Michelle and Barack Obama, Corporate Democrats

John Edwards and his supporters refer to Hillary Clinton as a corporate Democrat.  But for reasons only Edwards's supporters can explain, they remain uncritical of Barack Obama, even though Obama may derail Edwards's attempt to secure a victory in Iowa.

The following quote from the Chicago Sun-Times reveals who the real corporate Democrats are:

Michelle Obama resigned Tuesday from the board of TreeHouse Foods Inc., a Wal-Mart vendor, eight days after husband and White House hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) said he would not shop at the anti-union store.

Obama has been a director of the suburban Westchester food maker since June 27, 2005. Board chairman Sam Reed received a resignation letter from Obama Tuesday. The company said she quit because of "increased demands" on her time. Obama was re-elected to the board April 19 for a term ending in 2010 -- during a period she was preparing to take on a larger role in the campaign.

In a statement issued by the campaign, Obama said, "As my campaign commitments continue to ramp up, it is becoming more difficult for me to provide the type of focus I would like on my professional responsibilities." She said it was in "the best interests of my family and the company" she quit.

Wal-Mart is a target of organized labor in the U.S., a Democratic constituency playing a key role in determining the 2008 Democratic nominee. Obama's link to Wal-Mart through TreeHouse was a potential liability for Sen. Obama. On May 14, during an AFL-CIO forum in Trenton, N.J., Sen. Obama was asked about Wal-Mart. "I won't shop there," he said.

In a SEC filing, TreeHouse stated Obama's resignation "is not due to any disagreement with the company on any matter.''

According to the Obamas' income tax returns, Michelle Obama collected $51,200 from TreeHouse in 2006.

Although Barack Obama claims he would never shop at WAL-MART, he and his family have enjoyed their share of that corporation's profits.  

Who is the corporate Democrat?  Who is misleading the American people?  The answer to these questions is Barack Obama, whose wife has deep ties to WAL-MART as a result of her appointment to the board of TreeHouse foods after her husband was elected to the US Senate.  Edwards and his supporters should discuss Michelle Obama's appointment to this position, and they should note how it occurred as a result of her husband's 2004 victory.  If one is to criticize corporate Democrats, one should at least be consistent and thorough. I hope Edwards will ask Obama about his family's ties to WAL-MART during the next Democratic primary debate, for primary voters in rural areas deserve to know how the Obamas have earned their money.

Tags: 2008, Barack Obama, John Edwards, Michelle Obama, Primary, Wal-Mart (all tags)

Comments

18 Comments

Re: Michelle and Barack Obama, Corporate Democrats

I'd call this grasping at straws...

First of all, it's not Walmart, it's TreeHouse.

Second, it's not Barack, it's his wife.

Third, $51,200 is pretty de minimus when you consider that he's raised $80 million for his presidential campaign so far.

Fourth, she resigned. We won. TreeHouse (and Walmart) lost. Celebrate.

by dmc2 2007-11-23 06:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle and Barack Obama, Corporate Democrats

Fifth, it is a story from May of this year.  (Check your dates please "truth" teller.)

by Satya 2007-11-23 07:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle and Barack Obama, Corporate Democrats

1. Tree House is Wal-Mart's largest distributor

2. He claims he will not shop at Wal-Mart, but his family has received money from that corporation's largest distributor.  And yes, candidates are accountable for their spouses' actions and decisions.

3. A substantial sum of money was gained as a result of the sinecure Michelle Obama undertook after her husband was elected.

4. She resigned only after Obama claimed he would never shop at Wal-Mart.  And they never returned the money she earned while aiding and abetting the activities of WAL-MART.

5. Daley, an Obama ally, opposed the Big Box Ordinance in Chicago.  One now understands why Daley, a major Obama supporter, opposed the City Council's attempt to force Wal-Mart to pay Chicagoans a living wage.  

I see I have a low information voter on my hands.

by truthteller2007 2007-11-23 09:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle and Barack Obama, Corporate Democrats

1. I've seen no evidence that TreeHouse is Walmart's largest distributor. WalMart appears to be TreeHouse's largest customer, but I'd bet there's like 50 Chinese companies that sell more stuff to Walmart than TreeHouse and I'll bet Walmart is the largest customer for about half the companies in America.

2. I don't shop at Wal-Mart, but I think I have a cousin who works at this company that once sold baseball bats to Wal-Mart so I guess I'll never run for political office.

3. If you think $50K is substantial in the context of Presidential politics, then we know who the "low information voter" is here.

4. "Aiding and abetting"? Wal-Mart may not be a model employer, but it's not a criminal enterprise.

5. Absurd. Let's go and take look at every supporter of every Presidential candidate and hold the candidate responsible for every one of their positions on every issue.

No need for the ad hominem insult at the end. We're just two Americans patriotic enough to actually care enough about who becomes the next President to engage in these kinds of discussions. That's a good thing.

From my perspective, I'll say this. Wal-Mart is not 100% evil (like, for example, Blackwater, Kellogg, Brown and Root, Haliburton, all oil companies, etc.). I don't shop there, but they did build a store in the heart of the black community here in Los Angeles when no one else would (and still won't), and hired all local residents to work there.

I don't know much about TreeHouse, but I do know that sometimes companies put people like Michelle Obama on their boards in order to get some other perspectives. I'm sure she didn't get there by investing in the company. The fact that she made $50,000 there just tells me that her time is valuable.

