May 18, 2012
GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney repeatedly referred to investigation of his claims of job creation at Bain Capital as campaign attacks based upon “character assassination by Barack Obama." It was an interesting phrasing to begin his response, since he was asked to comment on the New York Times expose story of a $10 million attack ad proposal in a 54-page document complete with photos, being marketed again, linking President Obama with Rev. Jeremiah Wright, once again. John McCain refused to use it four years ago and apparently some far-out right wingers still think that it possibly cost him a chance to win. Revelation that conservative Nebraska billionaire Joe Ricketts, founder of TD Ameritrade and owner of the Chicago Cubs, being behind the plot’s financing brought rapid familial declarations from his son Tom and daughter Laura, distancing themselves from their father’s politics and expressing disdain for the utilization of veiled racism. The elder Ricketts repudiated “The Plan” later in the day.
Like many American families, the Ricketts’ family members have diverse views as individuals. Tom Ricketts is chairman of the board and involved with the operation of the Chicago Cubs team franchise in Major League Baseball’s National League. He has siblings on the Cubs’ board, a brother (Pete) is a member of the the Republican National Committee and a sister (Laura) is a well-known local lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender community political supporter of Barack Obama. Timing of the story’s breaking couldn’t have been worse for the Cubs, since Tom is in the midst of negotiations with the city and mayor Rahm Emmanuel (Obama’s former chief of White House staff) and Governor Pat Quinn, for public financing of renovations to historic Wrigley Field. Joe Ricketts and his super PAC "Ending Spending Action Fund", as one reporter pointed out, apparently have no problem with the apparent hypocrisy of having received and looking to receive millions in tax dollars for the Cubs.
It appears clear that another week is ending with Romney appearing reticent and uneasy giving head-scratching answers to simple questions and the GOP image tarnished by yet another controversy. With additional adverse implications still unfolding about the J.P. Morgan Chase financial operations/loss debacle, and its CEO-Chairman (Jaime Dimon), Mitt’s comments about need for fewer regulations almost seem incredulous, as some call for his resignation from the board of the Fed branch in New York. On the other hand, discussion of the controversy will obscure the fact that Romney’s plan for the economy, based upon his own words, is really no different than that of former President George W. Bush’s.
It is still fairly early in the general election campaign, with many Americans just beginning to pay close attention to the related news headlines, as we creep closer to the unofficial beginning of the summer season at the end of this month. More and more of the public will be seriously tuning into the campaigns as summer approaches, and if the president lost any black voting support because of his formal public support of same-sex marriage last week, he no doubt recouped a lot of it with The New York Times revealing “The Ricketts Plan” yesterday. Many Americans of color believe that much of the opposition to Obama is race-based, although a significant number of them have been open about their dissatisfaction with the president’s handling of certain matters. From many of their perspectives there has been good reason for thinking a lot of conservatives’ opposition to Obama is related to race, given some of the extreme exhortations continuing to spew from GOP supporters with extreme views, such as the “birther” adherents, for the last four years. Strangely enough for the thinkers with clouded minds out there, attempting to re-sell and exploit the past Rev. Wright-Obama connection again would play best to voters who would never consider voting for Obama in the first place, but it will probably galvanize many Americans who see through racist intent, no matter how veiled.
If you like writing about U.S. politics and the 2012 campaign, enter "The American Pundit" competition. Allvoices is awarding four $250 prizes each month between now and November. These monthly winners earn eligibility for the $5,000 grand prize, to be awarded after the November election.
Sources, resources and references: MSNBC, WOR-Radio,