Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Jim Johnson has quit today as Obama's moron, er, VP picker.
It took...what?...24 hours? Obama is getting good at throwing his sordid friends under the bus.
Johnson Quits Obama's Vice Presidential Search Team
June 11 (Bloomberg) -- Former Fannie Mae Chairman James Johnson said he has quit Senator Barack Obama's vice presidential search committee after the Wall Street Journal reported he may have received preferential mortgage terms from Countrywide Financial Corp.
Johnson said that while he has done nothing wrong, he left to avoid being a hindrance to Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee.
``I would not dream of being a party to distracting attention from that historic effort,'' he said in a statement. ``I believe Barack Obama's candidacy for president of the United States is the most exciting and important of my lifetime.''
Johnson's ties to Countrywide became a campaign issue after Republicans pointed out that Obama had been critical of the mortgage lender in campaign speeches. Johnson's role as a political insider also contrasted with Obama's pledge to bring change to Washington.
Johnson, 64, said that ``blatantly false statements and misrepresentations'' were written about him.
``Jim did not want to distract in any way from the very important task of gathering information about my vice presidential nominee, so he has made a decision to step aside that I accept,'' Obama said in an e-mailed statement.
Obama said he is ``confident'' his vice presidential search process will produce ``a number of highly qualified candidates'' in coming weeks.
Johnson was part of a three-person team, along with Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy, and former Deputy U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who were tapped to help vet prospective running mates for Obama. Johnson, who ran Walter Mondale's 1984 presidential campaign, helped 2004 Democratic nominee John Kerry in his vice presidential search.
Angelo Mozilo, the chief executive officer of Countrywide, the biggest U.S. home lender, may have given Johnson and other friends good deals on mortgages, the Wall Street Journal reported on June 7, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter. The newspaper didn't provide any specifics on whether favors were granted.
Since then, Johnson's position on the search committee has drawn criticism from Republicans who noted that Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, repeatedly denounced Countrywide for its role in the subprime-mortgage crisis.
Obama is already becoming a mixture of Bill Clinton with his scandal-a-day presidency and Jimmy Carter with his gross inexperience.
My, would the world love him as President.