- “Sometimes politics can seem very small,” says the man whose campaign has spent millions attacking his foe for having a Swiss Bank account.
“The choice you face, it couldn’t be bigger,” concludes the president. Neither could our debt!
Read on after the video. Of course, there’s more.
The “more” to which I refer is a June 2009 RBO article that discussed Obama bundler Alan Solomont, investor/consultant with SB Ventures/Philanthropic Inertia, who, in this campaign funding cycle has already contributed $35,800 to the Obama Victory Fund 2012 and $30,800 to the Democratic National Committee.
You will see the connection in the following excerpted from that article:
On background, in a March 2008 post, I wrote:
- One day after John Kerry announced that he would not enter the 2008 presidential race, a number of the Massachusetts Senator’s key advisers all jumped on-board the Barack Obama bandwagon:
So far, at least, the list includes: Bob Farmer, who was Mr. Kerry’s chief fundraiser; Mark Gorenberg, Mr. Kerry’s top money man in California; and Alan Solomont, a major fundraiser in New England for Mr. Kerry and a former national finance chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
In May 2007, Solomont, “despite his longstanding ties” to Bill and Hillary Clinton, decided to “[apply] his skills” to backing Obama.
Claude R. Max reported in JTA:
- Solomont, however, approaches his work not as just helping a candidate but as furthering a cause. “This is a mission-driven, value-laden enterprise, and I am philosophical about it,” he said during an interview in the memorabilia-filled conference room of his office in this Boston suburb. Throughout the conversation, Solomont emphasized that raising money is a means to an end: getting politicians who share his goals of a more economically and socially just country. …
Steve Grossman, a top fund-raiser for Hillary Clinton and a former Democratic National Committee chairman, believes there is nothing phony or insincere about Solomont. “He’s a warrior for social justice,” said Grossman, who has known Solomont and his wife, Susan, for 25 years. “He’s as honest as the sun about his causes and principles.”
Did I mention that Solomont was once a student protester? Don Aucoin, who described Solomont as a “local guy”, wrote June 1, 2004, about the controversial Solomont in the Boston Globe:
- If it was surprising, perhaps it shouldn’t have been. Solomont has cycled through numerous identities in his 55 years: student protester, community organizer, registered nurse, health-care magnate, and leader of Boston-area causes that range from the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston (where he is chairman of the board) to the Boston Medical Center (where he chairs the development committee).
Of his student protester days, Aucoin reported:
- The role of major player on friendly terms with the political establishment is a role Solomont might not have envisioned back in the late 1960s, when he joined other Tufts University students in occupying the president’s office to protest a lack of minority workers in a dorm renovation project.
Although not admitting involvement in the 1968 SDS-led riots at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Solomont was there. Aucoin wrote:
- If Alan Solomont seems equal parts activist and insider, it may be a combination prefigured in part by his experience at the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago. He was then a Tufts student majoring in political science who had landed work as a page on the convention floor.
Somewhat guiltily, Solomont describes standing next to then-House Speaker John W. McCormack, “while in the back of the room, my peers were getting their heads beaten in.”
Did I mention that Solomont was once a union organizer? Aucoin wrote:
- Nor, when he was fired in the early 1970s from a job at a nursing home due to union organizing, could Solomont have envisioned that he would one day own several nursing homes and assisted-living facilities.
Did I mention Solomont once was a community organizer?
Claude Max wrote May 2007 in JTA (emphasis added):
- After working as a community organizer Solomont, who has undergraduate degrees in nursing and political science, made his wealth in the nursing home and senior home health care businesses. He now devotes almost all his time to political and philanthropic work. Solomont says working as an organizer helped him form an instant bond with Obama, who undertook similar efforts in Chicago in the 1980s.” During our first conversation over dinner in Washington, D.C., we talked about our work in communities and how it shaped our views about affecting change,” Solomont recalled. “This election will be about change: a change in government and the way politics is conducted. There is a connection between gridlock and the smallness of our politics.
And then some things just leap out at you. How odd to find Solomont using the phrase “smallness of our politics”, which was used by Obama in his political speeches several times prior to Solomont’s announcing his backing in May 2007. In fact, it appears on page 41 of his October 2006 book ‘The Audacity of Hope (emphasis added):
- [W]hat’s troubling is the gap between the magnitude of our challenges and the smallness of our politics–the ease with which we are distracted by the petty and the trivial, our chronic avoidance of tough decisions, our seeming inability to build a working consensus to tackle any big problem.
On other occasions Obama said (and more here):
. “It’s the timidity – the smallness – of our politics that’s holding us back right now. The idea that some problems are just too big to handle, and if you just ignore them, sooner or later, they’ll go away.”–Remarks of Senator Barack Obama at Emily’s List Annual Luncheon, May 11, 2006, posted at BarackObama.com.
. “But while the world has changed around us, unfortunately it seems like our government has stood still. Our faith has been shaken, but the people running Washington haven’t been willing to make us believe again. Now, it’s the timidity, it’s the smallness of our politics that’s holding us back right now – the idea that there are some problems that are just too big to handle, and if you just ignore them that sooner or later they’ll go away, …”–Speech at the end of the Take Back America 2006, June 14, 2006.
. “I’ve been struck by how hungry we all are for a different kind of politics. … But challenging as they are, it’s not the magnitude of our problems that concerns me the most. It’s the smallness of our politics. …”–Chicago NBC 5, January 16, 2007.
Did I mention that Alan Solomont was one of several Obama bundlers to win an ambassadorship? In August 2009, Alan D. Solomont became the newest U.S. ambassador to Spain.
As Muckety.com pointed out, the half-million dollar bundler still smelled like a lobbyist by any other name. Solomont was chairman and CEO of Solomont Bailis Ventures, a Massachusetts nursing home group.
It is not at all unusual for people, especially politicians, to find a catch phrase that works. It is hard to believe that anyone listening to Obama’s most recent speech will find this one particularly memorable.
However, for those of you reading, at least you have some idea why Barack Obama keeps hammering away on this one — a $38,500 Obama Victory Fund, an ambassadorship, and more.