When reporters asked about Bristol Palin in September 2008, candidate Barack Obama promised that candidates’ family lives were off limits and said that he would fire anybody in his campaign who violated that rule.
But three days later, Howard W. Gutman, a member of his finance committee, told a national audience that Sarah Palin had put her career before family on The Laura Ingraham Show:
“This has nothing to do with gender, whether Todd Palin was the nominee or Sarah Palin was the nominee. If my daughter had just come home at 17 years old and said, ‘Mom, Dad, I’m pregnant, we have a family problem,’ I wouldn’t say, ‘You know what we’re going to do? We’re going to take this private family problem…and you know what I’m going to do? I’m going to go on the international stage and broadcast this to the world.’
“This wasn’t a working mother issue, this was a parent issue…The proper attack is not that a woman shouldn’t run for vice president with five kids, it’s that a parent, when they have a family in need, a Down’s baby who needs them — mother or father.”
Ingraham asked, “So you are judging her parenting skills. You’re saying you don’t think she’s a good parent for doing this job.”
“I’m saying the proper criticism is not that it’s a woman or man – it doesn’t matter whether it’s Todd or Sarah,” Gutman replied.
Obama not only didn’t fire him, he promoted him, appointing him first as a trustee to the inauguration committee and later, as ambassador to Belgium, where he remains to this day.
Why didn’t Obama keep his word? Perhaps it is because Gutman, a former registered lobbyist and big time trial lawyer, made it rain for the Democrats. According to OpenSecrets.org, Gutman and his wife, Michelle Loewinger, have contributed at least $86,150 to the Democratic Party since 1989. Gutman personally bundled at least half a million for Obama’s campaign committee and $270,000 more for his inaugural committee.
So how’s he been doing as ambassador to Belgium? In December 2011, the ambassador said, “A distinction should be made between traditional anti-Semitism, which should be condemned, and Muslim hatred for Jews, which stems from the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.”
Still Obama kept him. Perhaps it’s because Obama draws no distinction between Gutman’s positions and his own. Perhaps it’s because Obama doesn’t care about his friends ripping candidates’ families, so long as they bring in the bucks. Perhaps both.