Obama Defends Jim Johnson 's Role as VP Selecter

At a press conference today, Sen. Barack Obama said he will not ask Jim Johnson to step down from his VP selection committee despite his ties to Countrywide Mortgage. Obama said he will not vet the vetters.

Obama: "These are not folks who are working for me."

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    Hmm (5.00 / 16) (#1)
    by andgarden on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 11:42:07 AM EST
    So it doesn't matter because they aren't being paid, this is only one task, and, um, you people in the media are annoying me by asking so many questions about my associates. . .

    I do work for the Girl Scouts (5.00 / 12) (#10)
    by samanthasmom on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 11:48:10 AM EST
    for which I do not get paid.  But I have to submit to a police investigation to make sure that I am not a child abuser before I can work with the girls. Even if what I am doing is standing in a room with 400 girls and 50 other adults. Of course, he should vet the people who are selecting someone who may our next VP. It's an important job, too.

    Wow... (5.00 / 3) (#15)
    by kredwyn on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 11:50:28 AM EST
    gone are the days of my mother just saying "I'll be Brownie leader" and that being it.

    At the time, I thought there should be some sort of thing requiring that Brownie Leaders take you camping.

    My mother was quite the urbane leader...no camping allowed.


    You bring back memories, Kred (5.00 / 2) (#47)
    by Cream City on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:12:00 PM EST
    of my time as a Brownie leader, taking the troop camping -- in what turned out to be a tornado. Ohhh.

    How I wished I had with me my mother's famed recipe from her years as my Scout leader.  She called it "Leader Lemonade," and it was the pitcher that we girls were not allowed to go near.  I gathered, year later, that a key ingredient was vodka. :-)


    I'm sooo stealing that, Cream! (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by suki on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:19:00 PM EST
    LOL, as a matter of fact, I think I'll make a pitcher of 'Leader Lemonade' tonight.

    I asked our Brownie leader, who (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by oculus on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:27:42 PM EST
    get anyone, including me, to help her, how she coped with all those girls.  She replied:  Valium.

    On my boy scout camping trip (none / 0) (#58)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:17:11 PM EST
    we were hit by an unseasonal hail storm and the camp site, near the foot of a hill in Yeovil (summer camp for the british scouts) was wrecked. Completely flooded. Tents were ripped up by the hail and some tents floated away.   Hundreds of us had to tread up a hill to a lodge and await evacuation.  biblical scemes of destruction.

    It turns out that almost every boy in Oxford at the time was at that camp. It was a major talking point of introduction for every one around my age.  "Ah Yeovil 84' t'was."


    I took my Scouts camping (5.00 / 0) (#136)
    by samanthasmom on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:58:48 PM EST
    in the Virgin Islands.  Would your mom have been up for that?

    probably... (none / 0) (#138)
    by kredwyn on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:00:35 PM EST
    But remember...we were Brownies...and it was the 70s.

    Same with the organization I tutor with. (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by oculus on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 11:53:13 AM EST
    My idea, actually.  

    Ahem. Unpaid work (4.00 / 4) (#63)
    by Cream City on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:21:29 PM EST
    by volunteers in this country in the nonprofit sector has been estimated as equalling, if paid, the size of the economy of the entire country of China.

    Now Obama has slammed the voluntaristic sector, essentially.  And entirely as a side note, the vast majority of volunteers?  Of course: women.  Just sayin' . . . did he never notice that at his church?  Too enthralled by the sermons to see what actually was happening all around him?  

    Of course, he knows this.  He must know this.  So he is using an excuse that just calls for jokes.


    the jokes should be everywhere (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by americanincanada on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:23:18 PM EST
    too bad Jon Stewart has OD'd on kool-aide.

    well He is a Democrat (none / 0) (#88)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:30:31 PM EST
    so the jokes won't flow quite as easily.  Jon's really out of a job now that the media are on obama's side.

    He was brilliant when he wa sthe lone wag pointing out how stupid the press was.

    Colbert, Stewart and some other brilliant media satirists are going to be out of meaning ful employment now that teh media like the Democrat.


    not Colbert (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by DandyTIger on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:41:04 PM EST
    because his satire involves pretending to be a republican, so he can still make fun of the media loving Obama. He wins either way. Wow, can we elect him.

    Remember he's a comic. (none / 0) (#105)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:41:55 PM EST
    A clever one, but it also means he's probably a manic depressive.

    The press... (none / 0) (#130)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:54:57 PM EST
    ...suddenly got not-stupid?  

    Jon will be fine and will have his show as long as he cares to do.  He may be a Democrat, but that doesn't stop him from poking fun at everyone.  There's enough stupid to last a long, long time.


    Before (none / 0) (#164)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:16:08 PM EST
    Bush he had a good show but Bush really made it possible to be a brilliant media critic.   I recall his showdown with Senator Simpson at the GOP convention.  

    Jon "Every Black Republican is in this hall today.  quick get the cameras on them."

    Simpson"You are not funny. Funny people laugh at themselves not at others. let me tell you about humour Jon..."

    Jon sad there staring at the Comic Solon's lecture with that Kitten like face he has. Kit Hitchen's was silently laughing at it and Matthews was stunned.

    That's where the Jon we love really started.  


    one of the reasons (5.00 / 4) (#17)
    by Turkana on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 11:50:37 AM EST
    i'm skeptical about his remaining the media darling. that and the fact that mccain's a straight-talking maverick, and all...

    The mumbling, obfuscation (5.00 / 4) (#32)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 11:59:01 AM EST
    and reliance on Umbrage will take it's toll on the press wags.   Obama must be half expecting them to turn on him if he's being so eliptical already.

    "Who Vill Vett the Vetters?" Barack Van Obama.


    Obama Plays Terrible Defense (5.00 / 2) (#144)
    by BDB on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:03:37 PM EST
    With any decent press coverage during the primary that would've been obvious.

    He better improve fast or he's going to lose his media darling status.


    I agree. (5.00 / 3) (#200)
    by tree on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:49:27 PM EST
    I've become somewhat detached from the outcome now, so it makes the campaign easier to analyze.

      For the past few days I wondered if perhaps Obama never would lose his media darling status. Seeing this clip makes me realize that he probably will lose that status and here's how:

     He's terribly mushy-mouthed in press conferences. His campaign will realize this now that he has to do more of them and now that they don't have "But, Clinton..." to deflect everything. So he will stop doing press conferences and press availability will drop. (Just like he stopped doing debates when the going got tough in the ABC debate.) As soon as his press availability goes down, the media will remember why they made McCain the original media darling and the pack dogs will be out in force against Obama. The media needs to be fed their stories and if they don't get fed they get vicious.  

     That's my 2 cents worth of analysis. I'll be watching to see if it holds up or is as worthless as the average pundit's analysis.


    They aren't being paid? (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by lilburro on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 11:55:07 AM EST
    They are doing this out of the goodness of their heart?  Pro bono?  What are they getting for it then?

    Also, this is the line of attack ("Attack the Strength) that Bush could probably pull off really well, but I wonder if McCain can do the same.  After all, McCain has ties to people with far worse connections to our economic collapse than Obama does.  And I don't think he has the same talent Bush does at deflecting that reality by being 'one of the people.'  


    That's the advantage (5.00 / 3) (#35)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:01:51 PM EST
    that McCain has. The GOP serves the oilgarchy. while the dems pretend to serve the working class (if only for a few primary contests).

    If Obama's not paying him.... (5.00 / 11) (#55)
    by Jerrymcl89 on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:15:33 PM EST
    ... and Countrywide is, who is his advice more likely to benefit?

