Belafonte, Obama Cry For The Poor, But Live High on the Real-Estate Hog

As Harry Belafonte proclaimed at Duke University that American policies were based on  "the demise of the poor," and Sen. Barack Obama declared on ABC that the GOP has "a very narrow agenda that advantages the most powerful," what about their own cozy fortunes?

Laura Ingraham noted today a report from the Wall Street Journal. Belafonte’s suffering from declining millionaire real-estate values:

Belafonte Cuts His Price

ENTERTAINER Harry Belafonte last month cut the price of his Manhattan apartment by $2 million, to $13 million. The Upper West Side co-operative, which he's owned for more than 40 years, went on the market last August. The 17-room home, facing Riverside Park on the western edge of Manhattan, has seven bedrooms, nine bathrooms, a library and four fireplaces.

Last September Mr. Belafonte, 78, sold his Mediterranean-style house in the Caribbean for $2.2 million. He bought that 3.3-acre property, in the French-administered part of St. Martin, in 1982. It has four bedrooms, gardener and caretaker cottages and a pool. Maria Pascal and Richard Mortimer of Prudential Douglas Elliman have the Manhattan listing. The price cut comes as the Manhattan real-estate market is showing signs of cooling...

Barack Obama defended Hillary's Massa-Hastert remarks on "Good Morning America" by saying she was right that  that the GOP House displayed a "further and further concentration of power around a very narrow agenda that advantages the most powerful." But what about Obama's advantages? It seems that Obama has found wealth in the same ethics-rules-skirting way that Hillary did in 2000: the book royalties. Chicago Tribune reporter Jeff Zeleny explained a few weeks ago:

The Obamas moved into a $1.6 million house in June, trading their condo near Hyde Park for a historic home nearby. The royalties from his first book and an advance of nearly $2 million for future books allowed the family to pay off debts from law school and past political campaigns.

He gave a peek into the family's financial situation earlier this year at a town meeting in Rock Falls, Ill., when someone asked Obama about a Republican proposal to reduce taxes for those in the highest tax brackets. He used himself as an example, speaking facetiously about how he would benefit at the expense of other Americans.

Where were the Senate ethics cops on Obama's seven-figure book advance? And yet, Zeleny just reported that "Obama is Democrats' Point Man on Ethics."

For those liberals who thought it was offensive for Tim Russert to ask Obama about Belafonte’s wild remarks of late, Zeleny also connected the dots in this story:  

Harry Belafonte, the entertainer and civil rights activist, corresponds with Obama by telephone and e-mail. It is far too early, he believes, for Obama to be thinking of higher office.

"Because I do see in him something so terribly precious and I see in him such a remarkable potential, I would rather think of him as a work in progress," Belafonte said in an interview. "We are prone to push people beyond their time. We are so eager to devour our young. I think Sen. Obama is a force, and I think he needs to see a lot about this nation and he needs to go a lot of places.

"We've seen so many others who have come to high places and have failed so miserably," he continued. "I think he could be our exception to the rule."

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis