Yes, these things do happen. But you’ll probably see most of it coming from conservative outlets like The Daily Caller, which today is running a piece by White House reporter Neil Munro looking into President Obama’s own support for the subprime lending that nearly destroyed the economy.
Obama is a standard Richard Daley Chicago Machine politician, with ample ties to some of Chicago’s shadiest characters – Tony Rezko and Rod Blagojevich come immediately to mind – who was presented to the public by a clever PR campaign in 2007 and 2008 as the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. The press did little to interfere with this narrative.
This year, I assure you, the attitude among mainstream reporters is that the vetting of Obama was already done in 2008, and that revisiting his past, unless you’re doing some kind of biography, amounts to a right-wing hit job.
So it will be up to the conservative press to take another look. Or, that is, to take a first look.
The great irony of Obama’s participation in the drive for high-risk lending to low-income households is that the practice led directly to today’s economic crisis, which Obama blames solely on Bush policies. Of course, to the extent he acknowledges the role of subprime lending in the crisis, he blames it on greedy bankers, not the policy itself.
From The Daily Caller:
The closest Obama has ever come to admitting his role in the scandal came in a September 2007 speech to a Wall Street audience.
“Subprime lending started off as a good idea: helping Americans buy homes who couldn’t previously afford to,” he said.
But “as certain lenders and brokers began to see how much money could be made,” he said, “they began to lower their standards. … Most everyone knew that some of these deals were just too good to be true, but all that money flowing in made it tempting to look the other way and ignore the unscrupulous practice of some bad actors.”
“Turning a blind eye to the cronyism in our midst can put us all in jeopardy … and we cannot accept that in the United States of America.”
Well, The Daily Caller takes Obama’s advice and refuses to turn a blind eye to cronyism, detailing how Obama’s support for junk lending built connections for him to the Chicago real estate and national banking industry that paid huge dividends for the budding politician.
Obama also made friends among the city’s developers, including Tony Rezko — who was convicted on corruption charges in 2008 — and in the city’s urban planning division, then overseen by Valerie Jarrett, who remains one of his closest political advisers. Real estate interests contributed heavily to his 2004 campaign, including $12,000 from Penny Priztker . . .
In 2007 and 2008, Citigroup gave Obama $736,771 for his presidential race, according to data collected by the Center for Responsive Politics.
Obama got $126,349 from the two huge taxpayer-backed mortgage traders, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, between 1989 and 2004. Only Democratic Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, who chaired the powerful Senate banking committee, got more cash from the two subprime lending giants.
Once in the Senate himself, Obama joined with Dodd to block a 2005 bill that would have curbed Fannie Mae’s funding of the high-risk mortgage bubble. By 2005, nearly 20 percent of new U.S. mortgages were subprime loans.
If the New York Times does a story like this, please flag it for me and I will publicly eat my computer. All of it, including the keyboard and the Apple “Magic Mouse,” which has a tougher exterior than other mouses and is harder to digest.