Tell Me Another One

One of the hallmarks of Barack Obama’s campaign for president is his “judgment.” (It’s no wonder he touts this as his greatest strength; he certainly has no long record of accomplishments to run on.) He boasts of having opposed the war in Iraq from the very beginning, and this — along with… um… ah… well, a bunch of other things that escape me right now, show that he has the judgment to lead our nation.

I’ve done it before, but I think it’s quite educational to take a look at other areas Obama has shown his judgment — and see just how well that’s worked out.

In his personal life, Obama chose to join the Trinity United Church of Christ and picked its leader, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, as one of his three spiritual mentors. I think we’ve all seen how well that played out — Obama recently resigned from that church when he discovered that it was a hotbed of inflammatory political agitation and race-polarizing. That little fact had been apparent to a lot of people for some time, but 20-year-member Obama only recently discovered that little fact.

Speaking of Obama’s “spiritual mentors,” Curt at Flopping Aces has a fascinating little video about the three men Obama dubbed as his. In addition to Reverend Wright, he also touted Father Michael Pfleger and Reverend James Meeks.

Pfleger, you might recall, was recently suspended as a Catholic priest following his fierce mocking of Hillary Clinton from the pulpit. And Obama’s third “wise man” won’t go over too well with a good chunk of the Democrats’ core constituency — James Meeks has been named as one of the “10 leading black religious voices in the anti-gay movement” by the Southern Poverty Law Center. (I was unaware of a correlation between fighting poverty in the South and supporting gay rights generally, but I’m not overly well-versed with either group. There very well could be a very large population of poor southern gays who are more concerned with social oppression than economic opportunity.)

Obama also had close ties with a major money man in Chicago politics — even to the point of getting the guy’s help in buying his home. Well, that good buddy has also been tossed aside, shortly before he was convicted on sixteen felony counts related to financial shenanigans and political corruption.

And now Obama has named three people to head up the search for his running mate. Ed Morrissey of Hot Air has done a great job showing us just where two of the members — Eric Holder and Jim Johnson — are coming from, so I don’t feel the need to repeat his stellar efforts. Instead, I’ll look at the third member of the Committee, Caroline Schlossberg.

Schlossberg is a New York lawyer, married with several children. She has dabbled around the fringes of politics, and co-wrote two books on civil rights. (I read the first one, “In Our Defense: The Bill Of Rights,” and it was a good book. In it, she and her co-author took each of the rights spelled out in the Bill Of Rights and cited at least one court case where it was exemplified. They had to work to get the 4th Amendment in there, but they did it, and they did it well.)

Actually, Schlossberg has no direct experience with electoral politics at all. Indeed, her sole qualification seems to be associative — apparently her political acumen comes either through genetics or osmosis, as she is most well known by her maiden name, Caroline Kennedy — daughter of President Kennedy, niece of Senators Robert and Ted Kennedy, cousin of Congressmen Joseph (retired) and Patrick Kennedy and former Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and Kerry Kennedy Cuomo (now divorced).

Of all the Kennedys of her generation, I think I always had the most respect for the children of President Kennedy. They seemed to best handle the spotlight (which was more intense than on any of their cousins), seeking their own lives while avoiding — but not actively fighting — public attention. And she has probably been the most successful, both personally and professionally.

But her qualifications for choosing the possible next vice-president of the United States?

As I pointed out, if she was just Caroline Schlossberg, she wouldn’t have even been considered. (Much like how one of Ted Kennedy’s early political opponents told him, “if your name was Edward Moore, you wouldn’t be here.”) Obama wants her for her name, for the magic that the Kennedy name brings, the political goodwill she is the heir to — without all the troublesome personal issues that have befallen so many of her relatives.

So, I guess, if Obama wants the Kennedy imprimatur on his campaign, he could do a hell of a lot worse than Caroline Kennedy — and I don’t think he could do better. But why does he feel the need to tie himself with the Kennedy political dynasty at all? And in such a transparent way?

Maybe he’s hoping that she will be the visible “face” of the committee, while the other two — with their dubious histories — will work quietly behind the scenes and do the real work.

This is not making me feel all hopey and changeful for the future.

Kitty Genovese syndrome strikes again; Hartford officials unsurprised.
Haditha Marine found not guilty on all counts