(NOTE: See UPDATE III below.)
Joe Ricketts (above), patriarch of the family that owns the Chicago Cubs, reportedly is prepared to spend big bucks trying to smear President Obama with the rhetoric of his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
There’s THIS PIECE in The New York Times:
The $10 million plan, one of several being studied by Mr. Ricketts, includes preparations for how to respond to the charges of race-baiting it envisions if it highlights Mr. Obama’s former ties to Mr. Wright, who espouses what is known as “black liberation theology.”
The group suggested hiring as a spokesman an “extremely literate conservative African-American” who can argue that Mr. Obama misled the nation by presenting himself as what the proposal calls a “metrosexual, black Abe Lincoln.”
And there’s THIS from NBC Sports:
Joe Ricketts is quite the political activist. He is the founder and leader of an anti-government spending group called “Ending Spending.” Never mind that his family business asked for and received millions for a new spring training facility in Arizona and continues to ask for tax dollars to renovate Wrigley Field. He’s really, really against spending. At least spending that benefits people other than himself and his family.
But now he’s branched out and is bankrolling efforts aimed directly at unseating President Obama.
UPDATE: More reactions:
Ed Kilgore SAYS:
Who knows exactly how crazy Ricketts is? He’s got the money to put his delusions right onto your TV screen, and it’s clear there are plenty of hungry Republican “strategists” willing to help him make them as vivid as a nightmare.
Steve M. SAYS:
Ah, but here’s a twist: the Romney campaign apparently doesn’t want this to happen — and it’s possible that a Romneyite leaked this plan in order to stop it.
UPDATE II: Tim Murphy SAYS:
In addition to using local amusement tax funds that might otherwise be spent shoring up actual public services, the Ricketts family is seeking a large federal subsidy to pay for a renovation of Wrigley Field.
Steve Benen SAYS:
[A] project like the Ricketts Plan would likely represent the most shameless effort to play the race card this year. If the right were confident about defeating the president on the issues, it wouldn’t feel the need to exploit racial animus. This plan, in other words, comes across as rather desperate…
[I]t’s not at all clear a campaign like this would have the desired effect. Are there really millions of on-the-fence voters out there who aren’t sure whether or not to support the president, but who’ll be swayed by stale talk about Jeremiah Wright with a racial subtext?
[I]t’s a reminder that many Republicans have never heard the adage about the futility of fighting the last war. Too many conservatives haven’t updated their 2008 talking points, and seem a little too eager to refight the previous campaign on their preferred terms.
UPDATE III: Joe Ricketts SAYS he rejects the so-called Ricketts Plan.
UPDATE IV: But there’s evidence that Ricketts had given the plan at least a tenative GREEN LIGHT.