Follow the money. Obama’s presidential campaign has received nearly $5 million dollars from securities and investment firms and $866,000 from commercial banks through October of 2007. Obama’s top contributor so far is Goldman Sachs (provider of $369,078 to Obama), identified by Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) investigators as “a major proponent of privatizing Social Security as well as legislation that would essentially deregulate the investment banking/securities industry.” Eight of Obama’s top twenty election investors are securities and investment firms: Goldman Sachs, Lehman Bros. (number 2 at $229,090), J.P. Morgan Chase and Co. (# 4 at $216,759), Citadel Investment Group (#7 at 4166,608), UBS AG ($146,150), UBS-America ($106,680), Morgan Stanley ($104,421), and Credit Suisse Group ($92,300). The last two firms are also known to be leading privatization advocates (Center for Responsive Politics 2007a).I am genuinely ambivalent about the two remaining Democratic candidates. I just think Obama is more likely to win, to help Democrats win, and will be a new good direction for our country. I worry about the corporate ties he tries to hide and his right-leaning statements on Social Security, health care, the bankruptcy bill, and other issues. You are not getting big policy differences between Hillary and Barack.
Meanwhile, Obama’s presidential run has been “assisted” by more than $2 million from the health care sector and nearly $400,000 from the insurance industry through October of 2007 (Center for Responsive Politics 2007b). Obama received $708,000 from medical and insurance interests between 2001 and 2006 (Center for Responsive Politics 2007c). His wife Michelle, a fellow Harvard Law graduate, was until a recently a Vice President for Community and External Affairs at the University of Chicago Hospitals, a position that paid her $273, 618 in 2006 (Sweet 2007).
And Obama’s sixth largest contributor is Exelon, the proud Chicago-based owner and operator of more nuclear power plants than any entity on earth (Center for Responsive Politics 2007a).
Is he about rhetoric or true beliefs? If it is true beliefs will his "toning down the partisan rancor" actually be a good thing or is he just too willing to compromise? When has he taken a hard stand on an issue? When has he valued principle over what was in it for his political career? Does he have enough experience and is he tempered?
My sister believes he is likely a deceitful, opportunist who will say good things in public while cutting deals in private. Isn't that a mark of some of our more effective politicians? But is this even correct? If it is correct, if, is that what we want in Washington, another LBJ cutting deals behind closed doors?
My heart still belongs to Edwards but of the remaining choices Barack Obama is better for the country and better for the Democrats than Hillary Clinton. I am not ambivalent that either would be better than the Republican candidates. I sometimes wonder if McCain will make it to the election without losing his cool on TV or having a heart attack. He's too old and even more duplicitous than Obama and Clinton.