Barack Obama and the media
For the first time, Sen. Barack Obama was playing defense with the press. It was after a get-out-the-vote rally on Monday. Instead of the usual fawning Washington reporters tossing softballs as they worked up adoring stories about him running for president in 2008, Obama was taking questions from the City Hall news crew about his astoundingly bad judgment.
They drove up to Waukegan to find out for themselves why on earth Obama had anything to do with the shady, recently indicted Tony Rezko.
WLS radio reporter Bill Cameron put it this way in the lead-off question: "What in the world were you doing in a real estate deal with Tony Rezko?"
For the next 14 minutes, Obama had what for him was a new experience: explaining himself in public for questionable personal conduct.
Obama's inquisitors were reporters who knew him for years and were neither awed nor intimidated by him. It was just another grilling of yet another Chicago pol who got caught in a sticky situation.
Put another way, Obama was being treated just like everybody else.
"This is the first time this has happened and I don't like the feeling," Obama said. "It's frustrating to me, and I'm kicking myself about it."
Obama, Rezko ...
The Obama Chronicles: Waukegan interview transcript. On Rezko, mistakes and being held to a high standard.
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More on Obama and Rezko: UPDATED
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