Obama Ups the Ante on Disclosure

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Obama went before reporters from the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times on Friday and cleared the air on the Rezko situation in a big way. Here’s the beginning of the Trib‘s write-up:

U.S. Sen. Barack Obama waited 16 months to attempt the exorcism. But when he finally sat down with the Tribune editorial board Friday, Obama offered a lengthy and, to us, plausible explanation for the presence of now-indicted businessman Tony Rezko in his personal and political lives.

The most remarkable facet of Obama’s 92-minute discussion was that, at the outset, he pledged to answer every question the three dozen Tribune journalists crammed into the room would put to him. And he did.

You can read the whole thing here. It’s pretty remarkable; it’s the closest thing to an acquittal that the press can issue. The Obama campaign tried to use it to push the Clinton-as-serial-nondiscloser story line, immediately urging the Clinton campaign to match their moment of forthrightness by releasing all of Clinton’s tax records, disclosing all of her earmarks, and making the donations to Bill Clinton’s presidential library and foundation public.

I’m guessing the Clinton campaign will reject all three parts of that suggestion. The question is whether voters in Pennsylvania care. I’m guessing they are a little more worried about things like NAFTA, the economy, and the Iraq War. But that said, if Obama’s push on the issue of disclosure reminds just a few people that they are tired of the Clintons and their drama, he might poke a few critical percentage points into his column on election night.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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