    Don't forget (5.00 / 8) (#74)
    by cmugirl on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:25:08 PM EST
    Countrywide is half the story - look at Fannie Mae, which was the "biggest buyer of Countrywide's mortgages". But, what's really fun is that Johnson, along with Fannie Mae was investigated by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight's May 2006 report reported that that Fannie Mae had hidden a substantial amount of Johnson's 1998 compensation from the public, reporting that it was between $6 million and $7 million when it fact it was $21 million.

    heh (none / 0) (#70)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:24:31 PM EST
    Press conference #1 on the subject (5.00 / 3) (#122)
    by ruffian on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:50:05 PM EST
    did not put it too bed.  James Johnson will be under the bus by the end of the week, if not the day.

    Hmm (5.00 / 2) (#162)
    by pcronin on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:12:15 PM EST
    Well at least Obama is consistent. He didn't want scrutiny as a Dem nominee candidate ... now he rejects it as the super-delegate-DNC-selected presumptive nominee. The man has real grit.

    And, since he voted against any rate cap on credit cards - giving a big win to the financial industry [one of his largest corp contributors] and he's now dancing with the one what brung him, well he's showing loyalty too.

    Three admirable qualities... consistency, grit and loyalty. I'm Wowed!
     -- peniel


    why is the VP select committee even public? (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 11:43:26 AM EST

    cause... (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by kredwyn on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 11:46:09 AM EST
    I don't know...Cheney was headlines with his involvement.

    The funniest selection ever (5.00 / 5) (#9)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 11:47:59 AM EST
    "What about ME George?"

    or... (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Turkana on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 11:52:43 AM EST
    you can do the photo ops, while i make the policy. wouldn't want you to have to learn to work.

    lets hope Obama (5.00 / 0) (#150)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:07:38 PM EST
    doesnt follow Ws lead and pick Johnson.

    I think it was more like (none / 0) (#141)
    by ruffian on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:01:19 PM EST
    Dick - heh, heh, I'm sick of looking at all these guys.  You just do it.

    Because otherwise, we wouldn't (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by zfran on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 11:46:29 AM EST
    know someone as prominent as Caroline Kennedy is doing this, so all must be disclosed! He wants us to know this. Also, as I recall, the committee itself is not ever secretive.

    Also: Caroline Kennedy is a woman! (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by catfish on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 11:52:53 AM EST
    Did he disclose that? Well, she is.

    So we will know who to ask about (5.00 / 1) (#143)
    by ruffian on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:02:40 PM EST
    why Hillary wasn't chosen.  Obama sure does not want to be bothered with that question if he couldn't even handle this one gracefully.

    that makes no sense... (5.00 / 7) (#3)
    by kredwyn on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 11:44:45 AM EST
    The guy is an advisor...he's connected to the campaign...and he's doing a pretty big job for that campaign.

    It gets (5.00 / 6) (#5)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 11:45:30 AM EST
    back to judgement again. Why pick someone like this to be on your team?

    Tangental is a funny word to use. (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 11:53:37 AM EST
    Do you think anyone in the electorate will even know what that means?

    Tangental Associations Commitee to Select the Vice President:

    Jim Johnson
    Caroline Kennedy

    even though I want him to win in November he's making me smirk.


    What judgment? Lack of judgment is the (5.00 / 4) (#50)
    by PssttCmere08 on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:12:42 PM EST
    one area obama remains consistent in.  

    Actually, he probably would not have (5.00 / 3) (#69)
    by PssttCmere08 on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:24:30 PM EST
    even been on this committee if Rezko hadn't been otherwise engaged.... :)

    Hmm, (5.00 / 7) (#4)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 11:44:48 AM EST
    this is a big mistake. Obama's associate problems are going to be his downfall. He can't seem to let anyone go until the poll numbers start dropping.

    You can trap on this stuff can't you? (5.00 / 4) (#8)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 11:47:02 AM EST
    He'll "Umbrage" his way out of challenges and then he buckles to pressure once the case has been made.

    Is he disapointed at the press today?


    "This is not the Jim Johnson I knew." (5.00 / 13) (#11)
    by otherlisa on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 11:48:24 AM EST
    He's close to having a greatest hits CD. (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:05:05 PM EST

    if he's not acreful with his solipcism he'll get questions like this...

    "Senator Obama will you select Democratic Governor Umbrage as your VP?"

    "Are you disappointed with Jim Johnson sir?"

    "Is this the caroline Kennedy you thought you knew?"


    "I knew Caroline Kennedy, senator -- (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by Cream City on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:23:29 PM EST
    and you, sir, are no Caroline Kennedy."  McCain is working on making that like work in a debate, you bet.

    "No one has done more (5.00 / 11) (#53)
    by Cream City on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:13:47 PM EST
    than Jim Johnson for our friends in the beleaguered mortage loan industry"?  Think it will fly?

    just did a spit take with the leader lemonade (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by DandyTIger on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:44:05 PM EST
    on these jokes. Now I've got to really clean up my keyboard.

    It's a problem (5.00 / 9) (#14)
    by andgarden on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 11:49:59 AM EST
    I can probably name four or five organizations off the top of my head that he either took too long to disassociate himself from or never bothered to.

    Rev. Meeks is the newest video star being (5.00 / 2) (#52)
    by PssttCmere08 on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:13:19 PM EST
    trotted out...

    Other than FOX news who is reporting (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by bjorn on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 11:48:34 AM EST
    this story?  It seems like the press doesn't care much about who these people are...I guess they aren't going to care until Obama starts picking cabinet people and most importantly the VP.  BTW, I agree with a previous post by BTD (i think) that when Obama does pick his VP and it is not Clinton, it will re-open wounds that may have been starting to heal a little.

    I am only 1 of 18 million (5.00 / 10) (#13)
    by zfran on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 11:49:46 AM EST
    who is not healed, nor am I in the process of healing.

    I am in the process (5.00 / 6) (#18)
    by bjorn on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 11:51:17 AM EST
    but have not made a lot of progress yet.

    I am not healed (5.00 / 12) (#26)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 11:53:39 AM EST
    because I was never hurt to begin with.  

    What I'm experiencing isn't hurt feelings.


    I don't need to be healed (5.00 / 4) (#77)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:26:10 PM EST
    I wasn't sick or broken as far as my preference for president to begin with.

    But under the NEW Deomocratic Party Rulz it is the voters who need to fixed.  


    The leading paper in my state (5.00 / 3) (#76)
    by Cream City on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:25:54 PM EST
    had this story this morning, with a big headline.  Inside the first section -- but then, the front page was dominated by our natural disaster, as when a lake disappears within minutes, and entire houses are swept away, it does make for cool photos.

    But still, the paper found plentiful room for this story, and in the state that was his big win, Wisconsin.  Oh, btw, it is a Republican paper.


    And the paper had endorsed Obama (5.00 / 4) (#78)
    by Cream City on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:26:41 PM EST
    in the primary here.  There 'tis.  Told ya so. :-)

    Everyone is reporting (5.00 / 8) (#117)
    by Andy08 on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:47:29 PM EST
    Politico,  ABC News Jake Tapper (great one)

    and even his media cocoon MSNBC:

    Obama, meanwhile, seems to have his own problem with veep vetter Jim Johnson, who reportedly received preferential loans from subprime lender Countrywide. The Obama camp responded by blowing off the story, according to Time. "This is an overblown story about what appear to be completely above-board transactions." Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor also shot back, "It's the height of hypocrisy for the McCain campaign to try and make this an issue when John Green, one of John McCain's top advisors, lobbied for Ameriquest, which was one of the nation's largest subprime lenders and a key player in the mortgage crisis." But these responses mask what seems to be a problem for the campaign. How much more is here with Johnson? As the housing crisis percolates in the background, Johnson was involved with many of the players involved in this so-called crisis. So even if he has committed no wrongdoing, he's at a minimum connected to folks who did questionable things. And then there is his role he played on some corporate boards involving executive compensation. But there's a larger point the GOP will hit Obama with on this one: If Obama claims he's going to clean house in DC of the folks who conduct business the "old way," then why is he doing business with a guy like Johnson who -- some might argue -- is the poster child of the old way to do business in DC. If there's a drip, drip on Johnson, can Obama afford to keep him in this high profile role? Will some potential veep candidates who Johnson could vet come out publicly against some of the things Johnson practiced in corporate America? This story's not going away...

