Sunday, March 30, 2008


Ten Troubling Questions I Asked Obama to Answer before McCain Asks Them
Earl Ofari Hutchinson



Here are ten troubling questions for Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama that he’d be wise to answer coming from me, If he’s the Democratic presidential nominee you can bank that John McCain and the GOP truth squad will ask him them. The questions were sent directly to him at his national campaign headquarters Friday, March 28. The questions are not campaign rhetoric, gossip, and partisan allegations. They are fully documented, and totally a matter of public record. If Obama won’t answer them, then the challenge is for his supporters to answer them point by point. This doesn’t mean hurling the usual cheap shot, brainless, personal invectives, name calling, personal insults, or character assassination. This is no substitute for factual answers. The Questions.


1. You stated that you were not in the Senate in October 2002 when President Bush rammed through Congress the resolution authorizing the use of force in Iraq. But you also stated that “perhaps the reason I thought it was such a bad idea was I didn’t have the benefit of U.S. intelligence.” This implies that you might have voted for the war if you had been in the Senate when the vote was taken. Why then do you condemn Hillary Clinton and other Senators who voted for the war authorization resolution when you admit the possibility that if you had been in the Senate you would have done the same?

2. As chairman of the Senate subcommittee on Foreign Relations you could have held oversight hearings, called witnesses and offered alternatives to Bush’s disastrous efforts against A Qeada in Afghanistan. Your subcommittee held none and provided no alternatives to Bush policy that you condemn, why?

3. In the Senate you have one of the poorest attendance records, and you often simply vote present on thorny issues, why?

4. Senate Legislation was proposed to require nuclear giant, Exelon to make public disclosure of its radiation leaks. You did not fully support that requirement. Exelon has been identified as your fourth biggest campaign contributor. Why did you oppose the tougher regulatory proposal for Exelon?

5. Chicago financier Tony Rezko has been accused of numerous financial illicit dealings. You have claimed that you did no political or personal favors for Rezko. Yet as an Illinois state legislator you wrote endorsement letters to government agencies on his behalf, as well as having conducted other documented financial transactions and dealings and with him. Why do you deny that you have no relationship with Rezko?


6. The head of your campaign finance chair is Penny Pritzker. Before taking over Obama’s campaign finances, she headed up the borderline shady and failed Superior Bank. It collapsed in 2002. The bank engaged in deceptive and faulty lending, questionable accounting practices, and charged hidden fees. It made thousands of dubious loans to mostly poor, strapped homeowners. A disproportionate number of them were minority. Why does she still have a principal financial role in your campaign?

7. You have taken money in past campaigns from straw donors. These are donors that have taken money from tainted and dubious sources and then contribute to your campaign under their names. You have talked much about financial openness in campaigns. Why did you take money from straw donors in the past? And do you take money from them now?

8. Following a speech by Hillary Clinton praising Lyndon Johnson for his role in helping pass the 1964 Civil Rights Act, an Obama campaign advisor privately released a four page memo urging hammering Clinton for denigrating Dr. King. Yet, you told reporters that neither you nor anyone in your campaign had made the accusation that Clinton denigrated King. Why did you say that when clearly it was the memo from your campaign advisor that triggered the media and public assault on Clinton regarding King?

9. You have not produced a single public document that would provide the public with greater insight and knowledge about legislation, initiatives proposed, your votes on key bills, and your attendance record during your terms in the Illinois legislature. Why?

10. You have repeatedly charged that Clinton violated a pledge not to put her name on the Michigan Democratic primary ballot. However, neither Clinton nor any other Democratic contender pledged to the DNC not to have their name on the ballot. Three other candidates had their name on the ballot in addition to Clinton. Why do continue to make this claim that the other candidates, but especially Clinton, violated a pledge not to have their name on the Michigan ballot?

Obama’s campaign is based on the firm pillar that he represents a new, open, fresh, and transparent politics. He is the candidate that is the antithesis of the political duplicity, double dealing, evasions, lies and corruption that marred other candidates. Obama can prove it by answering these questions; questions that raise serious doubt about his contention that he represents a radical break from the political past. If he won’t answer them then will his supporters answer them for him? That’s again, before McCain asks them.


Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. His new book is The Ethnic Presidency: How Race Decides the Race to the White House (Middle Passage Press, February 2008).

16 comments:

Sandra said...

I hope you sent a letter to Hillary Clinton asking her to explain Bosnia, race baiting, her so-called experience, her flip-flop on Florida and Michigan, and her support for McCain when she doesn't win the nomination.

It's obvious you are supporting Hillary so you need to write her a letter, and not Obama.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Sandra
That's not an answer to my ten questions!

sandra said...

If you're flip flopping on who to support then I can understand, but, it's clear that you support Hillary. Obama doesn't need to answer your questions.

Anonymous said...

Liberals complained when people couldn't get mortgage loans. So, the floodgates were opened with mortgage loans with low teaser rates that was the only way many people could buy a house. Then the loans blow up and now liberals complain that taypayer money needs to be used to bailout these same people. You can't win. How about just taking personal responsibility for screwing up. Don't look for the government to "feel your pain" and bail you out.

Anonymous said...

Why don't Obama supporters ever answer questions posed about their candidate? Their response is to always bring up something Hillary Clinton said or did... without ever responding about Obama. This campaign feels like a 6th grade popularity contest. I know you are but what am I? Apparently Obama supporters don't know why they are supporting him.... they just know why they are not supporting Clinton. Very strange.

