In the Arena

Gilt by Association

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Turns out Barack Obama had a long-term relationship with the real estate developer who helped the Senator expand his South Side property. Turns out the developer was a slumlord.

Turns out John Edwards, populist crusader against offshore tax breaks, worked for a hedge fund that offered offshore tax breaks.

My bet: Both these stories seem worse than they are. The amount of work Obama and Edwards actually did in each case is unknown. Obama probably thought he was doing the Lord’s work, helping a developer who was building housing for the poor (a notoriously dicey proposition, even with federal help). I have no idea what Edwards was thinking. I also had no idea what Hillary Clinton was thinking when she played the commodities market on the advice of her best friend’s husband.

Turns out Democratic politicians like to make money, just as Republicans do. They should not be held to a higher standard unless–
1. they do something illegal
2. the things they do directly contradict the values they espouse.

No evidence of that in either of these cases…yet. Maybe I’m naive, but my guess is there won’t be.