MULLINGS/Rich Galen – Isn’t that bribery?

MULLINGS/Rich Galen – Isn’t that bribery?

There is a disturbance in the Democratic Force which holds that Hillary Clinton might exit the race if Barack Obama would promise to help her recoup the reported $11.4 million she has lent to her campaign.

Here’s my question: If Senator Barry were to call his pal Senator Hillary and offer to help her retire that debt in return for her getting out of the race wouldn’t that be offering a bribe?

According to Webster’s Third Unabridged a bribe is defined as:

1: A reward, gift, or favor bestowed or promised with a view to pervert the judgment or corrupt the conduct especially of a person in a position of trust (as a public official)

2: Something that serves to induce or influence to a given line of conduct

Another definition for bribery (from is “to pay or offer monetary benefits for influencing a person to take an action or decision which he or she would not have done otherwise.”
Hillary has not indicated she has any intention of getting out of this race. If Obama – either directly or through third parties – has offered to “pay or offer monetary benefits” for her to leave the race (“take an action or decision which he or she would not have done otherwise”) isn’t that offering a bribe?

Isn’t that illegal?

I know Obama is from Chicago where bribery is, by long custom, is not just accepted, but expected, but still.

The reason I was in the Green Room at Fox’s NY studios last night was because I was on the Geraldo Rivera program. In the Green Room and on the air we were talking about why Hillary would not get out of the race.

I said there were several reasons:

1. Barack – or more likely Michelle Obama – might make an unforced error. Something on the order of “finally being really proud of being an American,” or telling the poor White folks of America they are bitter and use guns and religion as a crutch.

2. There might be another Jeremiah Wright type character out there.

3. Both

I also pointed out, on the air, that while Hillary should easily win the West Virginia primary tomorrow, the bigger deal will be if she wins the Puerto Rico primary on June First.


According to the 2000 Census, West Virginia has a population which is 94.9% White. Given the recent splits in who is voting for whom in the Democratic Primaries that would indicate that Hillary is a lock in the Mountaineer State.

Clarence Page wrote in a recent column that while Hillary was getting “about 60% of the White voters in Indiana and North Carolina last week, “Black voters, by contrast, turned out nine-to-one for Obama in Indiana and North Carolina, which is close to the black turnout for Democratic presidential candidates in recent decades.”

However, the Black vote in recent Presidential elections has been only a little over 11% of the total; so if Obama is only getting 40% of the White vote, that does not bode well for November.

If Hillary wins the Puerto Rico primary – which, one assumes, will be largely made up of Hispanics – the public debate will switch from White-Black voting patterns to Hispanic-Black voting patterns.

If Obama, as now expected, becomes the Democratic nominee, this will be the question: How much damage might he do to the Democrats’ efforts to wrest Hispanic votes away from the GOP – perhaps for decades to come?
New topic:

A woman swimming in the Gulf of Mexico off Tampa was attacked by a pelican. It’s not funny, in that she had to get 15-20 stitches in her face and the pelican died but this is why the story struck me.

She has to tell people she was attacked by a pelican.

A couple of weeks ago I had an attack of the gout in my left foot. If you’ve never suffered from gout, you have no idea how painful it can be.

A friend called and heard the strain in my voice and asked me what was wrong. I told him about the gout. He said, “Don’t tell anyone that. Tell people you got run over by a tank, or that you were trying out for the US national soccer team, or anything. But don’t say you have gout.

Memo to that woman in Florida: Say you collided with a nuclear submarine; not a pelican.
Rich Galen is a political consultant who lives in Old Town.