    Not a true Media Darling test. (5.00 / 4) (#132)
    by Fabian on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:55:26 PM EST
    But it qualifies as at least a pop quiz.

    ""It's the height of hypocrisy (5.00 / 1) (#181)
    by FemB4dem on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:31:02 PM EST
    for the McCain camp to try and make this an issue ..."  

    Doesn't Obama get it?  He's selling himself as Mr. Nu Politics -- it is not a response to say "McCain does it too," at least not a good response.

    Wow, he looks terrible in this clip.  I guess the Saturday golf game wasn't relaxing.


    Politico is reporting it - that's who. (none / 0) (#167)
    by nulee on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:18:27 PM EST
    Wha? Bitter fossil here, somewhat hard of healing (none / 0) (#197)
    by Ellie on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:48:43 PM EST
    This carcass is accepting no further labels, my @ss is plastered with enough silliness as it is.

    The wounded / healing analyses are ridiculous.


    How (5.00 / 6) (#16)
    by Emma on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 11:50:34 AM EST
    are they NOT working for him?  That makes no sense.

    If he will not "vet the vetters" (5.00 / 4) (#24)
    by zfran on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 11:53:31 AM EST
    and on one will "vet" him, there's trouble ahead!

    " Who Will Vet the Vetters?" Obama (5.00 / 0) (#28)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 11:55:26 AM EST
    Almost sounds like Dutch to me.  Or Plato.

    BO begins to ascend to meta levels (5.00 / 7) (#57)
    by Cream City on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:16:18 PM EST
    in all this, somehow.  The headline on the google news page is "No Vetting the Vetters."  Now, if BO could only add a veteran or a veterinarian -- or, heck a veteran veterinarian! -- to the committee, the headlines would reach levels of alliterative inanity as yet unseen.

    Perhaps, (5.00 / 3) (#82)
    by suisser on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:28:13 PM EST
    No vetting of the veteran, vegetarian, vegan, veternarian, VP vetters, who valiantly verify, VP virility and veracity?

    yea verily (5.00 / 1) (#186)
    by kredwyn on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:37:55 PM EST
    all of vis (5.00 / 0) (#191)
    by ccpup on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:44:03 PM EST
    is giving me a veadache.



    Because being assigned to perform (5.00 / 5) (#29)
    by nycstray on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 11:55:32 AM EST
    a select task is not considered working?

    Wow, Johnson and Kennedy (5.00 / 9) (#30)
    by Stellaaa on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 11:55:36 AM EST
    change that "I" believe in.  

    Stellaaaa, you never disappoint! (none / 0) (#31)
    by zfran on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 11:58:18 AM EST

    So much for expecting... (5.00 / 4) (#33)
    by ineedalife on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:00:33 PM EST
    competence and non-corruption in an Obama administration. Or accountability for the eff-ups of the last several years.

    This is a big nod-and-wink to all the scoundrels out there.

    Does this sound like something (5.00 / 1) (#153)
    by miriam on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:08:06 PM EST
    we've been through before?  Hint: "You're doin' a heck of a job, Brownie."

    So much for change.  Same old, same old.....


    "...not folks who are working for me." (5.00 / 4) (#34)
    by cmugirl on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:01:06 PM EST
    Really?  Who are they working for, then?

    More sound judgment brought to you by the gang that couldn't shoot straight.

    (for those who watch NCIS - how 'bout the nickname "Probie")?

    They're waiting for the ones... (5.00 / 1) (#121)
    by Berkshireblue on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:49:45 PM EST
    they're working for until they realize they are the ones they've been waiting for and so they're working for themselves, not Obama...see?

    Smart for Obama (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by diogenes on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:04:49 PM EST
    Only picking people who are unconnected to anyone potentially scandalous is a sure way to avoid picking competent people.  If Obama did such a stupid thing then he'd be decried as naive.
    The only reason to not use Johnson is that he vetted Ferraro, and we know how that turned out.

    i think it's his (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:07:49 PM EST
    press handling techniques that are the subject here.  I don't really care who he has pick his VP.

    What are the options anyway?

    Sebelius, McCaskill, Rendell, Clinton, Webb, Warner.

    that's about it really.... you could flip a coin.


    Here's the latest on his VP picks (none / 0) (#95)
    by PssttCmere08 on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:34:50 PM EST
    being considered:



    Eh. Mozilo is more (5.00 / 0) (#64)
    by liminal on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:22:31 PM EST
    than "potentially scandalous."  He's basically the Ken Lay-style posterboy for the subprime meltdown, in my opinion.  He's potentially a great big symbol of all that was wrong with the housing-bubble economy and the lax  standards and predatory lending practices that characterizes the golden age of granite countertops (contretemps) and stainless steel appliances.

    I know-As soon as I heard this, (none / 0) (#126)
    by BarnBabe on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:52:40 PM EST
    my immediate thought was, I sure hope he didn't get the loan for Obama. I am not for him, but all he needs is a few more guilt by association and the quicksand will pull him under. Then even Hillary can't save him.  

    Agree. (none / 0) (#54)
    by brodie on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:15:27 PM EST
    Vetting vetters sounds ridiculous.  If he ends up being selected for a cabinet position, then let the vetter be vetted.  

    I'll even give the guy a break on Ferraro, since that dicey matter involved her spouse and not the candidate.

    And he did help Kerry pick Edwards, though I'm not sure if he might have argued for Gephardt.

    A better outcome anyway than the non-Jim Johnson vetting process in 2000 when Gore's non-vetted VP vetting team -- Al, Tipper and Karenna -- gave us Joey Lieberman ...


    he boraoched the subject of vetting vetters. (5.00 / 3) (#65)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:22:31 PM EST
    They were just asking about a guy who is friendly with a Mortgage CEO who Obama has recently named and shamed.

    Obama sidetracked into his alliterative nonsense all by himself.


    It's your associates stupid.... (5.00 / 9) (#38)
    by Mrwirez on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:05:56 PM EST
    Sen. John McCain, the Republican nominee-in-waiting, jumped in....

    "There is nothing 'overblown and irrelevant' about millions of Americans facing foreclosure and Barack Obama entrusting his most important decision as a presidential candidate to a man who has accepted millions in special loans from a subprime mortgage lender," said Tucker Bounds, a spokesman for the Republican presidential contender.

    Obama's every move is under the microscope. This will be ten times what the Clinton's threw at him. I'm sure Bill and Hill could have really damaged Obama, but it would have hurt the party overall, and any future Clinton plans or their own legacy.

    Mais oui. (5.00 / 7) (#44)
    by Fabian on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:10:31 PM EST
    It was obvious to me that Clinton could have easily attacked Obama ruthlessly and won, but at a considerable cost to her candidacy and party and potentially the GE.  

    Unfortunately (5.00 / 9) (#115)
    by tree on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:45:55 PM EST
    the same considerations didn't stop Obama. He will reap what he has sown.

    No, WE will reap (5.00 / 4) (#160)
    by miriam on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:10:53 PM EST
    what the media, the DNC, and the entranced supporters have sown.

    I guess then (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by shoulin4 on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:09:50 PM EST
    a. Obama now has to fire Johnson, and in turn hire vetters to vet the vetters of the vetters, and

    b. The Democratic Party has to excommunicate Johnson, since apparently they are just as guilty of associating with "shady characters" as Obama is. I expect the whole Democratic Party to be apologizing on C-SPAN for accepting Johnson in their party for years and for not kicking him out.

    c. Then, he can have a VP vetting process that will be spotty at best, costly, and probably inefficient, but at least he'll be free of Countrywide fatcats.

    Honestly, what politician is squeaky clean of shady characters? Furthermore, when has Obama claimed that he is, in fact, completely squeaky clean of relationships that some may find offensive, because if he has proclaimed that, then that was a big mistake on his part. At least Johnson isn't being paid to do what he's doing. Ah well, sucks for Obama.

