The Obama-Biden-Rezko ticket?

posted at 12:45 pm on August 25, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Joe Biden certainly brings a lot of baggage to the Democratic ticket this year, and some of the baggage matches that of Barack Obama.  The Chicago Sun-Times reports this morning that a key figure in the Tony Rezko trial served as Biden’s Midwest campaign manager in his run for the 1988 presidential nomination and remained close enough to assist in the early stages of his 2008 run.  Joseph Cari pled guilty to a federal extortion charge this year and awaits sentencing:

Biden has described himself as a 30-year friend of a key figure in the Rezko trial who’s pleaded guilty to a federal extortion charge in Chicago and is awaiting sentencing.

When the Delaware senator began contemplating his own 2008 presidential run, he initially was helped by Chicago lawyer Joseph Cari Jr., who also served as Biden’s Midwest field director in his failed 1988 bid for president.

In 2005, Cari admitted to taking part in an $850,000 kickback scheme that prosecutors say was part of a larger political fund-raising operation for Gov. Blagojevich overseen by Rezko, who was convicted in June of wide-ranging corruption involving state deals.

On the day Cari’s name first surfaced in the federal probe of the state Teachers Retirement System, the former finance chairman for the Democratic National Committee and for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee was to have hosted a Biden fund-raiser in Chicago. Cari was a no-show at that July 25, 2005, event.

Offering Cari a vote of confidence at the time, Biden said, “All I know is Joe Cari is a friend, and he’s an honorable guy, but I don’t know anything beyond that.”

Wow, just what the Democrats need on the Hope and Change ticket — another coincidence!  Now both nominees on the ticket have political ties to the Rezko corruption scandal.  What did Cari do for Biden, and what did Rezko do for Obama?  And could this have had some impact on why Obama picked Biden in the first place?

All this means is that the notion of “reform” has gone under the bus.  The Republicans and the McCain campaign can call this the Rezko All-Stars ticket, especially after the gross distortion the Obama campaign produced about McCain’s supposed “connections” to Ralph Reed, debunked by Factcheck as a “smear”.  In this case, the facts speak for themselves: Obama had a convicted corrupt fixer raising money for him throughout almost all of his political career, and Biden had an admitted extortionist running and advising him on two different campaigns.

Barack Obama and Joe Biden: lacking the judgment to lead.  At best.


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Comments

Good Democratic Goverment deal this Biden.

Low bid contract won.

badtothebone on August 25, 2008 at 12:46 PM

I like the image for this post, Sen Biden looks like he either just witnessed something rather unpleasant, or just stepped in it.

Weebork on August 25, 2008 at 12:46 PM

Poor BHO… His inexperience is catching up with him.

This is what happens when faux-leaders rely on sycophants to think for them and make decisions. He’s as transparent as a jelly fish and has less of a spine.

Claypigeon on August 25, 2008 at 12:48 PM

sooo, will we now get to hear greasy joe prattle on about “not the joesph cari he knew” too?

/worst.vetting.EVAH.

Buckaroo on August 25, 2008 at 12:48 PM

Ah, there’s nothing like good old Chicago politics. How much you want to bet that the sentencing for Rezko gets pushed back until after the election?

xbradtc on August 25, 2008 at 12:49 PM

Man, after all this talk about hope and change and a new brand of politics, it turns out Obama and his running mate are nothing more than regular old politicians. Who knew?

I feel so….lied to….

World B. Free on August 25, 2008 at 12:49 PM

The Chicago Sun-Times reports this morning that a key figure in the Tony Rezko trial served as Biden’s Midwest campaign manager in his run for the 1988 presidential nomination and remained close enough to assist in the early stages of his 2008 run.

Oh yeah well he still has a higher IQ then you!

chb03c on August 25, 2008 at 12:49 PM

All McCain has to do now is pick someone who is, you know, clean and articulate and stuff.

forest on August 25, 2008 at 12:49 PM

In 2005, Cari admitted to taking part in an $850,000 kickback scheme that prosecutors say was part of a larger political fund-raising operation for Gov. Blagojevich overseen by Rezko, who was convicted in June of wide-ranging corruption involving state deals.

Obama’s brother could lifetime of a month’s worth of interest on that kind of cash.

ninjapirate on August 25, 2008 at 12:50 PM

rephrase

Obama’s brother could lifetime of on a month’s worth of interest on that kind of cash.

ninjapirate on August 25, 2008 at 12:51 PM

I was in the middle of moving this weekend when I caught Biden was going to be Obama’s Veep. I actually laughed out loud in a coffee shop, trying to get an expresso to get more moving done and I was tired as all get out.

