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Obama in Exxon’s Pocket!

The Obama campaign has made quite a big deal of John McCain’s campaign contributions from Big Oil than  and the Democratic National Committee even created an Exxon-McCain site.

Screencap of Exxon-McCain website taken 8/8/2008

Unfortunately, while the overall charge is true (if silly, as discussed here) it turns out that Obama has actually netted more money from Exxon employees.  ABC’s Jake Tapper:

Obama has received more campaign cash than McCain has from the employees of some of the biggest oil companies — Exxon, Chevron and BP.

This might seem to complicate Obama’s continual use of Exxon-Mobil on the stump.

Now, in fairness, the amounts in question here are trivial in the scope of campaigns bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars and the deltas are small, indeed.  Further, the examples Tapper gives are of Obama’s questioning McCain’s policy proposals and their benefits to Exxon-Mobile, not charges that he’s in their pocket. To the extent they were accurate to begin with, the fact that the company’s employees gave slightly more to Obama is irrelevant.

Then again, as Mike Allen notes, there are more embarrassing examples.

The campaign reinforces a new ad by Barack Obama in which the announcer says: “Oil’s filling John McCain’s campaign with two million dollars in contributions. Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley will announce the campaign at DNC headquarters in Washington. “The oil industry was so generous with its campaign largesse,” a party official says, “John McCain has not only put Exxon on the ticket — but he has graciously stepped aside and is allowing Exxon … to run at the top of the ticket.”If the governor needs to check his tires, he can stop off at the RNC, a couple of blocks away.

TigerHawk‘s response to all this is well taken.

Of course, it is a little unfair to tag Obama with the contributions of employees of one company or another. He has no control over where people work, and many people do not believe that their interests as citizens correspond with the interests of their employer.

He continues, to paraphrase James Carville, it’s the policy stupid:

Barack Obama has attacked the profitability of my industry [health care], he has insulted my job (“corporate chieftain”), he vows to enact regulations that will make my job massively more difficult, and he promises to confiscate a much higher proportion of my income (raising my marginal tax rate by approximately 17%). Wild horses could not drive me to give money to his campaign even if I agreed with him on foreign policy (which I do not). I do not need social respectability nearly as much as I enjoy self-respect, and I imagine I would also feel that way if I worked for ExxonMobil.

Still, given the reaction of Obama’s supporters to the giving disparity, this new revelation is rather amusing.

Jim Geraghty snarks, “I guess he can re-run that silly ad that brags that he takes no money from oil companies… just like every other candidate for federal office.”  He headlines his post “Time to Create an Exxon-Obama Site.” 

Jeff Dobbs says he doesn’t have time to create the whole site but he’s offered up a logo:

Campaign logo from Jeff Dobbs at thevimh.blogspot.com

Only three more months of this!

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. http://tinyurl.com/69yepm

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  2. Hal says:

    Um, Exxon employees? So, let me get this straight. The inference here is that the *employees* of Exxon are somehow the representative of Exxon? I work for House Harkonnen. Whom I give to has nothing to do with House Harkonnen. Anyone who would infer that because more employees of House Harkonnen give to Obama, therefore Obama is in the pocket of House Harkonnen has an understanding of logic approximately at the level of Dr. Bithead.

    Seriously, James. Do you actually believe this stuff?

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  3. James Joyner says:

    Seriously, James. Do you actually believe this stuff?

    Seriously, Hal. Do you actually read posts before commenting?

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  4. Hal says:

    To the extent they were accurate to begin with, the fact that the company’s employees gave slightly more to Obama is irrelevant.

    Not as well as I should, obviously.

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  5. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Hal, do you think Obama saying one thing while doing another is some sort of isolated incident? Recall, if you will, Barrack’s statements on opposition to NAFTA to those in states who might believe the treaty had hurt their industries. Remember? Now recall he sent Goolsby to Canada to tell those folks he was just campaigning and they should not worry about NAFTA reversal. I know you will have a hard time following this, but if you try you may come to understand Obama’s compass spins like a top. I think he is always going left, but he is very likely to make a right turn from the far left lane.

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  6. Hal says:

    do you think Obama saying one thing while doing another is some sort of isolated incident?

    I think you don’t understand the logical relationship. You’re making an inference that is completely unjustified by the objective facts. You can make this inference and use it as a launching pad if you like, but it doesn’t change the fact that you’re just making stuff up to launch a completely unrelated diatribe.

    I know you will have a hard time following this

    It’s a lot harder when you not even trying to play by the rules of logic. But no, I follow you just fine. I just simply don’t agree with you, don’t think you’re even providing the thinnest patina of a valid argument and are simply on McCain’s comment troll point plan, trying to win some valuable McCain prizes for your comments.

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  7. Bithead says:

    I think you don’t understand the logical relationship.

    Thta’s certainly possible. But I have my doubts you do, either. Explain it all to us and prove me wrong.

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  8. Hal says:

    Explain it all to us and prove me wrong.

    Guess you’re showing your complete lack of reading comprehension again. I already did.

    Nice try, though. Drop back ten and punt.

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  9. Floyd says:

    The term “Exxon-Mobile{sic} employees” must be referring to ExxonMobil representatives supplying company money, or money given in the name of it’s officers as surrogates for the company.

    Nobody would consider a field mechanic’s $50 as an ExxonMobil donation, I doubt they could even track that. I have never included my employer’s name when making political contributions and I was employed by XOM for 35years.

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  10. Hal says:

    I doubt they could even track that. I have never included my employer’s name when making political contributions and I was employed by XOM for 35years.

    Um, gee. I’ve given quite a bit and every time I did I had to give my job title and employer. Every time. Now, maybe you were able to get away with it, and I’m sure they can’t verify that yes, that is your job title and your actual employer.

    But you’re completely wrong here on the facts, Boyd. Completely wrong.

    You can even do your search on the net. You’ll note you can do it by employer.

    Here’s the search for any contributions with “Exxon” in the employer slot

    Check out the job titles.

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  11. Hal says:

    Whoops. not Boyd, Floyd.

    Sorry Boyd ;)

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  12. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    They track which employees give to whom, by the requirement you reveal your employer when donated amount reaches a certain threshold. I believe it is around $100.00. Lesser amounts remain anonymous as far as who you work for. Must be a lot of big givers at Exxon. Suprised there are not more donations to Obama from Big O Tire company employees.

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  13. Hal says:

    Here’s the 24 Exxon employees who gave to Obama Here’s the 11 who gave to McCain.

    I don’t know, Zels, there’s a whole lot of shift managers there in Obama’s camp. None in McCains.

    Here’s the 3 for McCain from Big O Tires. Here’s the one for Obama

    Advantage Zelsdorf!

    Although I have no frickin’ idea what you’re trying to prove.

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