5/7/08

Barack's favorite special-interests exposed

SEN. BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think you will have someone in the White House you will know and trust and who you have history with. Then you're going to see a change in terms of how we evaluate the agreements.

CLINTON: This union has really done a tremendous job in turning yourselves around, and that is my observation.

I would be very open to looking at that and saying, well, you know, what is it you're trying to accomplish here? And see what the answers were, because some just want to turn the page and go on.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HUME: That, folks, are a couple of excerpts from what Barack Obama and then Hillary Clinton said to a teamsters gathering. We have the audio only from March of a year ago about this consent decree which is meant that federal regulators, basically, are looking over the shoulders of the Teamsters union 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

The Teamsters union would like that lifted. The teamsters believe that they have at least the general intent of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton both to do that.

Today, Hillary Clinton, who did not get the teamsters union endorsement, her campaign was criticizing Barack Obama for giving something in return for the endorsement. Is there any difference between what the two of them did, Fred?

BARNES: Yes, I think there is. Look, you read "The Wall Street Journal" story that broke this, and the spokesman for Obama says indeed he thinks the consent decree should be lifted. You couldn't quite hear it in that--it was a little vague in that recording.

HUME: But he's referring to what Obama said, and we just heard what Obama said. Did he say it should be lifted or did he say he would be willing to look at it?

BARNES: It sounded like more than that, and certainly the teamsters seemed to think it was a lot more than that.

For Obama on this issue, he's playing with fire. Look, whenever you're dealing with the teamsters, that is the old politics, because they want this consent decree lifted. It goes back to 1989.

And the problem is the oversight board doesn't want to go away. The Justice Department has shown no indication that it wants the oversight board to go away. And then this lawyer hired by James Hoffa, the head of the teamsters, hired to root out mob ties in the teamsters, he did go away, complaining that he wasn't fully supported by Hoffa.

So I think this is an issue that is not going to help Obama.

KONDRACKE: They did sound roughly similar. Obama is not promising that he either can or would snap his fingers and make the consent decree go away. It's got to go through the Justice Department. He said it would, and she is indicating too that she thinks it ought to go away, but she won't have the power, either.

The teamsters does not seem to be the same union that it was back in papa's day when the pension fund was at the disposal of the mob. It is not that anymore. It has not been in trouble recently.

HUME: I guess not with a federal regulator looking over their shoulder.

KONDRACKE: Well, OK, but is it mobbed up or isn't it mobbed up? There is no indication that it is mobbed up, and maybe it should be revisited. But the Justice Department would have to look at that under any circumstances.

KRAUTHAMMER: I'm not impressed at all by any difference between Hillary and Obama on promises here. And, in fact, John Edwards, who was the other serious candidate, he also said essentially the same to the teamsters. So I don't buy the story that he got their endorsement because he was particularly sympathetic more than the others.

But I think that, tape of Obama that we heard is very damaging.

HUME: How so?

BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: As Fred said, if you listen again, he says if you have got somebody in the White House, you got a friend in the White House, you're going to get results. Fred indicated that is a definition of the old politics. It's exactly what Obama says he's running to abolish and eliminate.

Is it the old? He says I'm not running to play the game in Washington. I'm running to abolish that.

HUME: The quote again, to repeat, we may be able to put it on the screen again--he says "I think if you have somebody in the White House who you know and you trust and have history with, then you will see a change in the terms of how you evaluate the consent decree."

KONDRACKE: He's not going to have anything to do with corporate lobbyists or corporate special interests, but if it's a union--they are also both in favor of the so-called Employee Free Choice Act, which eliminates the secret ballot for unions.

They have their own vested interest that they're in favor of. So it's not going to be the end of the old politics. It's going to be different politics, liberal politics.

KRAUTHAMMER: In his own voice, he is undermining the exact rationale of his campaign, which he repeats every six minutes, and which you really have to be under 30 to actually buy and believe, which is why his support is so heavily among the youth.

If you have been around the track at least once, you know it's a fraud, and here you can hear it's a fraud.

(realclearpolitics.com)

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