You should have SEEN the looks I got when I laughed about Biden in this shop. Hippie’s glaring at me and as I stood next to my friend and said loud enough concerning Bidens “background” the Hippies eyes got wide, they looked at each other and then began whispering feverishly. It was a great Sunday Morning!

BHO thanks for the Laugh… and taking Biden! LMFAO!

upinak on August 25, 2008 at 12:52 PM

Hope… hahahahaha!

Change… NEVER!

MrsWeebork on August 25, 2008 at 12:53 PM

Jeebus, I’m going to need to stock up on even more popcorn.

rbj on August 25, 2008 at 12:55 PM

All McCain has to do now is pick someone who is, you know, clean and articulate and stuff.

McCain/Christ 08- because he needs a miracle worker for VP who can really draw a crowd.

Fletch54 on August 25, 2008 at 12:55 PM

like the image for this post, Sen Biden looks like he either just witnessed something rather unpleasant, or just stepped in it.
Weebork on August 25, 2008 at 12:46 PM

Something like this?

Brat on August 25, 2008 at 12:55 PM

The plot sickens.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on August 25, 2008 at 12:56 PM

rbj on August 25, 2008 at 12:55 PM

You may just wanna buy some land, and grow some corn!

Fletch54 on August 25, 2008 at 12:55 PM

And you are smoking crack!

upinak on August 25, 2008 at 12:57 PM

The plot sickens.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on August 25, 2008 at 12:56 PM

Oh dang, I thought you said Pot! As in the type you cook with. You know what I mean!

upinak on August 25, 2008 at 12:58 PM

This should make the Hillary backers happy. Passed over for a corrupt old white guy.

No Hillary, No peace!!!

Right_of_Attila on August 25, 2008 at 12:58 PM

Brat on August 25, 2008 at 12:55 PM

RFLMAO!!!

Weebork on August 25, 2008 at 12:59 PM

Regarding Rezko, two things.

First, when is the press going to get to the bottom of Obama’s home purchase? You can’t convince me that Rezko didn’t route the $300K that the seller “knocked off” the selling price to the seller via some other channel. That way, it removed it from the amount reported to the IRS on a Form 1099-B. It’s quite possible that the move enabled the seller to avoid capital-gains tax on gain that exceed the exclusion amount ($500K, if married; $250K, if single).

Second, when is the press going to ask Obama for a copy of the federal gift tax return he’s filed reporting the taxable gift that Obama made to Rezko’s wife? Obama paid her $104,500 for a piece of property appraised at $40,500. It’s a taxable gift of $64,000 (ignoring annual exclusions). No ordinary course of business exception applies, and Obama cannot claim he made a bad deal–he had an appraisal. Why did a federal elected official make a $64,000 gift to the wife of one of his money men, who recently was convicted of federal crimes?

BuckeyeSam on August 25, 2008 at 1:01 PM

“Passed over for a corrupt old white guy.”

“Is there ANY OTHER KIND?!?!” — random angry PUMA
:-)

Buckaroo on August 25, 2008 at 1:01 PM

Biden was vetted? So…I guess Biden’s friendship with Cari, connected to Rezko, was considered a plus?
Caroline Kennedy was on the Sunday Meet The Press attempting to assure the country that Biden was the best possible pick.
Ouch.

Doug on August 25, 2008 at 1:01 PM

I can just imagine the conversation.

Obama: Hang on a second Biden, I have another call coming in…OK I’m back. Just a buddy of mine named Cari.

Biden: Not Joe Cari, the fixer? Really?

Obama: Yeah. You know him?

Biden: For sure. Dude hooked me on some financial deals. That dude is a SCAM arteeest!

Obama: No…WAY! Cari hooked me up with some deals too. Good buddy of my main man Rezko.

Biden: Small world huh…small world. Anyway, about that VP thing…sure.

Mormon Doc on August 25, 2008 at 1:05 PM

Weebork on August 25, 2008 at 12:59 PM

Depends?

upinak on August 25, 2008 at 1:05 PM

Biden was vetted? So…I guess Biden’s friendship with Cari, connected to Rezko, was considered a plus?
Caroline Kennedy was on the Sunday Meet The Press attempting to assure the country that Biden was the best possible pick.
Ouch.

Doug on August 25, 2008 at 1:01 PM

Everybody else said no…..

I just heard a poll on the radio this morning. Las Vegas newspaper just released a Nevada poll they ran. 45% McCain, 39% Obama

If you take out MA, IL, CA, and NY voters from the national polls, the numbers have to be very grim for Obama.

funky chicken on August 25, 2008 at 1:09 PM

The Obama-Rezko family on the top half of the ticket selected Biden-Cari as the guys they trusted to watch their backs. It makes sense.

