Obama says Democrats must hold White House accountable


Chicago Tribune
Posted on Sat, Sep. 17, 2005

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - (KRT) - Sen. Barack Obama urged fellow Democrats on Saturday not to automatically view President Bush's proposed reconstruction of the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast with a cynical eye, but said: "It is absolutely imperative that we call him on his bluff."

"In the immediate aftermath of the hurricane, I think it's important that we don't just assume that George Bush is lying when he says he's finally been awakened to the fact that there is poverty and racism in our midst," said Obama, D-Ill. "It's tempting to do so, especially when he decides to put Karl Rove in charge of reconstruction."

Rove, the top political adviser to the president, will play a role through his position as deputy White House chief of staff, but he has not been tapped to supervise the rebuilding.

In an address at Harvard Law School's "Celebration of Black Alumni," Obama said Democrats shared responsibility for failing to make a larger issue of poverty in the United States. But he said it was the opposition party's duty to hold the White House accountable for fixing problems exposed by Hurricane Katrina.

"We should trust although we should verify," said Obama. "We should actively reach out to him and say, `Mr. President, we believe, in fact, that those differences were as disturbing to you as they were disturbing to us.'" [...] I sure can't agree with that approach. That is what we did for four years. It sure isn't going to start to work now! Not with the degree of secrecy that this administration uses. To verify we have to know what was done ... Read it at

© Virginia Metze


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