The rumors are swirling, but I never heard them. The first I heard of them was in this preemptive defense calling them smears. Larry Johnson is talking this up, but he isn't the most reliable source...however when Jammie Wearing Fool has info and predicts this will be a scoop I listen.
From Sharon Churcher's preemptive defense piece:
The woman was purportedly sidelined from her duties after Senator Obama’s wife, Michelle, became convinced that he had developed a personal friendship with her.
The allegations were initially circulated in August, just two weeks before the convention at which Obama finally beat his opponent for the Democratic Party nomination, Hillary Clinton.
The woman, now 33, vigorously denies the vicious and unsubstantiated gossip.
And some Washington insiders suggested that she was the victim of an 11th-hour attempt to smear Obama by die-hard Hillary supporters.
But now the rumours have resurfaced, suggesting that they may be coming from elements in the Republican Party.
Jammie Wearing Fool:
Having now spoken to someone tracking the story, I can say:
1) It's not just a silly little rumor.
2) It will break in some form shortly. The question is how prestigious an outlet breaks it. (PS, at best, it won't be that prestigious, at least at first, but there's a lot here so when someone finally touches, there is a good chance of an Edwards-like "Oh yeah, we were working on that too" pile-on.) Fire is being held as those who know the story try to get someone of import to break it; if they pass, it will be flooded out through secondary channels.
3) The story has a Fred Baron. Not The Fred Baron. But actually-- an even better Fred Baron. The woman is "working" in the Caribbean drawing a salary from.... uhhh... let's say from someone who is a big, shiny part of the dirty Chicago political machine. And it makes no sense that she's doing her supposed "job," for which she seems unqualified anyway, in the Caribbean, of all places. It's unclear how she could possibly do this job at all, never mind from the Caribbean. And she's been there for at least a year. (At least.) This isn't some sabbatical or few months' of "work" on an island paradise.
4) This woman was a major, big-time fundraiser. She raised x millions of dollars for various Democratic interests (connected to Obama) and then opened her own shop in DC. Since she was (as any fundraiser does) getting a cut of the take, this was a lucrative job. But she, for reasons unfathomable, suddenly shut the shop down and decamped to a little Caribbean island. And somewhere along the line got a "job" from her own Fred Baron. Which conveniently put her far away from Obama, Michelle, and the media.
5) Within hours of the Daily Mail article breaking, she called the Illinois hq of the Obama campaign. They wouldn't talk to her.
Who is Vera Baker?
Some people in Chicago claim she was Obama’s Finance Director for his 2004 Senate campaign. FEC Senate campaign records show she was paid a pretty penny as “Finance Director”.
However, people familiar with Obama’s 2004 Senate campaign say Claire Serdiuk was Obama’s Finance Director. Looking through everything we can see online for that 2004 campaign, Claire Serdiuk is consistently listed as the Finance Director - because that’s what she was.
There’s no mention of Vera Baker…but Vera Baker was paid as the “Finance Director” too.
And then, suddenly, Vera Baker was relocated to New York.
Right around the time Michelle Obama got incredibly angry about something. We know it was hard to tell, because Michelle’s angry about something on a good day…but this was EXTRA angry.
And then, even more suddenly, Vera Baker was relocated to the island of Martinique, where she remains.
We hear it’s lovely there. They get lots of sunshine on Sundays. Paradise. A lovely place to read between the lines and ask lots of questions. All reporters should go there and feel inspired.
I agree with Andrew Sullivan: Full disclosure.
Let's see this banished staffer's work records, pay stubs, and travel schedules. With an eye to seeing how those travel schedules may match up with The One's.
I'm a journalist. It's my duty to demand these answers. And I'll never stop.
Sweet Potato Pie? Just remember...this is only a rumor until the media get off their behinds and actually investigate this. I heard another rumor that they plan on doing that the day after hell freezes over. We are not claiming this rumor to be true, only offering certain facts that raise serious questions we believe any unbiased media has the obligation to investigate. If only an unbiased media existed. Remember how the media played catch-up with the blogs on the John Edwards affair? It will be fun to see them repeat their mistakes if this pans out.
Also see The Other McCain
Yid With Lid