Bryan said...

I give an answer to each question here:
http://www.mikemalloy.com/board/viewtopic.php?t=57650

I hope you take the time to read and respond to each one.

Cindy said...

Not interested in responding to Bryan's answers to your questions? They all look pretty logical to me. . .

Jamie said...

They all look like three or four paragraphs to me, leaving aside for the moment that half of them are dodges.

You think convoluted, five-minute answers will work in the nationally televised election debates?

Bryan said...

Pointing out that every one of the questions is based on faulty information and/or false premises isn't dodging. If Mr. Hutchinson doesn't want to show a bit of intellectual integrity, then he can come out and stand by his words.

If you're looking for answers that will fit into the time-period alloted during a debate, how about this?

Mr. Earl Hutchinson is a 2nd string political hack who can't get his facts straight, and would probably be sued for libel if such blatant dishonesty couldn't be written off as some form of mental illness.

with time to spare.

Jamie said...

Awesome. Keep rockin' that self-congratulatory tone right up to President-Elect McCain's inauguration and beyond.

Or conversely, start taking seriously the fact that these ten questions are nothing compared to what Obama's going to face once the media and the weekend Democrats finish pushing Hillary over a cliff.

Bryan said...

Keep bringing the questions. As long as McCain keeps promising to use Reagan style policies to reduce the deficit, and commits to the open ended presence in Iraq- funding both sides of what is now essentially a shiite gang war, fueling and creating the extremists that the next generation will be shipped off to fight,

As long as he fails to address environmental issues with an aggressive international agenda, and healthcare issues with a serious plan for reducing costs,

As long as he keeps getting caught with his foot in his mouth, only to have Joe Leiberman pull it out for him,

MCCAIN WILL NOT WIN.

And if weak questions based on faulty logic and clouded facts are the best that can be done to undermine the Democratic candidate chosen by a majority of voters,

MCCAIN WILL NOT WIN.

Jamie said...

Spoken like a Gore voter in '99.

Believe me, when I turn out to be right about this I'm going to hate it as much as you do.

Bryan said...

Don't pretend that you know anything about me, just like I didn't dismiss Hutchinson's garbage questions by accusing him of being a Hillary or McCain supporter. Debate on the substance, or acknowledge that THERE IS NO DEFENDING SUCH TACTICS and move on.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Hutchinson's 10 questions are very good; I don't see how even screaming liberals can support Obama, except for the fact that their mental maturity is about that of a 5th grader. At least Clinton has some programs, and some actual ideas, as opposed to the drivel that Obama spews out all the time about "transcending politics"; what errant nonsense! His supporters must be "brain dead", because he has NO program, ideas, or anything of substance to offer. He only has "star appeal" with zillions of folks with the mentality of grade-schoolers following him around and screaming their support like the idiots that they are! And, try this on for size: besides lacking any substantive ideas to offer the electorate, he has allied himself with an extremist, America-hating black nationalist. McCain will DESTROY him in the general election, whereas Clinton would be very competitive against McCain. Obama hasn't taken ONE large state, and only what are normally red states with fairly small populations anyway, which won't go for him in the general election. At least Clinton has won some big states, and some that are normally blue. As a conservative, I sure hope Obama is the democrat nominee, and not Clinton.....yes, there really is a God!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Hutchinson,

I have read your columns for years and I respect your insight. However, why do you think your 10 questions are just unique to obama. McCain and Clinton are just as vulnerable on their association and positions as he is. All politicians are! Obama needs not constantly react to his critics or criticism or the other candidates' comments. He needs to press his agenda clearly and more importantly go on the offense from now until Nov and even after he's in the White House. He should point out the Clintons' lies and scandals and McCain's vulnerabilities like his real relationshipe with lobbyists, the Keating 5 scandal, his going to Bob Jones Univ in 2000, his voting against the MLK holiday, and his lack of economic agenda and his furtherance of the war. None of these 3 pols has ever been a Chief Executive of anything and they have never ran anything but their mouths. So, experience is not the issue in this campaign. It's who has the best ideals for change and righting America's course in these uncertain first years of the 21st century.

Finally, I remember an article you did last year about blacks trending slightly to the republican party. I don't see it, now, but that would be a good move if republicans would offer us something to deal our issues along with the respect due all voters in exchange for our votes. At least the dems wine and dine us, before they ask 4 some. R u republican?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Hutchinson,

I have read your columns for years and I respect your insight. However, why do you think your 10 questions are just unique to obama. McCain and Clinton are just as vulnerable on their association and positions as he is. All politicians are! Obama needs not constantly react to his critics or criticism or the other candidates' comments. He needs to press his agenda clearly and more importantly go on the offense from now until Nov and even after he's in the White House. He should point out the Clintons' lies and scandals and McCain's vulnerabilities like his real relationshipe with lobbyists, the Keating 5 scandal, his going to Bob Jones Univ in 2000, his voting against the MLK holiday, and his lack of economic agenda and his furtherance of the war. None of these 3 pols has ever been a Chief Executive of anything and they have never ran anything but their mouths. So, experience is not the issue in this campaign. It's who has the best ideals for change and righting America's course in these uncertain first years of the 21st century.

Finally, I remember an article you did last year about blacks trending slightly to the republican party. I don't see it, now, but that would be a good move if republicans would offer us something to deal our issues along with the respect due all voters in exchange for our votes. At least the dems wine and dine us, before they ask 4 some. R u republican?