    Missing the point (5.00 / 8) (#61)
    by Step Beyond on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:20:11 PM EST
    If there is a perception that you have a drinking problem, whether or not you do, you have to be careful not to get your picture taken while drinking. It's not fair, but you need to not further perceptions that already exist.

    If there is a perception that you have poor judgment regarding your associates you need to be extra careful about your choices in associates.


    especially if (5.00 / 5) (#72)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:24:47 PM EST
    it's very obvious that teh GOP are going to base the election around the flashing NEON sign that says:



    Exactly (5.00 / 4) (#93)
    by Step Beyond on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:34:05 PM EST
    His judgment on associates and his lack of experience (which this also plays into) are points they couldn't signal more clearly are the means by which they will attack.

    IMO, (none / 0) (#101)
    by shoulin4 on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:39:52 PM EST
    I don't think this particular thing plays to his lack of experience, because Jonhson has been around and vetting within the Democratic party for quite some time, and is well trusted within the community. I'd think by choosing him as VP vetter, it makes up for one tiny iota of Obama's lack of experience.

    Now, does this play into the shady associations bit? Yes, but I'm saying that I highly doubt that it'd be a problem if the mortgage crisis weren't screwing everyone over, precisely because Johnson is a household name in the Dem party as far as VP vetting is concerned.


    He's made Johnson... (5.00 / 0) (#111)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:44:01 PM EST
    ...look shady.  

    That's what I find funny.


    Exactly! (none / 0) (#174)
    by shoulin4 on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:23:02 PM EST
    Johnson wasn't shady until this unfortunate gaffe.

    Here's how it plays. (5.00 / 1) (#133)
    by Step Beyond on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:56:48 PM EST
    Obama is naive. He talks of change, yet sticks with the status quo - Johnson. And with his lack of experience and naivete in selecting associates he is allowing this corrupt individual say in the most important decision of his candidacy. If he were more experienced he would have given this position the thought and attention it deserves instead of going with someone who he obviously doesn't really know and didn't take the time to know.

    Tah Dah! Of course it can be condensed and simplified for the masses - Obama simply doesn't have the experience of picking staff for important positions to understand the importance of vetting those individuals.

    For the General Election, no one cares about Johnson's experience with the Dems. Nor do they know him (not a household name). You don't play to loyal party members for the general. Plus for a politician of "change" the excuse of using someone who is usually used is not a wise choice.


    If he's perceived, though (none / 0) (#173)
    by shoulin4 on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:22:17 PM EST
    as having no experience, then wouldn't he try to round that out with someone who is experienced? If people don't think he's experienced, it really wouldn;t help him at all if he chose somebody who people think also doesn't have experience.

    Also, I said household name in the Democratic party, as in the elected officials, not the masses.

    Here's another point: Johnson wasn't corrupt until he was associated with Obama and made corrupt by McCain. That's all I'm saying by my original post (so many posts ago . . .)

    Plus, it seems that this position of VP vetter is being glorified to insane proportions by suggesting (not you, just any person in general) that Obama's entire credibility is at stake. Obama is still the person who's going to choose the VP, all the vetter is doing is picking out a list of contenders, getting the info on all of them, and perhaps noting possible speed bumps.


    He's not the only one with experience is he? (5.00 / 3) (#193)
    by Step Beyond on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:46:22 PM EST
    But Johnson isn't the only headhunter out there. Surely others have experience vetting individuals and researching for conflicts of interest.

    So why go with someone who has a glaring vulnerability (close friend of the person who you have declared responsible for the mortgage meltdown)? McCain didn't create Obama's associate problem nor did he make Obama's statements against Countrywide. Obama created this situation, McCain is just exploiting it.

    The problem isn't whether Johnson is corrupt or not. It's perception. It's always perception.

    The Sun

    "That reeks most high," a public relations specialist and vocal critic of Mr. Mozilo, Bonnie Russell of Del Mar, Calif., said. "Where's the 'change to believe in' if they're playing the same old game using the same old players?"
    Since leaving Fannie Mae, Mr. Johnson has lavished praise on Mr. Mozilo's performance, calling it "remarkably impressive " in a 2003 interview with BusinessWeek. "By strengthening servicing in good times, Countrywide has done a brilliant job of insulating itself for the down cycle," Mr. Johnson told Fortune in 2003.

    Obama is relying on the judgment of someone who thought Mozilo was doing a great job in the mortgage business. If Mozilo didn't do a great job (which Obama has been very clear he didn't) how does he trust someone who thought Mozilo was? And how do you sell that to the public?


    well then, (none / 0) (#87)
    by shoulin4 on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:29:58 PM EST
    too bad for BO, although McCain also has a shady association to consider: George W. Bush

    McCain can't pretend that he has no ties with Bush, and Bush hate is all the rage this year.


    And that's BO's campaign neon sign. (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:32:46 PM EST

    Well, if it comes down to that, (none / 0) (#96)
    by shoulin4 on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:35:23 PM EST
    I think Bush hate slightly exceeds Wall Street hate at the moment. We'll see how it goes down soon enough.

    Another BO handle on McCain (none / 0) (#204)
    by laurie on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:54:24 PM EST
    I'm well aware of (none / 0) (#81)
    by shoulin4 on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:28:00 PM EST
    how Obama is perceived, but what I'm not getting is the non-existent outrage over Jim Johnson years ago by anyone in the Democratic party (of course the Republicans would cry outrage). Of course, we didn't have the mortgage crisis then that we have now, but apparently this guys has been trusted and used in the Dem party for years.

    It truly sucks for Obama b/c there is a mortgage crisis and people will now be looking to Johnson to blame. So, who's he going to hire now for VP vetter? Ah, when life sucks, it really sucks.


    That is key isn't it, the mortgage crisis (5.00 / 6) (#125)
    by caseyOR on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:52:33 PM EST
    Jim Johnson may have been a perfectly okay choice in years past, but things change.  Given that millions of Americans are losing their homes and Countrywide and Mozilo (sp?) are major bad guys in that mess, Johnson is not an okay choice this year.

    My question is this- Why doesn't Obama see these problems and deal with them before they blow-up in his face? Why didn't he see that Wright, Rezko, Ayers, etc. could be problems and have a strategy to defuse them before they became an issue?

    Why didn't Sen. Obama's big-time political advisors notice that this year, given the circumstances we face today,  the guy with the questionable connection to Countrywide was not  the go to guy? Why is this campaign practically gift wrapping talking points for McCain?


    Honestly, caseyOR, (none / 0) (#156)
    by shoulin4 on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:08:23 PM EST
    I don't know. I can't answer that, I'm not him. My only guess about Johnson is that he was using the "experienced" guy's services, which apparently have been well received in the Dem party

     About Wright, well, he handled that whole thing badly, and that was his fault, but to his credit, Wright had been covered already in January (or earlier, I don't remember exactly when), and since he was no threat, and not a frontrunner at that time, it appeared that the issue had been successfully dropped. I don't think anyone could've predicted how far the media would've taken Wright, right down to analyzing his sermons (wtf?) anymore than John McCain could have predicted that he'd have to drop Hagee's support/endorsement because of the media and YouTube.

    About Ayers, I'd guess that he thought that people would figure that Ayers had been properly "re-educated" enough that he is no longer a threat to society. Obama probably saw the school reform accomplishments in Ayers more than what he did in the 60s, especially since BO was only a kid in the 60s. He probably thought that that particular argument would be received much in the same way as the one where McCain criticized Obama for not serving in the military, as he was a kid during Nam and the draft was over when graduated high school.

    Rezko was actually a mistake that he had admitted to, I don't pretend to even guess about this one.

    Whew, to make my long story short, I don't really know why, I can only speculate. Though, at the end of the day, these are the kinds of things the Obama really needs to watch himself for. Most of this stuff was done in the past, and he can't change that, he can only gain trust, forgiveness, and acceptance.


