(PHOTO CREDIT: AP)
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
The days leading up to the crucial Texas and Ohio primaries have been full of questions and scrutiny for Barack Obama.
First, there are his ties to Chicago businessman Tony Rezko who's now on trial for political corruption. Obama isn't implicated in the case at all, but Rezko contributed 150-thousand dollars over the years to Obama's campaigns, money Obama says has since been donated to charity. Rezko also helped him buy a home and sold a strip of land to Obama – a purchase the candidate characterizes as "boneheaded."
Obama is also denying a report that a senior campaign official assured Canada that the candidate's tough talk on NAFTA is more about "political positioning."
The Canadian Embassy has backed up Obama's version of the meeting, saying that there was no intention to convey that Obama and his campaign were taking different positions on NAFTA in public and private.
But politics is a contact sport, and Hillary Clinton has jumped all over Barack Obama – challenging his credibility and accusing him of deception. It's interesting when you consider that Obama hasn't brought up any of the past Clinton scandals during the campaign… you know, all of the stuff that's part of Clinton's experience like: Whitewater, Travelgate, Monica Lewinsky and impeachment, renting out the Lincoln bedroom, the loss of the Rose Law Firm billing records for nearly 2 years until they were miraculously found in the White House living quarters, removing files from Vince Foster's office following his suicide and before investigators could get there.
Maybe it's been a mistake for Obama to run a campaign about hope and change and not to touch any of this.
Here’s my question to you: How much will Barack Obama's relationship with Tony Rezko and his adviser's meeting with a Canadian official about NAFTA hurt his chances today?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Al from Palmdale, California writes:
I think some people will turn away from Obama because of these 'scandals'. But in the end, scandal didn't hurt Slick Willy, I doubt it will hurt Obama enough to matter. He would do better to stay away from the mudslinging at Hillary, although he has very fertile ground to do so, because that appears to be some of his appeal. Turning the other cheek is wise right now, but he better be prepared to take on McCain in November.
Jack, Yes, buying property from Rezko's wife was a bone-headed mistake given that Rezko was under a cloud of suspicion at the time. It raised doubts in the public’s mind only because of its inappropriateness. In no way has Obama been accused of ILLEGAL dealings, however. Also, he rightly gave the thousands from Rezko to charity. Of course, we should see through the Clintons' rabid desire to cast doubt on Obama's honesty. But I see no reason we should believe this was anything other than the bone-headed mistake Obama admitted.
Gigi from Alabama writes:
It probably won't hurt him too much in today's primaries, but if he cannot answer it to suit the Republicans, they'll have a heyday with him if he is the Democratic nominee in the general election. He won't be able to grin and say the Clintons are at it again.
The younger generation will still vote for him, but I bet he will lose some older votes.
Jenny from Nanuet, New York writes:
I'm afraid it will allow Clinton to win the popular vote in both Texas and Ohio, giving her the ability to spin any marginal delegate gain she may or may not receive. But it won't stop him from winning the nomination.
Tom from Avon, Maine writes:
Voters aren't as easily fooled as the Clintons would like us to be. Bill tried these shenanigans in South Carolina and gave Hillary a bigger loss there than she would have had if they had played it straight. Desperation is a poor choice of ensemble to wear to Waterloo.