The No. 2 story on the front page of today's Times breaks the news that Barack Obama's blind (or at least going-blind) trust invested $50,000 in two companies linked to campaign donors, that when he learned of the investments he sold the stock, and that he took a $13,000 loss on the investments. And so we wonder, this is big news because ? After the jump, some hypotheses.
1. Curiosity. The two companies Obama invested in happened to belong to the people who later became prominent campaign donors. That's not illegal, and it's tough to imagine that a paltry $50K buy-in persuaded the businessmen to hop on his bandwagon. It is, still, an odd coincidence, even if ultimately a meaningless one.
2. Preemption. To inoculate the paper from the charges of being too easy on the Dems' current golden boy. As such, even an appearance of an appearance of conflict of interest must be reported.
3. Conspiracy. To send a direct message to the Obama campaign. If this is what we do, imagine what Republicans will. So stay clean, boys.
4. Local interest. One of these two donors is Albany's own Jared Abbruzzese, a pony-loving, Fed-investigated macher currently dragging down the reputation of State Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno. Abbruzzese is known to get verrrry close with the legislators he finds useful. (He gave over $100K and use of his private jet to Bruno; his business received half a million in state funds.)
5. Competition. It would suck if another paper published the story instead.
6. Pragmatism: People in the coffee shop next to us this morning were talking about it, and the paper.