Biden fades into the background because he’s just a lookout tough guy on the crew. That’s why it’s OBAMA-biden 08

econavenger on August 25, 2008 at 1:10 PM

upinak on August 25, 2008 at 1:05 PM

They’d have to made from Kevlar to hold that kind of load! LOL

Weebork on August 25, 2008 at 1:13 PM

Rezko,Wright,Kwame,Father Phlegm,Billy Ayers,Jessie,and Michelle.Have you racists no conscience? These are all blue collar americans,much like you and your typical grandmothers. They like watermelon,chitlins and popeyes chicken just like you.Incidentally ,have any of you seen the price of arugula lately? Osama Barak Obama Bin Biden

Marines for Mccain on August 25, 2008 at 1:13 PM

Obama supporters in Denver early.
The smell of BO is gonna be strong.Pun there somewheres.
LGF/Zombie link

Jed1899 on August 25, 2008 at 1:15 PM

Update Check out the rezko/biden connection

Marines for Mccain on August 25, 2008 at 1:15 PM

Big political problem for the dems:

Ralph Reed is very, very popular with conservative evangelical Christians. The fact that he is helping McCain with fundraisers HELPS McCain politically, even though Reed made a mistake in associating with Abramoff.

I’d guess Tony Rezko isn’t going to have quite the same appeal to large numbers of democrat voters.

funky chicken on August 25, 2008 at 1:15 PM

Wait… isnt’ Father Phleger a Catholic priest?

The icing on the cake would be if ol’ Joe went to Phleger’s church.

Damiano on August 25, 2008 at 1:16 PM

Hope and Change?

How about “Dope and Deranged”?

Jim M. on August 25, 2008 at 1:17 PM

I am starting to believe the comments I read previously that BO actually wants to lose this race.

(Donning my tin foil hat) – maybe he wants to set race relations back

(Tin foil hat off)

HawaiiLwyr on August 25, 2008 at 1:18 PM

So much for vetting. Couldn’t they find anyone honest?

Richardson would have been a far better pick than Biden. A lot better.

Terrye on August 25, 2008 at 1:20 PM

My God…the ads just write themselves.

“Do you know this man?” (Pic of Rezko being frog-marhced out of the courthouse)

“Barack Obama does. He helped Obama buy his house.”

“Joe Biden does. He helped Biden’s midwest campaign manager get thousands of dollars in kickbacks stolen from Illinois’ teachers.”

rockmom on August 25, 2008 at 1:20 PM

“ol’ Joe went to Phleger’s church”

joe’s in Del./D.C.;
father white guilt is in the windy city, so alas, that’s a bridge too far …

/pity, ain’t it?

Buckaroo on August 25, 2008 at 1:20 PM

The Clinton machine still has two days to work its magic.

Not to late for…

Clinton-Sebelius ’08

phreshone on August 25, 2008 at 1:21 PM

Where’s alphie this morning? I’m sure he can put the proper spin on the Obama/Biden/Rezko All Stars. Oh, yeah, “It’s all a DISTRACTION”. Maybe that will be the new slogan of the Chosen One.

GarandFan on August 25, 2008 at 1:23 PM

None of this surprises me.
The surprise would be a democrat without mob connections.

Tony Soprano on August 25, 2008 at 1:25 PM

New McCain/RNC add:

Photos of Obama/Biden.
Announcer – Experience to lead? Not hardly.

Photos of Obama/Biden/Rezko.
Announcer – Experience being led? Definitely!

mwdiver on August 25, 2008 at 1:29 PM

I seriously hope Ryewall and Shipley aren’t huddled together on two chairs under a sturdy beam, fashioning loops on two ropes. Perhaps we can talk them down. I still want to ask them how they feel about Hillary’s chances in 2012 after the heartbreak in Nov.

a capella on August 25, 2008 at 1:30 PM

Biden may get his Eagleton moment yet. Maybe Caroline Kennedy can play the role her uncle Sargent Shriver played back in ’72. And the circle will be complete.

Mr. D on August 25, 2008 at 1:32 PM

Does this mean Caroline won’t ever be asked to vet any more candidates?

a capella on August 25, 2008 at 1:33 PM

This is not the bag man I once knew…

phreshone on August 25, 2008 at 1:36 PM

All McCain has to do now is pick someone who is, you know, clean and articulate and stuff.

forest on August 25, 2008 at 12:49 PM

You know, it occurs to me that despite the joke on Biden’s gaffe, Obama’s growing list of scandals and associations makes him appear not to be so clean.

fossten on August 25, 2008 at 1:40 PM

Second, when is the press going to ask Obama for a copy of the federal gift tax return he’s filed reporting the taxable gift that Obama made to Rezko’s wife? Obama paid her $104,500 for a piece of property appraised at $40,500. It’s a taxable gift of $64,000 (ignoring annual exclusions). No ordinary course of business exception applies, and Obama cannot claim he made a bad deal–he had an appraisal. Why did a federal elected official make a $64,000 gift to the wife of one of his money men, who recently was convicted of federal crimes?

