- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 26, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Sen. Barack Obama has a problem. And it lives in a hut.

His name is George Hussein Onyango Obama, and he is the 26-year-old half brother of Mr. Obama, the multimillionaire autobiographer who neglected to write that his paternal sibling lives on less than a dollar a month in the outer slums of Nairobi, Kenya.

They have met twice.

Unearthed by Italian Vanity Fair and virtually ignored by the American press, the inconvenient George Obama could emerge as a compelling character in the freshman senator’s carefully edited road-to-the-White-House narrative - especially now that his campaign has unleashed a personal attack on Sen. John McCain’s station in life.

The Obama hit job on Mr. McCain seizes on his clumsiness in answering a reporter’s question about how many houses he and his wife, Cindy, own. “I think - I’ll have my staff get to you,” Mr. McCain fumbled. In a well-funded nationally televised ad spot titled “Seven,” Mr. Obama’s messenger twice repeats the correct answer as the words on the screen reinforce the meme of class warfare.

“Seven. Worth $13 million.”

The Sunday morning shows parroted Mr. Obama’s shocking discovery that the McCain family is well-off. Smarting Obamaniacs campaigning for their messiah are now scripted to ask voters in battleground states how many houses they own and participate in an official campaign contest, “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: McCain Edition.” Winners receive hope, change and fist bumps - spoils of the “new kind of politics.”

Someone who made $4.2 million last year and lives in a mansion that a mobster helped pay for should not be throwing stones. When Mr. Obama’s flesh-and-blood lives in squalor, raising the standard of living of his opponent’s extended family is probably not a smart idea.

It’s scary to think that this could be a preview of an Obama presidency in which attacking the rich is all the rage, and the rich in the news media pretend it’s OK. Hugo Chavez is having a helluva run bringing down his formerly prosperous nation of Venezuela with that formula.

Mr. McCain, of course, would be publicly eviscerated if he funded an ad campaign called “12” - as in the amount of dollars a year Mr. Obama’s half-brother subsists on. The message also could accurately point out that Mr. Obama and his wife, Michelle, have consistently fallen short of the national average in charitable contributions since they entered the highest income bracket - despite their ballyhooed “progressive” religious faith that touts “economic equality.”

It would also be fair game now to point out that preaching “social justice” pays better than being a United States senator. The Trinity United Church of Christ is building a mansion for the Rev. Jeremiah Wright that includes an elevator, a butler’s pantry, a bar, a rubberized exercise room - and the 10,000-square-foot estate backs up to the Odyssey Country Club. (Memo to wealthy Caucasian Republican members of the golf club: “Fore!”)

Attached to Mr. Wright’s church-funded property is a peculiar $10 million line of credit - presumably, none of which will be given to George Obama.

Mr. McCain’s ad also could highlight that Michelle Obama is on leave from her $317,000-a-year job at the University of Chicago Medical Center, which is now under scrutiny - along with Obama campaign chief David Axelrod and two other staffers - for a scheme that, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, “steers patients who don’t have private insurance - primarily poor, black people - to other health care facilities.”

“The medical professionals who have come to me are accusing the university of dumping patients on its neighboring institutions,” Toni Preckwinkle, alderman for the 4th Ward, told the paper.

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