Barack “Money Bags” Obama Can’t Run on the 99 Percent Ticket

Submitted by Glen Ford on Tue, 11/22/2011 - 23:06
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A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Remember 2004, when the cash-poor Democratic candidates were evicted from the campaign like vagabonds by ABC News? One measure of the impact of the Occupy Wall Street movement is that candidates will be compelled to explain to voters why they are so popular with Wall Street. This poses a special quandary for President Obama, who got the lion's share of finance industry dollars in 2008 and is determined to raise $1 billion for next year's campaign. “How can Obama claim to be ready to stand up to the 1 percent, when he's weighted down with a billion dollars of their money?”

 

Barack “Money Bags” Obama Can’t Run on the 99 Percent Ticket

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The trick that President Obama must pull off this election year is to raise a cool one billion dollars, while pretending to run as a man of the people – of the 99 percent.”

President Obama has been doing his charming best to play off the huge dilemma that the success of the Occupy Wall Street movement represents for his brand of corporate Democratic politics. Obama, the phony populist who is actually far better suited to corporate boardrooms, tried to mollify demonstrators at a campaign stop in New Hampshire, this week. Obama told a high school crowd: “In the Occupy movement there is a profound sense of frustration. The American dream – seems like that’s slipping away.” But, such presidential vagaries do not begin to describe the major thrust of the Occupation movement, whose overwhelming focus is “to get money out of politics,” as progressive reporter Arun Gupta recently told Black Agenda Radio. If there is anything that unites the supposedly leaderless Occupation movement, says Gupta, it is “a message about extreme concentration of wealth and power, and that wealth is used to dominate the political system.”

The trick that President Obama must pull off this election year is to raise a cool one billion dollars, while pretending to run as a man of the people – of the 99 percent. That kind of money can only come from the same Wall Street mafias that bankrolled Obama from the very start of his 2008 race for the White House. By any objective standard, the First Black President is really Mr. Moneybags, a corporate politician who has repaid Wall Street’s investment in him with $16 trillion of the people’s money. And, there is no doubt, Wall Street wants him back for a second term. To paraphrase Othello, Obama has done the plutocrats some service, and they know it. That’s why he is far ahead in the electoral race that really counts in America, the quest for campaign contributions, having already raised $155 million for himself and the Democratic Party – far ahead of any combination of Republicans.

The First Black President is really Mr. Moneybags, a corporate politician who has repaid Wall Street’s investment in him with $16 trillion of the people’s money.”

However, after two months of Occupy Wall Street fever, Obama’s intimate relationship with rich men’s wallets may prove prejudicial to his reelection prospects. How can Obama claim to be ready to stand up to the 1 percent, when he's weighted down with a billion dollars of their money?

The very idea that taking bundles of Wall Street checks hand over fist could be a negative for an American presidential campaigner, is testimony to the strength of the movement that has emerged over the past several months. I remember well how, back in the 2004 campaign, ABC's Ted Koppel decided it was his civic and journalistic duty to evict the three poorest candidates from the Democratic primary race. Al Sharpton, Dennis Kucinich and Carolyn Moseley Braun, said Koppel, should get out of the running, to give more breathing space to the richer candidates. Koppel spoke to the non-corporate candidates like raggedy ass interlopers at a rich man's ball. “You don't have any money, at least not much,” Congressman Kucinich, said Kopple. “Rev. Sharpton has almost none.” And Ambassador Moseley Braun, “You don't have very much.” Then Koppel accused them of being “vanity candidates” who ought to drop out. Immediately afterwards, ABC News cut off coverage of their campaigns.

What a difference even a whiff of a social movement makes. Now, the corporate candidates will have to explain why they've got so much money, and what they promised to do to get it. Especially, the richest one of all, Barack Obama.

For Black Agenda Radio, I'm Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

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7 comments

But Glenn....

Submitted by contempted on Thu, 11/24/2011 - 00:49.

Ted has such a rich sonorous voice, he speaks with such authority, and for god's sake he's white, surely he must be right?

my comment on top essay would fit better here -

Submitted by sanda_artistNYC on Fri, 11/25/2011 - 09:26.

About the fundraiser I got from BO c/o Democratic National Committee.  No, I  never gave any money to the DNC.  Twice in primary season, I gave small donations to Dennis Kucinich, but that was before he melted under pressure in re health bill.  I may feel sorry for Kucinich, but I wouldn't vote for  him again.

Ok, Afric-I, you're more poetic than I am - the "marriage" &pols

Submitted by sanda_artistNYC on Mon, 11/28/2011 - 12:45.

thing, but I wanted to say that prostitution is a whole topic (I respect those exploited women.)  Politicians really have a lot to answer for (I smile as I ponder the actual possibility).  I saw a couple of articles, can't cite them, last week about how politicians go into office, in this case it was Congress, and make money.  One case in point was Newt Gingrich.  I heard it on "Economic Update", Rick Wolff's radio show on www.wbai.org ---( Note: I support www.takebackwbai.org). It was last Sat.'s show, Nov. 26, 2011, 12Noon EST archived for 90 days, free.  How Newt G. and other Republicans got steady "consulting fees" from Freddy Mac (or the other one) for years, ending in about 2006.  It was to keep other Republicans from hurting them in re housing loans.  Gingrich got $300,000.  a year for years.  That's just one example of how to make money while a member of Congress.  I saw that members are financially connected to companies that get gov't money which might be called a conflict of interest.     If I remember where I saw the article, I'll come back and add it to this. And if it was a GlenFord commentary, I 'll blush at my "senior's memory".

NO PROBLEM

Submitted by PEASEHEAD on Fri, 11/25/2011 - 19:00.

President Obama's addiction to Wall street largesse is not a liability for many of his supporters. As one of them told me several times last night during one of our many discussions on this and similar topics, her biggest fear is that dissension and disillusionment among members of his base will allow a Republican to displace him in 2012. I see no real difference between giving the Obama administration a second term and some Republican holding office when it comes to most of the issues which matter to me.

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