Sunday, 2 November 2008

Show Me The Money

I normally keep this blog fairly medieval and bookish in its interests but the past few weeks and the next couple of days are a little unusual for anyone who reads the newspapers and keeps up with what's going on. I am, of course, not eligible to vote in these elections and am reluctant to enter into any strongly politicized ramblings. I know who I'd vote for, but then, anyone who reads this probably would vote the same way. I am going to limit myself to a small observation.

It has been reported that Barack Obama's aunt is an illegal immigrant living in Boston. She appears to have had her application for political asylum, made in 2004, rejected by a federal immigration judge. The timing is suspect, needless to say. That such a leak might have come from a government official is certainly unethical and might even be illegal. Senator McCain has said that it is a family matter and out of bounds, though I think most grassroots and diehards will consider this yet another reason to believe that Senator Obama is not American.

This lady is 56, she lives in public housing, she has volunteered as a resident health advocate for the Boston Housing Authority, and has apparently recently stopped because she is recuperating after surgery on her back. It is clear the lady does not have much money, and according to the Obama campaign they have not been in contact for two years. She did attend his swearing-in ceremony as a Senator, but he was under the impression she had travelled from Kenya for that.

This is all a sad story of a woman in her mid-fifties, with no money, wanting to live in the US and getting sick there. Frightening, terrifying.

And what does she do: the Federal Election Commission lists a Zeituni Onyango in South Boston as making a series of contributions, totaling $265, to the Obama campaign, with the most recent contribution, $5, made on Sept. 19.

This lady's nephew is running for President of the United States of America, one of the most powerful and influential positions of political and social importance in the world, a man who is running with one of the richest war chests ever raised in a campaign that has seen some of the most extraordinary expenditure ever devised. She is just a few days away from potentially becoming a family member of the President. And what does she do? And she donates five dollars to his campaign.

Five dollars.

This lady gave five dollars for her nephew to become the President of the United States of America.

I am trembling with admiration for her and for him. I hope that she recovers from her surgery, and I hope that he becomes President.


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