Chutzpah: McCain Advisor Made Millions Lobbying For Fannie And Freddie

The one thing John McCain is not in short supply of is chutzpah. Last week McCain was lying about former Freddie Mac CEO Franklin Raines advising Obama, both in his ads and on the stump. Just this morning, McCain spokesman Nicole Wallace repeated the lie on Morning Joe (and of course Scarborough did not challenge the lie.)

McCain's chutzpah is evidenced by the fact that McCain campaign manager Rick Davis made millions of dollars lobbying for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac:

Senator John McCain’s campaign manager was paid more than $30,000 a month for five years as president of an advocacy group set up by the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to defend them against stricter regulations, current and former officials say. . . . “The value that he brought to the relationship was the closeness to Senator McCain and the possibility that Senator McCain was going to run for president again,” said Robert McCarson, a former spokesman for Fannie Mae, who said that while he worked there from 2000 to 2002, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac together paid Mr. Davis’s firm $35,000 a month.

(Emphasis supplied.) Lying about Obama's advisors while doing that he claims to criticize. That is John McCain in a nutshell - a lying, unprincipled, incompetent ideologue. McCain is a disgrace.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

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    The original bailout package (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by steviez314 on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 08:18:39 AM EST
    excluded foreign banks.  After intensive lobbying over the weekend, the bailout was modified to include "all financial institutions doing substantial business in the US".

    The foreign bank with the most exposure to AIG and the mortgage mess is U.B.S.

    UBS's vice-chairman was Phil Gramm.

    Connect the dots.

    Doesn't this just open the door for (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by votermom on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 08:35:18 AM EST
    Republicans to point out how much money Obama has received directly from Freddie & Fannie?

    No (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 08:35:51 AM EST
    It closes the door.

    It sure does (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by Steve M on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 09:00:21 AM EST
    By my math, that's over $2 million.  To McCain's campaign manager, not some informal advisor no one has ever heard of.

    There's actually a huge difference - not that most people will ever care to think about it - between an advisor who used to lobby for a bad cause back before he ever started working with the candidate, and an advisor who lobbied for a bad cause specifically because of his relationship the candidate.


    It *might* have closed the door... (5.00 / 0) (#7)
    by EL seattle on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 09:05:34 AM EST
    ... but according to the story:

    But by the end of 2005, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were recovering from accounting problems and re-examining costs, former executives said. The companies decided the Homeownership Alliance had outlived its usefulness, and it disappeared.

    By 2006, I think McCain pretty much re-opened this particular door.


    Except that McCain's (5.00 / 3) (#11)
    by frankly0 on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 09:38:12 AM EST
    real goal here is to fight the whole issue to a draw.

    If McCain can tar Obama with the stink of clear involvement in this crisis because of Obama's connections to Freddie and Fannie, it matters much less if McCain can himself be tied to it, because, in effect, as a Republican who has supported Bush in the past (and I think the public mainly sees the President as responsible for the crisis), he's already tied to it.

    What McCain wants back is simple: those 4 or 5 percentage points in the tracking polls that have recently gone Obama's way. I doubt that McCain's attacks on Obama are quite going to do that trick, but he may get back a percentage point or two, and so remain quite competitive.


    It doesn't close the door per se. (none / 0) (#17)
    by cosbo on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 10:17:14 AM EST
    It just gives people more of an impression that there is little or no difference between McCain & Obama on the the economy. Obama can't really claim a higher ground on this. McCain certainly cannot.

    The average voter reasoning will probably go something like...
    V1:"Obama's got advisor's who made money on Fannie/Freddie!"
    V2:"Yeah...but so does McCain"
    V3: "Ugh...Politicians...they're all the same, no matter what they say."

    The win goes to McCain.


    Bingo. Neither looks good in this (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Cream City on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 11:36:59 AM EST
    and Dems can be made to look worse, with Dodd and Obama leading in donations from Fannie and Freddie folks.  So this message on McCain today may make it a draw -- but a draw does not help Obama.  

