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How Close Were Obama and Fannie?

John on September 18, 2008 at 9:44 am

For the record, I think Fannie and Freddie have done a lot of good helping lower income families make it into homes. However, it’s now clear that the paradigm didn’t work. Fannie got involved buying up bad loans from lenders like Countrywide and now taxpayers are going to be stuck with the bill (which some estimate may exceed $200 billion).

Barack Obama is on the stump claiming he can reform the mess. But on this issue, his claim to be a reformer is not going to fly. He had one of the most cozy relationships with these behemoths of anyone in the Senate. How cozy? Well according to the CEO of Fannie who spoke at his black caucus swearing in, they’re family:

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And it’s not just money he accepted in the past. As John Gibson notes at the end of that video, that’s just the tip of the iceberg:

“You look at Obama’s economic advisers, the guys he has counted on from day one and who have raised him a ton — and I mean a ton — of money: Franklin Raines and Jim Johnson, both of them are waist to neck deep in the mortgage debacle.”

Both Raines and Johnson have served as CEO of Fannie Mae, with Raines taking over from Johnson. Both are key political and economic advisers to Obama.

“How can Obama go out with a straight face and saw it was Republicans who made this mess, when it is his key advisers who ran the agencies that made the big mess what it is?” says a Democrat House member who supported Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. “It’s his people who are responsible for what may well be the single largest government bailout in history. And every single one of them made millions off the collapse that are lining Obama’s campaign coffers. If the McCain campaign lets this one go, they deserve to lose.”

And as Jake Tapper points out this morning, one of Obama’s current economic advisers was defending sub-prime lending in the press all through 2007.

Obama may be able to claim the mantle of reform on other issues, but between the lobbying money he accepted and the advisers he currently employs in his campaign, he can’t credibly claim that mantle with regard to this crisis.

[HT: Ed at Hot Air for the Jake Tapper story]

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Category: Politics |

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