    Don't expect you to answer for Obama, Shoulin4 (5.00 / 5) (#168)
    by caseyOR on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:19:41 PM EST
    A continuing frustration of mine with Obama's campaign is their inability or refusal or whatever, to see the potential pitfalls and prepare to defuse them. I am not a big-time political operative, just a lifelong Democrat who pays attention, and I could have told Obama a year ago that these things would be problematic. Demanding that people stop questioning his associations is probably not going to be successful and just leaves him open to more questions and greater coverage of these problems.

    That, (5.00 / 0) (#178)
    by shoulin4 on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:27:44 PM EST
    my friend has been his biggest problem. Until he finds a way to solve it, he's SOL.

    Anyone who runs for office (5.00 / 1) (#176)
    by eleanora on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:25:54 PM EST
    is going to run up against this stuff. Half the people I know have something to hide, and the rest have just hidden it so well that I don't know about it. Senator Obama's big challenge is that he's very new to the national scene, so he doesn't have a long history to draw on with the voters. So the press will pick up on every little thing and blow it out of proportion, and the voting public won't necessarily know to discount it.

    I don't think having this guy around makes Obama a bad person or is a sign of anything wrong, but I do hope he learns to handle this stuff better. The press and the Rs will play gotcha with him eventually, so he needs a better response :)


    I agree. (5.00 / 1) (#179)
    by shoulin4 on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:28:44 PM EST
    Short, simple, and to the point.

    So could he have said: (none / 0) (#114)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:45:06 PM EST
    "Johnson is a trusted member of the party.  Next question Tim."

    Eh, (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by shoulin4 on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:52:46 PM EST
    Yes and no. He could've explained that he was a trusted member of the party, and at the same time that BO's not taking any contributions from him, that he's only trusting him to do what he's done for the Dems for years, his links to Countrywide aside. Or something or other. He definitely could have "defended" Johnson alot better. But it's too late for that. He already said what he said and now he's going to have to live with it. Sucks for him.

    see you are explaining it. (5.00 / 0) (#152)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:08:03 PM EST
    you lose.  You don't want footage of him mumbling and rambling and making ordinary processes look shady or complex.

    But, (none / 0) (#159)
    by shoulin4 on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:10:40 PM EST
    you also don't want footage of him appearing that he dodges questions, hence the yes and no thing. It's a hard dance that he desperately needs to learn, and quickly.

    That's what a track record is for. (5.00 / 0) (#171)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:21:23 PM EST
    The training outsourced to a long distinguished career.

    I guess (none / 0) (#177)
    by shoulin4 on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:26:02 PM EST
    he's just SOL, then huh? He'll have to make due with what he's got, and simply set a precedent and stick to it. If he's going to explain, then explain consistently, logically, and clearly. If he's going to be short and to the point, make it consistent. It's when he does both and stumbles that makes people not trust what he's saying in the first place.

    Let me just say (5.00 / 0) (#183)
    by shoulin4 on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:34:02 PM EST
    how much I love this site and enjoying discussing and debating these issues. I'm not being sarcastic, either, I love a good (civil) debate.

    But, I must retire, so, Nimen, Zai Jian. Tian Hao.


    New Politics (5.00 / 3) (#184)
    by FemB4dem on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:37:28 PM EST
    "Honestly, what politician is squeaky clean of shady characters?"

    When your biggest, indeed pretty much only, reason for being president is no more politics as usual, you d*amn well better hold yourself to a higher standard.  Don't you get it?  He has no resume -- his selling point is that he's squeaky clean.  That's what all those voters in the contests before Wright bought into.  After that, he lost in the remaining contests by 600,000 votes.  See a connection?


    I think it is blindingly obvious (none / 0) (#79)
    by Mrwirez on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:26:52 PM EST
    who the VP should be... Imho, any other pick would be political suicide. The VP, candidate had about 1,926 or so pledged delegates of her own. I think Obama's VP search is smoke and mirrors. I think Hillary will at least be asked publicly...... who knows if she really wants it.....

    While obvious, (none / 0) (#92)
    by shoulin4 on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:33:51 PM EST
    Obama should probably at least attempt to go through a process, so that he doesn't appear that he just chooses things on a whim. She is on his list, and no one has said that he will not ask her . . . of course, no one has said that he will ask her . . . I'd prefer that he at the very least go through a process, to make sure everything is checked, and if something comes up that may become problematic that he has some inkling of a clue of how to handle it. Otherwise, if something should come up, and he's unprepared, the exact same thing that happened in this video will happen again in the future and it will only help John McCain.

    Shoulin4.... (none / 0) (#106)
    by Mrwirez on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:41:59 PM EST
    I see you removed your signature......

    I didn't do it on purpose (none / 0) (#113)
    by shoulin4 on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:44:54 PM EST
    I just noticed that it was gone myself.

    damn computer . . .

    Well, if you want to see it, here it is:

    I'm a woman and I'm black, so who should I vote for?

    . . . that's basically it.


    They are not working (5.00 / 5) (#45)
    by frankly0 on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:11:17 PM EST
    for him, but they are selecting his pick for VP -- as if their biases aren't going to come into play on that crucial decision?


    Why doesn't he just say that it doesn't matter because "Johnson" begins with a "J", followed by an "O", or something equally compelling?

    To steal from Corrente... (5.00 / 7) (#46)
    by Oje on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:11:24 PM EST
    This is a WORM (What Obama Really Meant):

    "The VP selection committee has been named by the people with real power behind my campaign. The committee answers to them, not me."

    Is Obama going to be another figurehead presidency? All symbolism, no content? A decider who shirks responsibility onto the knowledgeable court running the government behind the curtains? What a quote.

    Future line: (5.00 / 4) (#116)
    by tree on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:47:26 PM EST
    "This is not the (Obama) Administration I knew."

    He has done this repeatedly (5.00 / 3) (#147)
    by kimsaw on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:04:25 PM EST
    he never, ever takes responsibility for what his campaign or surrogates do. He just dusts his shoulders off, fist bumps with his wife, and let's not forget that cheek scratching at the mention of Clinton's name. People will vote for him cause he soooo coool. Yes, I'm gagging.

    He really does think Americans aren't paying close attention and unfortunately that says more about us than him. He offers they're not working for him, they're just volunteering to vet potential VPs, the second most important job in the United States and he gives it to the subprime guy and President Kennedy's daughter. Did these players call him up and say I know you don't have time looking for a VP so why don't I start vetting some for you? What are the qualification of these people besides name recognition and big bucks , and corporate connections? Geez- this is such a new way of doing things I can hardly contain myself.


    The problem with delegation (5.00 / 1) (#149)
    by BarnBabe on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:07:19 PM EST
    You need to follow up on what they are doing. Nixon, Reagan, and GW. All with delegators getting in trouble.

    He needs a better response team (5.00 / 3) (#48)
    by dianem on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:12:19 PM EST
    Every time he opens his mouth to "defend" somebody in his campaign, he loses an opportunity to put forward a positive message. For the rest of the election, the right will be working to keep him in defensive mode. Obama's people need to set up response team, where there are people who exist to counter negatives and the candidate simply promotes his candidacy. If things get really serious, Obama himself might have to step forward to resolve things, but he can't be responding to every criticism.

    This is the key that I see -- (5.00 / 2) (#89)
    by Cream City on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:31:11 PM EST
    that he already was not, as someone said so well, "ready on Day One."  Not even on Day One of this new and crucial phase of the campaign, which apparently will be spent in nonstop defensive mode.    

    So it does not instill confidence in me that he would be ready on January 21, 2009.  But if he can't get out of defensive mode, he'll be back to being only a bored junior Senator then, anyway.


    He was saying at the end (none / 0) (#128)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:52:51 PM EST
    that Johnsons role was discrete and limited.   Why not just say that Johnson was a cool cat.

    He could have just said something like (5.00 / 6) (#51)
    by andgarden on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:13:00 PM EST
    "At the end of the day the VP nom is my choice. This committee is going to give me advice that I can either accept or reject."

