Raines In Obama Parade

Ben Smith had this cute little piece out on 16 July of this year on the Raines - Obama connection.

An ill-timed -- for Obama -- profile of former Fannie Mae CEO Franklin Raines, forced out in an accounting mess a few years ago.

The Style Section piece reports that he's recently been taking "calls from Barack Obama's presidential campaign seeking his advice on mortgage and housing policy matters."

Taking calls? Doesn't that mean Obama has been calling him? The McCain Campaign had a nice video out on the connection between Obama and Raines. And there is another video out of Fannie Mae head Daniel Mudd praising Obama.

So who is Daniel Mudd? I think it will come as no surprise that he lives in a Mudd hut. A 22-room Mudd hut. Evidently ripping off the taxpayers pays very well. Very well indeed.

As more than a million US homeowners face devastating mortgage foreclosures, ousted Fannie Mae CEO Daniel Mudd continues to live in an opulent Washington, DC, mansion replete with expansive gardens, servants' quarters and a home theater.

Mudd, whose former company is being bailed out by billions in taxpayer dollars, calls home a 22-room Colonial mansion on Newark Street in tony Cleveland Park, built on the former property of President Grover Cleveland.

The eight-bedroom, eight-bath pad includes large public rooms with fireplaces, a home theater, a gym, a wine cellar, a solarium, servants' quarters, a terrace off the master-bedroom suite, and a gourmet kitchen.

The gated, landscaped property also features a pool, fountains, gardens and a guesthouse.

The property is so lavish that some company employees dubbed it "Mudd Manor."

And they're furious that the executive at the helm of the ship as it sank into profound crisis has surfaced relatively unscathed, at least for now.

"Hey, he lost his limo and corner suite [at the office], but Mudd Manor is not a bad place to contemplate your next move," said a bitter Fannie Mae employee who requested anonymity.

"Most Fannie Mae employees are reeling from their employee stock-option-plan account balances' going to cents on the dollar."

So the little people get fleeced and the big guys walk.

That Obama has some really swell friends.

Cross Posted at Power and Control

posted by Simon on 09.18.08 at 08:12 PM


Barack Obama is a cross between Richard Daley and Jesse Jackson. That might not make him the worst politician to ever come down the pike (there are so many nominations), but it sure doesn't add up to hope and change. Of the original persona he started his campaign on, there is nothing left, except in his supporters' imaginations.

Assistant Village Idiot   ·  September 18, 2008 9:32 PM

Quick comment:

Phil Gramm was certainly more of an economic guru to McCain (he was once McCain’s top economic expert within the campaign) than Frank Raines is or ever was to Obama.

But you can’t fault McCain for trying to exploit such a touchy and ripped-from-the-headlines potential embarrassment for Obama. The very fact that they sat on this story for months (it wasn’t an issue in August, when McCain was in the midst of his surge in the polls and Freddie/Fannie were in the news), waiting until an economically-induced rough patch to dump it in an ad, is proof that even the McCain campaign itself realizes this is a weak link.

In reaction, the Obama campaign is incensed and Raines himself denies giving any advice to Obama or his campaign.

Raines said in the statement through the campaign, “I am not an advisor to Barack Obama, nor have I provided his campaign with advice on housing or economic matters.”

Obama spokesman Bill Burton added an attack:

“This is another flat-out lie from a dishonorable campaign that is increasingly incapable of telling the truth. Frank Raines has never advised Senator Obama about anything — ever. And by the way, someone whose campaign manager and top advisor worked and lobbied for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac shouldn’t be throwing stones from his seven glass houses.”

Don’t think that ties to Freddie and Fannie are exclusive to one campaign. Both candidates have what are bow viewed as troubling relationships with the housing giants. Obama certainly has the stain of questionable links to Frank Raines and Jim Johnson.

And, as the Bill Burton statement touched on, McCain has campaign manager Rick Davis. While still a lobbyist early this decade, Davis was tapped by Freddie and Fannie to chair their PAC-style advocacy organization that lobbied Congress for favors and beneficial legislation. It was called the “Homeownership Alliance,” and its main goal was to fight off Congressional regulation efforts that just might have stopped the housing crisis and perhaps even the current market plunge.

Real American Bob   ·  September 19, 2008 2:51 AM

Yeah Bob,

The Washington Post has now come out and said you can't trust the Washington Post. OK.

Funny thing is that neither Raines nor Obama said anything when the articles were first published.

Why do you suppose that was?

Fortunately we have Jim Johnson and Daniel Mudd to fall back on. Jim was an Obama adviser and Mudd praised Obama through the roof. Jim was helping Obama pick that paragon of virtue Old What's His Name.

Say did I mention that slum lord Rezko? ∅ ought to be a real estate genius by now.

But don't worry. I'll keep hitting this. I hope you are getting paid by the word. My advice to ∅ - spend it all.

M. Simon   ·  September 19, 2008 2:01 PM

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