October 29, 2008

The Lady Vanishes

I've learned from an intelligence and strategic communications source that on May 18, 2004, Obama came to Washington, DC on a fundraising trip. His trip also included an appearance at the May 2004 AIPAC Policy Conference.

Prior to Mr. Obama arriving in Washington, a McLean Clark National Operations Director met with Vera Baker of Baker-Wambu & Associates. I spoke with this director yesterday afternoon.

McLean Clark is a public relations and communications firm that worked for Barack Obama in connection with his 2004 Senate race. Baker-Wambu & Associates was a top fundraising firm for the Congressional Black Caucus, and Ms. Baker was also listed as the National Finance Chair for Obama's Senate campaign. The McLean Clark director, also working for the campaign, functioned as a driver for Baker and Obama during the visit.

Ms. Baker called the driver before Mr. Obama arrived in town and asked him to pick her up from an undisclosed location and drive her to the Hotel George, where Mr. Obama would be staying. As part of his staff, Baker was apparently able to check Obama into his hotel. Ms. Baker then left the driver in the lobby and went upstairs to change. This is interesting because the driver did not see her take any bags with her as he remained downstairs. The driver was unsure where the clothes came from, or if perhaps Baker had previously been to the hotel.

After Ms. Baker changed, the driver and Ms. Baker then went to pick up Mr. Obama from Reagan National Airport.

The driver then took Baker and Obama to Georgetown, where they met with a big donor. I was unable to determine who that donor might be. The driver next took Baker and Obama to the DC Armory; he was told to drop Ms. Baker and Mr. Obama off at the AIPAC conference where President Bush gave a speech. After dropping them off, the driver's services would no longer be required. Baker and Obama were to have secured rides home on their own.

After the conference, however, Ms. Baker called the driver and told him that they did not have transportation, and asked him to come pick them up. The driver returned to the conference and picked up Mr. Obama, Ms. Baker, and a third person, the woman with whom Ms. Baker was to be staying.

According to the driver, he drove to the woman's home, but she alone departed. Ms. Baker remained in the car with Mr. Obama. The driver then brought Baker and Obama back to Hotel George, where he dropped the two of them off for the evening.

The story originally provided by the intelligence and strategic communications source was verified by speaking directly to the driver (who was granted anonymity) Monday afternoon. In and of itself, the fact that Ms. Baker went back to Mr. Obama's hotel the night of May 18, 2004 is not proof of an extramarital affair. But the subsequent mysterious disappearance of Vera Baker is surprising, and perhaps suggestive.

Despite its successes, Baker-Wambu & Associates suddenly shut down in 2006. It is hard to find precise dates or a specific reason why the successful consultancy closed. Baker later claimed she worked at Alta Capital Group in Chicago, a municipal bond broker-dealer, but there doesn't appear to be a residence for her in the Windy City, nor did she appear to have ever held a residence in New York, as others have claimed. Baker later appeared in Martinique. Again, we don't know precisely when, but we do know that she was still there very recently. Her latest business venture, a consultancy named Cape Caribbean, LLC, has, again suddenly, pulled its web site offline.

On the "About Us" page captured from the site before it was shut down, Baker provided a brief professional bio:

Prior to launching Cape Caribbean, Ms. Baker worked for Alta Capital Group-a full-service municipal bond broker-dealer. She joined Alta Capital Group after serving as a Principal at Baker-Wambu & Associates, a strategic political and fundraising consulting firm based in Washington, DC. Previously, she served as the National Finance Director on Senator Barack Obama's 2004 Senate Campaign. She also served as the Deputy Political Director at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

I was unable to ascertain what Cape Caribbean, LLC actually did as a consultancy. Nor was I able to determine what Ms. Baker—the political fundraiser—actually did at Alta CG.

What I have confirmed via both the intelligence and strategic communications source and the (now former) McLean Clark National Operations Director is that NewsMax, the National Enquirer, ABC News, and NBC News have all had the basic facts of the Baker-Obama liaison for some time now, and so far, none have come forward with any reporting.

Let me say that again—they spoke with the driver, and have not moved with the story. They had less evidence of an non-existent affair between John McCain and Vicki Iseman, so why are they not pressing this story, which actually has a person confirming that Baker and Obama were dropped off at his hotel late at night?

NewsMax, typically a fervent conservative monthly, has not pursued the story. source claim they were perhaps dissuaded by the current political climate and fear of possible difficulties if Obama is elected.

As a tabloid, the National Enquirer could have a profit motive in holding the story until after the election. If Obama loses the election as the result of a scandal, it would be a short-term sensation. But if a scandal were to explode around a new President-elect, it could be a lucrative story for the tabloid for far longer.

ABC News and NBC News have contacted the driver (he told me), who verified the first-hand account related to reporters for each of these news organizations. These news organizations may be "slow rolling" the story, purposefully slowing its release so that it breaks only after the November 4. This may be for both ideological reasons—many journalists support Obama's political platform—and for the more pragmatic motive shared with the Enquirer of better ratings and higher profit if a dramatic scandal embroils a new presidency.

Meanwhile... Where is Vera Baker?

Why did she suddenly leave a lucrative consulting practice for an unknown position in an entirely different line of work, before skipping the country entirely? Did she have an affair with a man who may be our next President, and if so, should that change our minds about how we think about him?