    He likes the sound of his own voice too much (5.00 / 7) (#60)
    by americanincanada on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:20:00 PM EST
    to say something that simple.

    The more he talks though, the less sense he makes and the more everything he says sounds shady.

    Yikes...what a disaster for the party.


    making it sound shadier than it is. (5.00 / 0) (#75)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:25:39 PM EST
    yes.  That's what he does.

    A double ding. (5.00 / 7) (#62)
    by Fabian on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:20:39 PM EST
    Obama weakness #1

    Too easily baited.  (Temper, temper!)

    Obama weakness #2

    Poor extemporaneous speaking skills.

    Now, if you do have a tendency to over react, being able to speak on the fly without putting your foot in your mouth may save you.  But if you do tend to speak first and think after, you might want to practice bland noncommittal answers that you won't have to have WORM'd later.

    The issue.
    Then the gaffe.
    Then dealing with the issue and the gaffe.

    End result?  Every step in the process makes it more likely that yet another news cycle will be occupied with negative coverage.

    Get the popcorn! (5.00 / 2) (#83)
    by cmugirl on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:28:18 PM EST
    Obama weakness #1

    Too easily baited.  (Temper, temper!)

    Obama weakness #2

    Poor extemporaneous speaking skills.

    This should be tremendously funny then, because McCain is the same.  If Republican handlers can get McCain to stay calm in a debate and rile Obama, I can't even begin to imagine the 527 soundbites and soon-to-be WORMS that will come out of his mouth!


    Oh, yes. (5.00 / 3) (#103)
    by Fabian on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:41:09 PM EST
    I think the first debate will either be very tense or a complete blowout for one or both of them.

    McCain has a temper, but he has more practice in controlling it.  Obama's best bet is to go the GWB route and get a message and stay on it.  I don't have much faith in Obama's ability to master both himself and the issues well enough to go ex temp in a debate.


    Edwards-Cheney debate (5.00 / 2) (#140)
    by BarnBabe on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:01:07 PM EST
    Before the debate everyone was saying Edwards would wipe Cheney's across the boards because Edwards was a good speaker. Unfortunately, when they got together, Cheney had a few good barbs that Edwards, who was nervous, did not have an answer for. Like when Cheney said he had never met Edwards. Edwards should have punched back with yes you have. We sat next to each other at a prayer luncheon and other times. But instead, he did not answer back until after the debate. Then he said his wife reminded him of the times.

    Which shows, just because you have good speaking abilities when prepared does not mean you can handle those 'gotca' moments.  


    To be fair (none / 0) (#148)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:05:55 PM EST
    the moderator sand bagged Edwards and the press played along afterwards.   Screaming I"I have met you I have met you you liar" would have looked insane.

    "get a message and stay on it" (5.00 / 1) (#170)
    by sj on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:20:40 PM EST
    Too late for that, I think.  In the case of GWB it was a skill he'd mastered long since.  Also, he cares not a whit how foolish he sounds.

    On the other hand Obama's promo was his "eloquence".  Played that card a little hard for me, though.  I was all set to be inspired and instead walked away thinking "that's it? You're scolding me?"  There's going to be more like me, I'm afraid.


    Is there something for Pres candidates (5.00 / 2) (#104)
    by oculus on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:41:16 PM EST
    similar to Bull Durham on how rookie pitchers should talk to the media?

    Lololol, perfect! (5.00 / 2) (#154)
    by eleanora on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:08:16 PM EST
    "You're gonna have to learn your clichés. You're gonna have to study them, you're gonna have to know them. They're your friends. Write this down: "We gotta play it one day at a time."

    That movie is such a good metaphor for this campaign--Obama as Nuke LaLouche, the rookie pitcher with the golden arm; Hillary as Crash Davis, the seasoned pro whose record-breaking season goes unreported; and the press is the voodoo guy with the chicken leg charm. McCain can be the coach who hollers about lollygaggers. Can't figure out who Annie is though--the voters?


    Annie=DNC, Teddy Kennedy, (5.00 / 3) (#175)
    by oculus on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:23:17 PM EST
    John Kerry, and the TV pundits, all picking this year's rookie to encourage.  

    Now you're getting my hopes (5.00 / 1) (#190)
    by eleanora on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:41:30 PM EST
    up again, cause Annie ended up with Crash ;)

    "Sometimes you win, (5.00 / 3) (#158)
    by samanthasmom on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:09:52 PM EST
    sometimes you lose, and sometimes it rains."

    this wouldnt bother (5.00 / 2) (#73)
    by Edgar08 on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:24:50 PM EST
    me if it wasn't for the tireless and obsessive efforts of those movement folks who made it so crystal clear to me how wrong I was not to let something like this bother me.

    Some of this I will let myself enjoy.

    An abysmal performance ... (5.00 / 2) (#84)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:29:06 PM EST
    He really needs to learn to sharpen his responses.

    He sounds like Mumbles from Dicky Tracy reading Henry James.

    And where's the vaunted judgment?

    I was feeling better about supporting Obama yesterday, and then this ...


    Obama-speak reminds me of (5.00 / 8) (#85)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:29:26 PM EST
    Pinocchio from Shrek 3, where Pinocchio sez:

    i dont know where he's not.. it wouldn't be inaccurate to assume that i couldn't exactly not say that that isn't partially incorrect.. on the contrary i'm possibly more or less not definitely rejecting the idea that in no way any amount of uncertainty that i undeniably do or do not know where he shouldnt probably be if that indeed wasnt where he isn't even if he wasn't where i knew he was... etc.

    That's the Iraq policy. (5.00 / 4) (#94)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:34:06 PM EST
    It would be irresponsible to inaccuratly and precipitously comment on the speculation of the deployemnt of residual...

    Not smart at all (5.00 / 0) (#86)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:29:45 PM EST
    Very Bushesque.

    Here is a beauty from youtube (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by Mrwirez on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:32:14 PM EST
    about Jim Johnson from Axelrod himself.... Olberman as well as Axelrod are creeps.


    Speaking of KO...he recently gave the (5.00 / 3) (#98)
    by PssttCmere08 on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:38:13 PM EST
    bronze Worst Person award to the AP because they deigned to say obama's experience in foreign policy is thin....My gawd, does the truth hurt or what?

    Vetting the vetters (5.00 / 8) (#100)
    by zebedee on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:39:48 PM EST
    Apart from the silly comment about Johnson no working for him, his statement about not vetting the vetters is completely illogical. Like the police should not themselves be policed or prosecutors ever prosecuted? It doesn't matter if there's anything dubious about someone who can skew the selection of someone who is a heartbeat from the presidency??

    Generally, the vetters ARE the vetters because... (5.00 / 4) (#157)
    by Berkshireblue on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:09:18 PM EST
    they are seen as beyond reproach. Otherwise their vetting and thus the choices are tainted. Why have vetters if they themselves couldn't survivie vetting because of problematic ties and influences that will affect the process. Logically it doesn't make sense to have vetters who couldn't withstand the vetting process themselves.

    I assumed the beyond reproach reason was why Caroline was picked. I certainly don't see anything specific in her experience that would suggest a special ability to pick Vice Presidents. I think she is generally viewed as outside the down and dirty and not beholding to anyone. However, the Johnson choice does not follow that line of reasoning unless Caroline is supposed to be pure enough to cover the impure..or something. Maybe dazzle them with Caroline and hope they don't notice the slimy mortgage guy in the corner.

    In any case, a pick like Johnson sure doesn't point to a new kind of anything.


    The question at the end of the day (5.00 / 3) (#107)
    by Cream City on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:42:37 PM EST
    and that is at the end of this Day One, as it were, is:

    What was supposed to be the message of the day?  The message that did not become the message of the day, because Obama went off-message in defensive mode, instead?