    This message today does explain the McCain pre-emptive attack tieing Raines to the Dems.  It's too tenuous a tie, though -- it takes too much work for the standard, casual viewer to see it.


    McCain on the economy in PA today... (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by cosbo on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 12:08:16 PM EST

    is it me, or did McCain just pulled out the economy issue from under Obama with his speech today. McCain sounds like a democrat here.


    That was my impression also, based on (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by oculus on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 12:09:51 PM EST
    reading AP article on McCain's speech.

    He was in Scranton (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by votermom on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 12:24:34 PM EST
    which is Hillary country. He's going to peel off at least some of those votes, for sure.
    I watched some of it, and I get now why they say he's good at town halls.

    Obama's got some fire in Green Bay today (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Cream City on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 12:33:47 PM EST
    as I'm wathing.  Not that large a crowd, it seems, but it was fairly last-minute -- no tickets this time.  We'll see the estimates.

    More important, he's got a CNN audience (and maybe other channels), and he's doing some righteous yelling, for a change, about the economy -- and in an area where that really resonates.

    Too many of his "I means," too much "I" as usual, but more "you" than there used to be.  If he can spend part of his debate coaching for the rest of the week on altering his speech pattern to keep using less of the first person and more of the second person in the debate, it will pay off when he talks about the payout.


    In other words, this is good -- (none / 0) (#34)
    by Cream City on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 12:40:42 PM EST
    as I feared that Obama's first return to Wisconsin in a month -- a state where the latest economic problems are only more problems for us -- would bring only the vague, hopey-changey speech.  This one could use (and still may bring) more specifics, but it is focused on the issue now.

    Watch also for what the other Obama says in her three stops in Wisconsin today.  The media will be watching, as this is the state where she infamously said -- twice in one day -- that she wasn't proud of her country before, etc.  I would bet that she will be doing some flag-waving here today to counter that.  Of course, she can say and do anything in Madison, but the Wausau site pick is interesting and has to be about the economy.  

    The West Allis site may be the most interesting.  An old working-class burb that I know well, and it was hard-hit by the Rustbelt crash in the '80s and still hasn't really recovered.  Btw, the specific site, the older high school there, is heavily minority students now -- most of them bussed in from Milwaukee.  But as late as last night, there still was not a time well-publicized for her appearance there.  With a day of flying around the state, it may not be until after school is out for the day!


    Ever notice how McCain campaign's (none / 0) (#26)
    by oculus on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 12:06:07 PM EST
    attacks are sharp and short (even though often false)?  Really gets Obama off balance, which, I suppose, is the goal.  

    Haven't noticed Obama. . . (none / 0) (#27)
    by LarryInNYC on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 12:07:28 PM EST
    off balance since the Palin announcement.

    Does that encompass "Lipstick (none / 0) (#29)
    by oculus on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 12:09:15 PM EST
    on a Pig"?

    Yes. (none / 0) (#31)
    by LarryInNYC on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 12:16:46 PM EST
    He didn't seem thrown by that -- he responded strongly and basically carried the media with his narrative -- that McCain was being a dork (no offense meant to my fellow dorks).

    In Fact (none / 0) (#37)
    by daring grace on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 04:07:55 PM EST
    The McCain camp is the one that seems increasingly off their stride. Maybe their attacks are playing well with their base, but it's hard to believe they're working elsewhere.

    I keep seeing reports like this from Politico about a conference call and follow-up today.


    How does it close the door? (none / 0) (#18)
    by Wile ECoyote on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 10:20:13 AM EST
    Of course it does (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by fercryingoutloud on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 09:51:32 AM EST
    Not only does it open/re-open the door to Obama's money received from Fannie/Freddie, it re-opens the door to the fact that Obama had former Fannie CEO Jim Johnson help pick a VP for him:

    There are no saints here:


    McCain noted the Illinois senator had taken large campaign contributions from both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and that the one-time head of Obama's vice presidential search team, Jim Johnson, had received a $21 million severance deal after stepping down as Fannie Mae CEO.

