The Most Wildly Inappropriate Statement Ever?

Barack Obama’s friend, financier and political supporter Tony Rezko was convicted by a Chicago jury today on sixteen counts involving various forms of political corruption. Obama released this statement:

I’m saddened by today’s verdict. This isn’t the Tony Rezko I knew, but now he has been convicted by a jury on multiple charges that once again shine a spotlight on the need for reform. I encourage the General Assembly to take whatever steps are necessary to prevent these kinds of abuses in the future.

I don’t doubt that Obama is saddened by his mentor’s conviction, but the rest of his statement is from outer space. “This isn’t the Tony Rezko I knew.” Deja vu, anyone? I could swear I’ve heard it somewhere before. Sure enough–the racist, anti-American Rev. Wright whom we’ve all seen on video wasn’t the Rev. Wright whom Obama knew for 20 years, either. And the outrageously bigoted Father Pfleger wasn’t the Pfleger whom Obama assiduously supported with earmarks–another form of political corruption.

Obama seems to suffer from a singular inability to “know” his most intimate associates. One day soon, will a “saddened” Obama tell us that the Michelle Obama we see on video is “not the Michelle Obama I knew?” Time will tell.

Obama continues by saying that Rezko’s conviction “shine[s] a spotlight on the need for reform.” Well, sort of. It certainly shines a spotlight on the inadvisability of committing extortion, money laundering, and so on. It may also shine a spotlight on Obama’s need to choose a better class of friends.

Obama suggests that Illinois’ General Assembly should “take whatever steps are necessary to prevent these kinds of abuses in the future.” Hmm. I think Congress (and no doubt Illinois’ General Assembly too) already did that. Which is why Rezko is about to serve a long sentence in the federal pen.

Earth to Obama: the world didn’t fall off a turnip truck when you came of age. Fraud, extortion, money laundering, etc. have been illegal for some time, just as, contrary to the conclusion of Obama’s speech last night–“this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick”–doctors, nurses and hospitals have been providing health care to Americans for a considerable time, and will continue to do so regardless of whether Obama wins in November.

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