    Ah, the answer doesn't matter, as the larger answer is: Not ready, not controlling the message.  Not following the number-one Rovian rule.  And when a campaign has been constructed in such a Rovian way from the start, is this another sign that it was a campaign only to get to the nomination . . . and winging it now, without a plan for the general-election phase?  If so, not a good sign for Obama, but good times for McCain -- as his campaign appears to be more than ready.

    Yes jeralyn covered this (none / 0) (#124)
    by Jgarza on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:51:58 PM EST
    in one post.  It must be all over the networks, all people are hearing is his VP veter.

    I love the ridiculousness around here, none of you guys can come with a way that this guy is a conflict or how he will in any way compromise Obama's campaign, but you have decided that since the issue is out there it must be damaging.


    Read my comment again (5.00 / 5) (#131)
    by Cream City on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:55:21 PM EST
    as it is not that this issue is damaging.

    What could become damaging is the absence of Obama's issues, the inability to stay on his message.  That would be problematic only if it becomes a pattern of behavior.  And a pattern cannot be discerned from its first instance, of course -- so what is ridiculous is your comment as a reply to mine.


    read what he said carefully. (5.00 / 0) (#139)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:01:00 PM EST
    I'm not even sure this is being commented upon outside of Fox on the airwaves.   Do I care who picks his VP for him?  No.

    But listen to the stumbling answer.   He'll do that routine everytie he's challenged on some point of order or detail:

    scodling the questioner with "stop playing games", an inane rhyme or alliteration, tautology, solipcism...hem haw...um ah. And then a confused  statacco rambling answer about god knows what.

    I guess Bush pulled off the same routine for 8 years.


    Btw, I've looked and do not find (none / 0) (#134)
    by Cream City on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:56:59 PM EST
    an earlier post by Jeralyn relevant to this.  Link? Hint?

    Hello? (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by Andy08 on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:42:59 PM EST
    Obama: "These are not folks who are working for me."

    I am sure this is not the James Johnson Obama knew....

    They should have contacted BTD (5.00 / 3) (#110)
    by BarnBabe on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:43:21 PM EST
    Obama said. "They are performing that job well. It is a volunteer, unpaid position. ...
    And here on TL the job was already being done.

    Actually, if I had just read the quotes I would not have thought it badly said. But listening to it, he took one point and um and awd it around a few times. I kept waiting for him to spit out his answer in one sentence. He is really going to have to work on that delivery of unscripted message. Bill would always say, Good Question, as he was mentally preparing his answer.

    "That's a very good question." (5.00 / 2) (#123)
    by Fabian on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:50:07 PM EST
    "I'm glad you brought that up."
    "I'm think that's an excellent question."

    a) Stall for time.
    b) Flatter the questioner.

    (But please let "Heh.  There you go again." stay in the dustbins of history.)


    And "it reminds me of another point" (5.00 / 2) (#142)
    by Cream City on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:01:55 PM EST
    as the interviewee gets back to his/her agenda of prepared talking points.  No more than three per interview, news conference, etc.  This is taught, I kid you not, in very costly training sessions for new CEOs and other high-level managers -- and candidates wise enough to know they need help, of course.  I went to a conference, years ago, with a session by a guy who created the training; it was called something like "When '60 Minutes' Calls, Will Your CEO Be Ready?  If Not, Call Me Next, Before You Call Back."

    I think I still have the guy's card.  Senator Obama, call me for it next time before you call back, 'kay?


    Can I volunteer then? (5.00 / 3) (#172)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:22:02 PM EST
    I would pick Bill Richardson <evil grin>.

    I'm not seeing (5.00 / 2) (#135)
    by Jgarza on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:57:14 PM EST
    where anyone has articulated a problem here, other then that, you guys have decided you hate Obama, so you are making sarcastic remarks about his campaign slogan.  

    So I came back thinking we had gotten over the "every thing Obama does is an excuse for me to hate him." it is clear you(commenters) aren't there yet.  So I'm back on hiatus.  

    Whaaa? What campaign slogan? (5.00 / 2) (#146)
    by Cream City on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:04:06 PM EST
    All I see is "These are not folks who are working for me."  Please tell us that is not his campaign slogan.  It's not a winner.

    Heh (5.00 / 3) (#151)
    by Steve M on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:07:45 PM EST
    Feel free to keep dropping by to let us know how pointless you find every thread, just as you have done with this one.  We'll call it a Hiatus In Name Only.

    Huh? (5.00 / 1) (#163)
    by Step Beyond on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:13:03 PM EST
    So I came back ... So I'm back on hiatus.  

    You were on hiatus since yesterday?


    I wonder if he's going to answer all ... (none / 0) (#145)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:03:39 PM EST
    ...challenging questions this badly.

    consider what I'm doing on this thread a favor. I really don't want to be dragged into his meadering thought process when he's doing a press conference.


    Wow. Just listened to it. (5.00 / 1) (#137)
    by tree on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:00:15 PM EST
    Bad, bad case of run-on mouth.

    Somewhere on the net (5.00 / 1) (#180)
    by Molly Pitcher on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:29:18 PM EST
    yesterday, an O supporter was commenting that if Hillary were to be a candidate for VP, she'd have to be vetted.  Think I have lost my mind.

    You guys (5.00 / 1) (#185)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:37:36 PM EST
    are even funnier now than you were when the primary was still going.

    Heck this comment....

    Fortunately, I'm laughing too hard at the sight of watching someone who is supposed to be the second incarnation of Demosthenes fumbling his way through an explanation of how you can get somebody to do your VP pick for you while still not having them actually work for you.

    would fit right in perfectly here.  

    RedState meet TalkLeft.  

    And to think, people used to say (none / 0) (#198)
    by FemB4dem on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:49:19 PM EST
    that Republicans don't have a sense of humor.  Demothsenes -- very funny.  Actually, who came to my mind was Diogenes -- poor Obama, the only new politician surrounded by all the old, icky politics and politicians.  Maybe he can get Michelle to hold the lamp.

    This doesn't impress. (none / 0) (#199)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:49:23 PM EST
    Obama looks quite unprofessional. An d if he sputters everytime he gets a complex question then I seriously consider his nomination to be a huge error.   he'll quickly go the way of kerry if he keeps this up. The press are not thick.   And they are clever enough to score a few points of Obama when they are so inclined.

    So, you're Barack Obama, or you're (5.00 / 0) (#187)
    by Anne on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:38:02 PM EST
    in the inner circle, and it's time to put together a VP selection team.  When Jim Johnson's name comes up - and who offers it?  Kerry? - there isn't a single person - like maybe even Obama himself - who says "Are we sure he's okay?  Nothing out there that can blow up on us?  What about the Fannie Mae report - is that going to be a problem?"  Is there no one - like Obama himself - who asked Johnson "Hey - is there anything we should know before we make this official?"

    Once again Obama has painted himself in a corner.  If they say they didn't know, that makes them look sloppy or indifferent, or both.  If they say they knew, it makes them look completely tone-deaf, given the numbers of people losing homes to foreclosure.  So what does Obama do?  He gives us the same answer we always get - these are just "folks" he knows.  I was waiting for him to tell us that he just passed Johnson in the halls a couple of times and had no idea he was on the VP selection team.

    This cr@p is not going to fly much longer.  The list is growing.  Regardless of whether one can point some fingers at McCain, the fact is that Obama is running as the poster child for the New Politics.  He is running as the Man Who Will Change Washington.  Whatever his words, whatever his speeches, his actions reveal the real measure of this person, and it is not looking good.

    This is nothing more (none / 0) (#192)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:44:32 PM EST
    than gotcha politics.

    Jim Johnson is a Democratic operative who will give Obama the Party perspective on any potential choices.  That's it.  

    Vague accusations about "questionable" loans(how were they questionable?) have no relevance to the Obama campaign or their use of Jim Johnson.  


    If that's your story (5.00 / 0) (#201)
    by caseyOR on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:50:25 PM EST
    then you stick to it.  Obama, however, might want to figure out a different story.

    they are not convenient (none / 0) (#194)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:47:02 PM EST
    irrelivant?  Increasingly so if you wnat to play ostrich head in sand games.  