BuckeyeSam on August 25, 2008 at 1:01 PM

.
So this is the $64,000 question…

Think_b4_speaking on August 25, 2008 at 1:40 PM

Why is all corruption in Congress inbred? It’s like these people are all in it together.

amkun on August 25, 2008 at 1:42 PM

Biden has always reminded me of the corrupt, Mob linked, US Senator like in the Godfather

jp on August 25, 2008 at 1:46 PM

So this is the $64,000 question…

Think_b4_speaking on August 25, 2008 at 1:40 PM

Ya got that right. Peanuts, perhaps, but I want the question asked and answered and then the federal gift tax return filed that reports, under penalties of perjury, that he made a gift to the wife of his felon money man. And then we can ask, why did he do that? Down payment for a pardon? Repayment for something in the past?

BuckeyeSam on August 25, 2008 at 1:47 PM

Ed,

Your rhetoric is a little overheated here. The Obama-Rezko thing is real political scandal. But seriously, one of Biden’s supporters in Illinois… And some conspiracy speculation of that’s why Obama picked Biden. Come on.

Clark1 on August 25, 2008 at 1:53 PM

None of this will make any difference to the Obamaniacs. Even a blowout lose in November won’t shake their faith. They’ll just spend the next 4 years chanting about how the 2008 Election was “mysteriously stolen” from him by Maverick and the Republicans.

Wildcatter1980 on August 25, 2008 at 1:57 PM

Biden – The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Conservative_SAHM on August 25, 2008 at 1:58 PM

Clark1 on August 25, 2008 at 1:53 PM

It wasn’t a “supporter” of Biden, it was his campaign manager in 1988 and one of his advisors early in his 2008 bid. Re-read the linked and quoted part again.

Ed Morrissey on August 25, 2008 at 1:59 PM

“All this means is that the notion of “reform” has gone under the bus. The Republicans and the McCain campaign can call this the Rezko All-Stars ticket,….”

The question is, what inning are we in?

Dr. Dog on August 25, 2008 at 2:11 PM

I’ve got some vague memory of a scandal concerning either the purchase or renovation of Biden’s current or previous or vacation home. When Ted Stevens got busted, and people were talking about inapropriate gifts involving work on his house, I immediately thought of Biden. Does anyone else remember anything about this? It would have been years ago, possibly many years ago.

Wouldn’t it be ironic, after the houses ad, if Obama and Biden both had house scandals?

texette on August 25, 2008 at 2:15 PM

Just wait until it comes out that the real reason Obama made that speech against the invasion of Iraq in 2002 was because Tony Rezko had business connections to Saddam Hussein.

Just sayin’………….

rockmom on August 25, 2008 at 2:20 PM

Man, I just love the smell of train wrecks in Denver, in August.

JimK on August 25, 2008 at 2:54 PM

Obama? Bi, den!

*eats*

Grue in the Attic on August 25, 2008 at 2:57 PM

sooo, will we now get to hear greasy joe prattle on about “not the joesph cari he knew” too?

/worst.vetting.EVAH.

Buckaroo on August 25, 2008 at 12:48 PM

I have it from a good source that Biden has already been given his own bus, with monster wheels and tires. That way he can also take those that will no longer fit under Obama’s bus for lack of space. It comes with an operators manual and a specific list of reasons for insertion beneath said bus.

Yoop on August 25, 2008 at 4:00 PM

New Motto:
Federal corruption indictments we can believe in!

elduende on August 25, 2008 at 4:01 PM

Obama-Biden-Rezko ticket?

So, The Man In Black ask the question:

“Will the circle be unbroken
Bye and Bye Lord Bye and Bye
…”

(version by Johnny Cash and the Carter Family)

Yoop on August 25, 2008 at 4:07 PM

At this point it wouldn’t surprise me to discover that even Obama’s wife won’t vote for him.

Hope and Change? Sounds like this will change into Race baiting and Hate, not that there is anything news worthy in that.

DannoJyd on August 25, 2008 at 6:32 PM

Joey B, :
“I’ve got friends in low places…”

I used to have a police friend who said one of the cornerstone axioms of investigation is:
“There is no such thing as a coincidence”
(h/t Mike Hartford)

RocketmanBob on August 25, 2008 at 10:12 PM