That said I'm glad she stepped down and I'm glad that Obama doesn't shop at Wal-Mart.

by dmc2 2007-11-24 03:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle and Barack Obama, Corporate Democrats

Who is misleading the American people?  I would say you are.  Treehouse is a vendor, not Wal-Mart.  They don't even have an exclusive relationship with them.  Where do you buy Treehouse products? If it's 10 miles from my house it would be Target or Food4Less.  To find your local store you can go here:

http://www.naturesgoodness.com/wheretobu y.php?PHPSESSID=d7bd2c37735d691102dee880 26535b05

by Piuma 2007-11-23 06:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle and Barack Obama, Corporate Democrats

Sorry, but you are wrong.

According to Treehouse's financial filings, Wal-Mart accounted for 16.1 per cent of its sales last year, up from 11.7 per cent in 2005 (a 37 per cent increase), comfortably making it the company's biggest customer. Treehouse's annual operating profits rose from $28 million two years ago to $84 million (up 200 per cent) in 2006.

by truthteller2007 2007-11-23 09:42PM | 0 recs
You just proved your own point irrelevant

You would be hard pressed to find a food company that doesn't do a substantial amount of business with WalMart due to WalMart's gargantuan size.  16% is actually probably low.  There are companies much more reliant on WalMart for their bottomline.

WalMart is Treehouse's biggest customer --- i.e. WalMart buys more Treehouse products than anyone else.

And 16% is supposed to be a deep corporate tie to WalMart?  

by psericks 2007-11-24 10:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle and Barack Obama, Corporate Democrats

i'm more impressed with arab sheiks funding clinton's library. as reward for what, one wonders.

and edwards, mr. son of a mill worker, voted against a bill that would have put limits on ever-monopolizing big agra conglomerates, thus protected the ever struggling small family farmers. hmm, maybe it had to do with contributions from a big agra interest in his home state.

keep the obama scandal sheets coming. this is fun.

by jello 2007-11-23 06:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle and Barack Obama, Corporate Democrats

i dont mind you troll rating me, truthteller, but at least muster up a reason why.

slapping on a troll sticker on somebody but then running away, it's like a drive-by neener neener, lol.

by jello 2007-11-24 07:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle and Barack Obama, Corporate Democrats

I think the Clinton's ties with infoUSA to the tune of millions is a much better example of dubious corporate ties.

http://www.mydd.com/story/2007/5/29/1756 15/870

by Satya 2007-11-23 07:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle and Barack Obama, Corporate Democrats

there is a connection that keeps coming up with clinton and data mining. in addition to infousa, clinton ally, wes clark, was ceo of a data mining firm.

it's a weird nexus.

bill clinton was a man whose private life was relentlessly prodded and poked, and yet he himself has little regard for other people's privacy. it's beyond ironic.

p.s. howard dean was sandbagged in 'o3 via data mining. his number ones were push polled which helped undermined his support in iowa.

why democrats didn't express more outrage is beyond me. do people endorse campaigns feeling free to dig into our emails,  reviewing which websites we have visited in attempt to figure out which candidate we support?? if party elites have such a cavalier attitude about our privacy, no wonder they haven't pushed back more against bush's warrantless wiretaps.

by jello 2007-11-23 08:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle and Barack Obama,

I really don't think Edwards labeling other democrats 'corporate democrats' does the party any good - I read an article recently that criticized it and said there is no evidence that democrats even think of Hillary Clinton as a 'corporate democrat' and that is one reason his accusations haven't worked.  I don't accept that label for Hillary or Obama and I think it is detrimental to the party to keep throwing that out.  It might seem to help a certain candidate -who has no chance of winning- but it doesn't help the party any.

by reasonwarrior 2007-11-23 10:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle and Barack Obama,

no evidence that democrats even think of Hillary Clinton as a 'corporate democrat'

it's implied in the polls that show she ranks low with people on the perception of honesty.

that's the downside of the "experience" mantle hillary is trying to claim. the longer you are in political life, the longer you've done favors for corporate interests.

by jello 2007-11-24 10:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle and Barack Obama,

I read an article recently that criticized it

written by a clinton acolyte?

by jello 2007-11-24 10:20AM | 0 recs
yes,corporate Democrats

I actually support Edwards for having the guts to mention the words Corporate Democrat. Thankful for someone bringing it up. Thank you ,Edwards.

by yann123 2007-11-24 08:28PM | 0 recs
Re: yes,corporate Democrats

the new edwards sure is different from the old edwards.

http://jre-whatsnottolike.com/category/s enate/banking-committee/bankruptcy-bill/

by jello 2007-11-25 05:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle and Barack Obama, Corporate Democrats

I wish that there were more of these kinds of diaries. Thanks for the read. I hate Walmart.

by misscee 2007-11-24 03:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Michelle and Barack Obama, Corporate Democrats
David Axelrod, "Obama's Narrator" has done a great job as political operative.  15 years of making his candidate "authentic" and an "outsider"  has worked on many-such a shame.  Thought we were over that voting with our guts not using facts,  theory of politics.  
As far as  Edwards not slamming Obama- he's  hoping, as are the other non-front runners, that they can get the second choice vote in Iowa.  Trust me, the dirt throwing at others will be begin after Jan. 3rd.
by ExperienceCounts 2007-11-24 05:29AM | 0 recs

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