    Non-issue at DK. (5.00 / 1) (#188)
    by oculus on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:40:36 PM EST

    Ann Richard's daughter said.. (5.00 / 1) (#189)
    by KittyS on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:40:52 PM EST
    "...women voting for John McCain would be like chickens choosing to vote for the Colonel."  She's a lot like her mom!

    Pretty funny! (5.00 / 1) (#203)
    by eleanora on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:53:06 PM EST
    But lots of women are starting to view the Democratic Party as Perdue. We don't even get a special recipe or a yummy crispy coating. So now what?

    Sounds (none / 0) (#21)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 11:52:55 AM EST
    like a "Rummy" idea to me.

    (as in Bush kept Rummy despite the climate, until Bushie's congress was SLAUGHTERED.)

    Or heckuva job, Brownie! (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by stillife on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 11:53:31 AM EST
    Nah, Brownie was cut loose fast. (none / 0) (#39)
    by Fabian on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:06:31 PM EST
    Plus Brownie was radioactive for a while there.

    Did he ever get his Loyal Bushie compensation package?


    Not fast enough (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by stillife on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:22:41 PM EST
    and Bush never got rid of the Skeletor guy, Nicholas something, did he?

    As in (5.00 / 1) (#129)
    by ruffian on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:53:40 PM EST
    "I vet my VP candidates with the team i have, not the team I wish I had."

    How many on the VP committee voted for Obama? (none / 0) (#41)
    by Saul on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:09:16 PM EST
    Is that not relevant?

    That background noise from the video . . . (none / 0) (#43)
    by wurman on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:10:02 PM EST
    . . . is the minions of the rightwingnutz noise machine slobbering, drooling & licking their chops as they watch Sen. Obama double-talk his way through yet another faux pas.  The senator's associates will be a continuous disaster.

    It also is beginning to appear as if the GOoPerz are laying low, keeping their powder dry, until after the convention.  That way, the Democratic Party will be officially "stuck" with all of this detritus flopping around under the bus, in the bus, on top of the bus . . . .

    The bus (none / 0) (#56)
    by cmugirl on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:16:07 PM EST
    "The wheels on the bus go round and round...."

    Check this out (none / 0) (#49)
    by talesoftwokitties on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:12:34 PM EST
    Obama campaign's return fire was (none / 0) (#99)
    by oculus on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:38:41 PM EST
    much too convoluted.  

    Disappointed, Not Surprised (none / 0) (#71)
    by daring grace on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:24:40 PM EST
    It doesn't change the nature of my support for Obama.

    My enthusiasm and expectations for him as a candidate have always been (and remain) guardedly optimistic.

    There have been others in his campaign I wished weren't there, but that's true of every politician I've ever supported--and everyone who is/was running. They're politicians. Some are purer. Some, like the current realm in the White House, break all records for brazen chicanery, and set the bar (hopefully) beyond reach for others to follow.

    Ultimately, I'm cynical. I think it's probably difficult to staff a campaign with talented, experienced people none of whom have questionable associations.

    Still, Obama campaigns as a reformer so he sets himself a higher standard and has only himself to blame when something this egregious comes up.

    I doubt it's going to resonate into the prime time of the fall GE period unless more start piling up.

    "something this egregious" (none / 0) (#161)
    by kempis on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:12:07 PM EST
    But Obama, our reformer, seems to think it's not a problem at all....

    Hence, My Disappointment (n/t) (5.00 / 1) (#165)
    by daring grace on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:16:10 PM EST
    "Change (none / 0) (#120)
    by Andy08 on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:49:25 PM EST
    we have been waiting for"

    Translation:   Exchange DC politics for Chicago politics. Yes we can !

    This is just more evidence that he is hypocritical (none / 0) (#155)
    by rjarnold on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:08:22 PM EST
    and that he plays around with the truth. This right-wing site makes a good point on how his campaign criticized Mark Penn because of his connections to the exact same company:


    And by saying that they aren't working for him, he is obviously playing with the truth. Even if someone volunteers for something, they are still working. I can't stand the fact that we nominated this guy.

    do not link to right wing sites. (5.00 / 1) (#166)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:17:33 PM EST
    We know they will make a meal of it.

    You say: (5.00 / 1) (#182)
    by miriam on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:33:51 PM EST
    "I can't stand the fact that we nominated this guy."

    Who's this we, kemosabe?  At least half of us are totally faultless.


    Hmmmmm (none / 0) (#169)
    by sas on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:20:34 PM EST
    guess Johnson's another "good judgement" call from Obama.

    And don't question his good judgement either.

    Friends of Hillary (none / 0) (#195)
    by Jlvngstn on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:47:14 PM EST
    the same Jim Johnson who was a member of "Friends of Hillary, the campaign committee that was created to help Hillary run for senate in 2000.  The Jim Johnson that was a member of the Hillary for President?

    lol - did you "vet" your supporters on your committees before you attacked obama?

    see for yourself (none / 0) (#196)
    by Jlvngstn on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:48:31 PM EST
    I wondered how long it (5.00 / 2) (#205)
    by FemB4dem on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:56:33 PM EST
    would take for the defense to turn to -- but, but, but, Hillary did it!

    "Not very long" -- ding, ding, ding - Alex, we have a winner.

    Puh-lease.  Don't you get it?  Mr. New Politics can't defend with, the Clintons did it, or McCain does it, or (heaven forfend) Bush does it.  Every time the Obama forces point to "old" politics as an excuse, the "new politics" schtick gets even more lame.  And without that, what does he have?  Oh yeah, that carbon paper-thin resume.


    Donchu get it? (none / 0) (#202)
    by txpolitico67 on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:51:51 PM EST
    This is a 'warm-up' for the trouncing BHO will be getting this summer and fall.  The press is going to slowly turn on him until it goes from a drip-drip-drip to a Wisconsin dam-like break.

    Even his buddies at MSNBCrap will not be able to rescue him from the hole he seems to keep digging for himself.

    Now I could be proven wrong in the long run, after all, Karl Rove told members of the press when he was quizzed about being Bush's brains, he said, "I'm Bush's d**k!"  THAT'S how much the media was in their pockets.  

    Maybe it's the Dems' turn...doubt it though, not while Fox is still on the air.

    How long till Maureen Dowd (none / 0) (#206)
    by reality based on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 03:07:20 PM EST
    quotes him as saying:  "Who among us hasn't had a shady real estate deal or two?"

    SUSA (none / 0) (#207)
    by smott on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:34:29 PM EST
    as far as I can see does not even show any polls testing an Obama/Clinton ticket. It's got Hagel or Edwards, but not found Clinton yet.

    He seems to poll best with Edwards.

    McCain does best with Huckabee.

    And Obama ahead comfortably in OH and PA now.

    Well, all I know (none / 0) (#208)
    by lilburro on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 07:23:23 PM EST
    is that these B.S. responses better stop soon.  "I wasn't aware" "They are not on my payroll" "that isn't how I took it" - Obamauniverse is going to be too convoluted and heavy to fly.  Eventually, Obama pretending not to know what he actually knows will put him in a corner where he seems too naive to be Prez.  

    Right now, this political immaturity is getting him by.  But we saw the many themes of Hillary's campaign - and McCain may yet turn into four or five other candidates, different than we see now.  With all attention on Obama, if I were McCain, I would lay in wait and see what weaknesses he shows, and then come out and pretend to be opposite of those.  I don't think McCain is that chameleon like, but he's more chameleon like than Bush.

    Point being, Obama can't make mistakes with impunity.  He should've done better on this one.  "I didn't know!" will only do the trick so many times.  It reminds me of Chris Matthews pretending he didn't see that Rev Plfeger video.  We're not that stupid.  If it's your job to know, you probably DO know.  Hopefully, Obama won't cover up necessary compromises by playing dumb.