New DNC ad forgets Obama haul at Abramoff firm

You have to love the DNC, just for its sheer cluelessness. In their new ad, they castigate John McCain for his ties to Ralph Reed and Reed’s ties to Jack Abramoff, alleging that Reed partnered with Abramoff in his crimes without actually having any evidence to prove it. In doing so, they seem to forget that Barack Obama has his own ties to Abramoff’s lobbying firm:


VOICEOVER: “On the campaign trail, John McCain claims that he fought to expose Jack Abramoff and his corrupt cronies…”

MCCAIN: “And I led the investigation.”

VOICEOVER: “It was a scandal that rocked the country, linking all the way to the Bush White House and Republicans in Congress, sending two former Republican Congressmen to prison.

“But, now, desperate to raise campaign cash to run more negative attack ads, John McCain is cozying up to Jack Abramoff’s cronies.

“Ralph Reed, a key business partner of Jack Abramoff helped the convicted former Republican lobbyist launder 2 million dollars through a front group to finance a gambling campaign.

“Now, Ralph Reed has signed up to raise money for John McCain. Reed has even been appointed to McCain’s Victory 2008 Team.

“Ralph Reed’s murky connections to Jack Abramoff run so deep, it cost him a race for Lt. Governor in Georgia.

“While most people now see Ralph Reed as a tainted man raising tainted money, John McCain sees him as a source of campaign cash.

“John McCain – more of the same old politics.”

It would be powerful stuff if (a) Reed actually had done anything wrong, and (b) if Obama hadn’t held his own fundraiser at Abramoff’s firm. He took quite a large amount of money from Abramoff’s real partners:

Last fall, Barack Obama quietly slipped into the Miami headquarters of a major law firm scarred by the scandals of Jack Abramoff, its once-powerful Washington lobbyist who now sits in jail.

Arriving a little after 10 a.m. on Oct. 1 [2007], Obama spent the next three hours schmoozing, speaking in a video conference to branch offices and raising money at Greenberg Traurig, a billion-dollar firm with one of the biggest lobby shops here.

Obama has now raised about $125,000 from Greenberg Traurig employees — nearly half of it at the time of the event — more than from any of the other top law and lobby firms.

Symbolically, it was a starkly contradictory event: an appearance by the candidate who crusades most adamantly against lobbyists at the onetime firm of the poster child for out-of-control influence peddling.

Public anger over the Abramoff lobbying scandal led Obama to institute the ban on lobbyist money in the first place, an aide said last year.


What’s next — an ad in Harry Reid’s re-election campaign that reminds voters in Nevada of his ties to Abramoff? Perhaps a reminder of Reid’s five interventions on Abramoff’s behalf? I can’t wait …

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John Sexton 7:00 PM on December 09, 2023