    Obama raied this weekend about CEO pay of failed companies and yet he had no problem reaching out to one. LOL.

    As one poster said in this thread "connect the dots". We have a former Fannie CEO friendly to the financial community help pick MBNA/ Bankruptcy Bill friendly Joe Biden as VP who is financial community friendly. Hello!!!

    This constant one sided turning a blind eye  analysis on the blogs is embarrassing. We expect the MSM to try to be objective and then...


    False equivalency (2.00 / 1) (#15)
    by MKS on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 10:09:54 AM EST
    Republicans have been making this kind of argument for seemingly eons.....goig back to Richard Nixon--everyone does it, he just got caught....

    Jim Johnson was let go of Obama's campaign well before the VP pick......


    LOL (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by fercryingoutloud on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 10:22:33 AM EST
    "Jim Johnson was let go of Obama's campaign well before the VP pick......"

    Yeah but only because Obama got called on his hypocrisy!

    The fact is that Obama KNOWINGLY chose Johnson. He knew of his pay and severance package. He knew of his 'leanings' toward the business community in general and of his involvement with the failed Fannie Mae.

    And knowing all that he still associated with him, called him a friend, and chose him to help pick a business friendly VP which he did.

    You can't wash all that away with a post on this blog my friend.


    Thanks for telling me that a pol is a hypocrite. (none / 0) (#20)
    by D Jessup on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 10:36:57 AM EST
    I take it that Obama must be the bigger hypocrite, because McCain is a straight shooter.  I quess, I'm going to have to vote for McCain now, because i surely don't want to vote for a politician who is a hypocrite.

    "My friends" (none / 0) (#35)
    by MKS on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 01:19:48 PM EST
    I have heard that somewhere before....

    Uhhh. . . . (5.00 / 3) (#14)
    by LarryInNYC on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 09:57:50 AM EST
    McCain's campaign manager turns out to have been paid over two million dollars specifically to influence McCain against regulation of the mortgage industry a few years before the mortgage industry went belly up costing the taxpayers billions.

    And somehow that has to be bad for Obama?


    They already (none / 0) (#8)
    by CST on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 09:14:17 AM EST
    have been beating this horse to death.

    This just shows what hypocrits they are to do so.


    BTD...and what about Obama... (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Shainzona on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 08:59:04 AM EST
    and Penny Pritzker?

    Oh you mean (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by fercryingoutloud on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 10:44:58 AM EST
    Subprime Penny?

    White House hopeful Barack Obama talks a lot on the campaign trail about how failing banks have used subprime loans to victimize customers.

    "Part of the reason we got a current mortgage crisis has to do with the fact that people got suckered in to loans that they could not pay," he told a crowd in Reading, Pa., last week. "There were a lot of predatory loans that were given out, a lot of teaser rates. Banks and financial institutions making these loans were making money hand over fist."

    One of the banks that went under after making a lot of subprime loans -- leaving 1,400 of its customers without part of their savings -- was Chicago's Superior Bank.

    At the helm of Superior Bank at least some of the time was Obama's national finance chairwoman, Penny Pritzker, an heiress to the Pritzker fortune.

    Don't even bother going there... (none / 0) (#22)
    by steviez314 on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 10:56:46 AM EST
    Last month, the Federal Gov't closed the Silver State Bank of Henderson NV.

    In July, one of Silver State's Board of Directors resigned for "personal reasons".

    His name......Andrew McCain (sohn of John).

    What did he know and when did he know it?


