activism, Critics Say,” Los Angeles Times, 2/19/07)

“Obama Did Not Play The Singular Role In The Asbestos Episode.” “They say Obama did not play the singular role in the asbestos episode that he portrays in the best-selling memoir ‘Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance.’ Credit for pushing officials to deal with the cancer-causing substance, according to interviews and news accounts from that period, also goes to a well-known preexisting group at Altgeld Gardens and to a local newspaper called the Chicago Reporter. Obama does not mention either one in his book.” (Peter Wallsten, “Obama Memoir Left Out Credits For Activism, Critics Say,” Los Angeles Times, 2/19/07)

#2: Obama Had Heated Discussions With A High School Friend Named “Ray” About Racial Issues:

Although Obama Recounts “Heated Conversations About Racism” With A Character He Calls “Ray,” The Real “Ray” Says It Never Happened. “In his best-selling autobiography, ‘Dreams from My Father,’ Obama describes having heated conversations about racism with another black student, ‘Ray.’ The real Ray, Keith Kakugawa . . . said he does recall long, soulful talks with the young Obama and that his friend confided his longing and loneliness. But those talks, Kakugawa said, were not about race. ‘Not even close’ . . .” (Kirsten Scharnberg and Kim Barker, “The Not-So-Simple Story Of Barack Obama's Youth,” Chicago Tribune, 3/25/07)

Obama Did Not Participate In Discussions On Race With His Fellow Black Classmates In High School. “The handful of black students who attended Punahou School in Hawaii, for instance, say they struggled mightily with issues of race and racism there. But absent from those discussions, they say, was another student then known as Barry Obama.” (Kirsten Scharnberg and Kim Barker, “The Not-So-Simple Story Of Barack Obama's Youth,” Chicago Tribune, 3/25/07)

#1: Seeing A Photograph In Life Or Ebony Magazine Changed Obama’s Life:

The Life Magazine Article And Photograph Obama Discusses “Doesn’t Exist.” “Then there's the copy of Life magazine that Obama presents as his racial awakening at age 9. In it, he wrote, was an article and two accompanying photographs of an African-American man physically and mentally scarred by his efforts to lighten his skin. In fact, the Life article and the photographs don't exist, say the magazine's own historians.” (Kirsten Scharnberg and Kim Barker, “The Not-So-Simple Story Of Barack Obama's Youth,” Chicago Tribune, 3/25/07)

Obama Volunteered It May Have Been Ebony Magazine, But No Such Ebony Article Matched Obama’s Description. “When asked about the discrepancy, Obama said in a recent interview, ‘It might have been an Ebony or it might have been ... who knows what it was?’ (At the request of the Tribune, archivists at Ebony searched their catalogue of past articles, none of which matched what Obama recalled.)” (Kirsten Scharnberg and Kim Barker, “The Not-So-Simple Story Of Barack Obama's Youth,” Chicago Tribune, 3/25/07)