Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Sneed On Obama Cheating Scandal

One of my favorite political gossip columnists, the Chicago Sun-Times' Michael Sneed, weighs in on the National Enquirer's story alleging that then-U.S. Senate candidate Barack Obama had an affair with campaign staffer Vera Baker. Sneed is pretty good at sniffing out what is true and untrue in reported political scandals. She has some interesting tidbits to add to the story. It turns out Roland Burris hired Baker to work on his staff a short time after his controversial appointment to the Senate seat Obama vacated thanks to former Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Baker resigned her job in February after confiding to Burris' chief of staff that she had been booted from Obama's campaign because Michelle believed she was too close to her husband and that media had an interest in reporting on their relationship. Baker denies the relationship Michelle suspected according to Sneed. Here's more on her take on the scandal:

• So here is Sneed's stranger-than-fiction scoop: Sneed is told Baker, who is the focus of the story -- and who denied any romantic relationship with Obama in the past -- was hired by U.S. Sen. Roland Burris shortly after he was appointed to Obama's old Senate seat in January 2009.

• Buckshot: Not only did she become Burris' deputy chief of staff, but she abruptly resigned in February. Quoth Burris spokesman Jim O'Connor: "I can confirm Vera Baker worked for us for a year."

• Update: "She [Baker] came with a pretty impressive resume, and we were naturally impressed," a Burris source said.

• Upshot: "But it wasn't an Obama suggestion to hire her," he added. "It was a friend of Burris who suggested it. . . . I don't think Roland even knew her personal background, just that she knew her way around Washington . . . and he needed all the help he could get."

• Top shot: A top Sneed source claims Baker informed Burris staffers shortly after she was hired about why she lost her Obama job, wanting to prepare them for any fallout. "She claims she lost her job and Michelle Obama had an issue with her closeness to her husband and ended up losing her job . . . and she subsequently moved to the island of Martinique. She never said she had an affair with Obama, but she did say they were very close."

• The kicker: Baker was also the executive producer of a play in D.C. called the "Obamanologues," the story of Obama's journey to the White House.


Covenant60 said...

Obama should have spent less time cheating on his wife and more time tending to his oil spill in the Gulf.

Downtown Indy said...

Baker sounds like a savvy up-and-comer. I wonder whom the rumors are coming from?

A little dirt, a little notoriety, some more contacts and she perhaps gets a couple more rungs higher on the ladder to the top? Maybe a lucrative book deal?

Wonder if she's seen Obamas birth certificate? ;-)

Carlos F. Lam said...

Well, Sneed ain't Mike Royko (who also wrote for the Sun Times) but that the Sun Times is even mentioning the story has got to be causing headaches for Team Obama. If they're having to keep an eye on this story and play defense, it keeps them from focusing on their domestic and foreign policy agendas.

Unknown said...

The sun times turned into a right wing rag about right before Royko jumped to the Tribune. My family is in the newspaper business in chicago, and no one takes anything the Sun times says seriously, let alone what a gossip columnist has to say.
The reason its stranger than fiction, is because it's bad fiction. And, if you were canned because of incompetence or craziness, isn't "the wife thought i was too close to the boss" the fallback position for lack of a recommendation?

artfuggins said...

There is no Obama cheating scandal as there was no cheating. It exists only in the minds of some warped individuals who can't stand to see an African American serving as president and can't stand to see a happy couple truly in love.

Carlos F. Lam said...

Whether there is a cheating scandal or not is beside the point, just like whether or not Pres. Obama has a "birth certificate" or "certificate of live birth" is beside the point. These stories play much the same role that the tale about Pres. Bush being angry with Saddam Hussein for the latter's plan to "kill his dad." The goal of such stories is to delegitimize the current President in the eyes of a segment of the electorate.

Gary R. Welsh said...

That's a disappointing attitude to have, Carlos. If a man cheats on the person who supposedly means more to him than anyone else in this world, don't you think he will cheat on the American people? Your generation seems to have an attitude that everyone does it so why should it matter. Hope your wife doesn't read your comment.