    Yup - same one. (none / 0) (#23)
    by Shainzona on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 11:11:33 AM EST
    Danny Schechter, Leftist media critic and author of Plunder: Investigating Our Economic Calamity and the `Sub Prime Scandal,' offers a history of the sub prime mortgage (in part):

    "When it began, "subprime lending" wasn't a term in common usage, let alone understood outside financial circles. One of its late 1990s originators was Obama campaign finance chairperson Penny Pritzker when she served on the Board of the failed family-owned Hinsdale, IL Superior Bank. It cost the FDIC $700 million and depositors another $65 million, while Pritzker made millions on predatory lending now called "subprime" mortgage schemes. One definition is as follows: "the practice of making loans to borrowers who do not qualify for the best market interest rates because of their deficient credit history." Another in the recent environment was to force-feed them to the largest number of homebuying prospects possible."


    McCain has gotten this wrong (none / 0) (#36)
    by MKS on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 01:23:50 PM EST
    consistently.  He was admonished for his role of one of the Keating Five who lobbied for less reugaltion of S&Ls.  That cost taxpyears billions and billions....

    Republicans and McCain are always for de-regulation.....You and other McCain supporters try to muddy the waters, as usual....


    Who is the enemy? (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Stellaaa on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 09:28:58 AM EST
    Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not the enemy in this.
    A great  analysis of the origins of this mess
    Two developments seem to have spurred the easing in US standards. First, a range of legislative
    and policy changes had been made to encourage the development of a non-conforming (Alt-A
    and subprime) lending sector, lying outside the model dened by the government-sponsored
    enterprises (GSEs, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac).

    Two developments seem to have spurred the easing in US standards. First, a range of legislative
    and policy changes had been made to encourage the development of a non-conforming (Alt-A
    and subprime) lending sector, lying outside the model dened by the government-sponsored
    enterprises (GSEs, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac).

    Errghhh, it's when Wall Street saw they could make money by doing what the GSEs were doing that things got boinkers and when the administration wanted to spread the business to Wall Street.   Please, do not conflate things.  

    Last night on 60 Minutes (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by litigatormom on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 11:26:20 AM EST
    McCain was asked if he regretted helping to spearhead the 1999 legislation that de-regulated many financial institutions, including the investment banks.  McCain's answer was no, because "the deregulation was probably helpful to the growth of our economy."

    In other words, de-regulation was good as long as the bubble helped Wall Street line it's pockets, but now it's bad because of corruption on Wall Street. McCain sees no causal link between the de-regulation and the false "growth" it propelled, and the current mess.  

    There's also this lovely quote in which McCain says he's really is knowledgeable about the economy:

    Point is, no seriously, is that I understand the economy as chairman of the Commerce Committee, which oversights all of the commercial aspects of America's economy. I've been involved in these issues for many, many years. I know the economy. I know how to fix it.

    How? By listening to Phil Gramm, no doubt.  In the meantime, does McCain realize that -- despite his claim that Obama is somehow responsible for the crisis -- he just admitted his own failure to conduct proper oversight of the financial industry?


    Pattern which Obama need to continue to hit on (none / 0) (#2)
    by georgeg1011 on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 08:33:18 AM EST
    this with the Health care article are all John McCain's record which he cannot run from.  The people that he surrounds himself with (Davis, Gramm) will now come home to roost.  His prior record on bailing out the financial institutions of the 80's are ABSOLUTELY on the table as this is his RECORD (Keating 5).  Obama and democrats need to hammer that from the folks that brought you the S&L, Banking deregulation now want to FIX what is broken? What's next, health care (which Obama is already hitting on), Social Security (which should be next...If this is the conversation, then Obama wins...

    Wow, (none / 0) (#9)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 09:24:30 AM EST
    the media lets something go unchallenged? Who would have thought it? /snark

    geez (none / 0) (#13)
    by connecticut yankee on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 09:57:43 AM EST
    This whole thing is made to order as a McCain campaign killer.  Obama just needs to keep swinging.

    McCain's Market-Based healthcare plan (none / 0) (#16)
    by Roschelle on Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 10:14:07 AM EST
    A recently published article I found this morning on McCain's market-based healthcare plan and a video of him expressing his stand on deregulation along with a bonus! He mentions the bridge to nowhere!!!!