CINCINNATI (TDB) -- The Hamilton County GOP fired off a press release after Illinois Sen. Barack Obama stumped successfully through Ohio. It said the presidential candidate had a slim resume in Congress and his only bill to become law involved "the Democratic Republic of Congo." Was that intended as a veiled reference to Obama's ethnic heritage? Some smelled the odor of a political cheap shot that should have been way beneath the party of Lincoln. There were no details offered about what Obama's bill -- which President Bush signed into law -- actually said.
One purpose of the measure was to increase American pressure on the Congo's government to stop mass rapes of women by soldiers -- an effort that conservatives in the Republican-controlled Capitol of 2006 found worthwhile. Another was to try to stop the use of children as combatants.
Obama, who is running second to Sen. Hillary Clinton in early polls of the Democratic presidential primary field, was in Cincinnati and drew an SRO crowd to a downtown hotel Monday. He reportedly raised nearly $500,000, and the local Republican organization issued a media advisory because "it is important that voters know the truth about Senator Barack Obama." The advisory is still available under the news link on the party's Web site. But who knows for how long?
"He has a thin voting record and he failed to champion anything significant in his two years of experience in the United States Senate. In the 109th Congress, only one of Obama's bills passed the Senate to become law which dealt with security in the Democratic Republic of Congo (S. 2125)."
Once the Congo shot was fired, the party's executive director Maggie Nafziger went on to say the country ''will need a President who is prepared to take a stand on controversial matters. Senator Obama's lack of leadership and liberal voting records is concerning. I am not sure he is prepared to function as head of the world's most powerful nation at such a critical time in our nation's history."
Oh yes, about the Congo.
Republican Sens. Sam Brownback of Kansas, an '08 presidential candidate, and Ohioan Mike DeWine were co-sponsors. DeWine was beaten last November. President Bush affixed his signature on Dec. 22, 2006, and the details are HERE.