With Vera Baker, we have many questions.

What we don't have—and what too few journalists seem to be interested in finding—are answers.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at October 29, 2008 10:05 AM

How do you pick-up someone from an undisclosed location?

Posted by: dry_fish at October 29, 2008 10:32 AM

Google maps

Posted by: Dave in Texas at October 29, 2008 10:32 AM

There is a chance, however slight, news of this affair will sway a decisive percentage of undecided votes away from Obama. Of course, McCain and his people will fail to exploit this issue even though marital nfidelity goes to the core of the character issue--certainly more than a 20-year-old DUI. Should more concrete evidence emerge and McCain's campaign fails to speak to this, I swear, next election I'm backing a candidate who is willing to take it all the way, to take it to the opposition as hard and low as the law will allow. This above-the-fray unwillingness to play hardball displayed by the McCain team has been a disservice to the country.

Posted by: Troy Riser at October 29, 2008 10:35 AM

Undisclosed to me... and I forgot to ask where. Frankly, I didn't think that was the relevant part of the story.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at October 29, 2008 10:38 AM

Evidence would be nice. Heck, you haven't even risen to the level of accusation!

With Vera Baker, we have many questions.

What we don't have ... are answers.

I hope Jimbo has more, because this is lame.

Posted by: Christoph at October 29, 2008 10:39 AM

I, too, am getting frustrated with Republican candidates who campaign like election results have no consequences. I don't understand it. Do they believe the positions of the two parties are so similar that it doesn't matter which party holds power? Is it a game to be played and ordinary Americans are expendable?

Posted by: Paula at October 29, 2008 10:44 AM

She did live in Brooklyn, New York. Check the New York City historical property records. The property was bought on January 9, 2007 for $390,000, of which $266,000 was borrowed.

The address Baker used on her website registration is 634 East 14th Street, #8, New York.

Posted by: Fresh Air at October 29, 2008 10:52 AM

Paula, I don't understand what you're talking about. Of course Republican candidates campaign like election results matter if only because they want to get in office.

Posted by: Christoph at October 29, 2008 10:52 AM

Cape Caribbean looks like a sham organization. Claims to do "customized marketing services" for corporations or something. Like anyone looks for marketing services in Martinique. Contact Ace at AOS if you need screen captures. I'm sure one of the posters of there has one.

Posted by: Fresh Air at October 29, 2008 10:55 AM

Fresh air, click the link in the article. It goes to the screen capture.

And I have caps of the entire site, I just don't think people care about that.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at October 29, 2008 10:58 AM

Only part of this that sounds true is that the major media would sit on a story that reflects badly on Barry, they've been doing it for quite a while now.

Posted by: glenn at October 29, 2008 11:00 AM

First, I believe it simply because I want to and no further evidence is needed. Second, we need to let this go without more evidence. Good job, CY, on getting the source to talk to you.

Posted by: Sue at October 29, 2008 11:06 AM

Damn the rectal examination,full speed ahead!

Posted by: firefirefire at October 29, 2008 11:26 AM

It is interesting but not enough evidence for a real news story, at least not yet. Sure if you changed the name "Obama" to "McCain" the NYTimes would put it on the front page, but that does not make it a real news story yet - it just makes the NYT a scumbag rag in the tank for the Dems.

I will follow developments with interest.

Posted by: Holdfast at October 29, 2008 11:34 AM


Okay, I wasn't sure if you had been able to save all that stuff. This French clown, Marc Merlini, whom she apparently lives with in Martinique is interesting. His story may give more of a clue to the rest of this.

Posted by: Fresh Air at October 29, 2008 11:36 AM

Well, remember back in March this year, around Easter, Obama went "missing" and was photgraphed in - The Caribbean? Not Martinique. Curiously, the trip was highly secretive, and there is very few mentions on the Mrs. and kids being with him, and I daresay not one photo of the whole family together. Curious.

Posted by: Enlightened at October 29, 2008 11:38 AM

She probably ran for her life.

Posted by: baldilocks at October 29, 2008 11:44 AM

She's dead.

Posted by: Korla Pundit at October 29, 2008 11:46 AM

Thank you for your yeoman's work on this story. America is grateful that you don't have anything better to do with your time. But this is only one of the stories that could derail Obama's candidacy, hopefully before the election or at least shortly thereafter:

Posted by: Jon Swift at October 29, 2008 11:52 AM

I don't know if you have been to fousesquawk but it is the one dropping hints in that 'teasing the MSM' sort of way.

Posted by: ajacksonian at October 29, 2008 11:53 AM

Crossed from Ace...

For this story

What about another angle .... anyone talk with Wendy Button?

See Newsbusters P.J. Gladnick article today ..... she was Obama's speechwriter who has defected to McCain. No mention in the MSM about this.

Worth a try ???

Posted by: Cromagnum at October 29, 2008 11:55 AM

This Alta Capital she worked for doesn't exist anymore, at least as a full-service B-D. But if memory serves, it was owned by one of the female Walton heirs.

Not sure how that could be a piece of any puzzle, but WTFDIK.

Posted by: spongeworthy at October 29, 2008 12:00 PM

"We call it 'hypocrisy' when a conservative authority figure falls short of his professed principles. Don't we need a word to describe an advocate of permissive principles living up to them too enthusiastically?"

That's the joy of being a liberal/progressive these days - there's no such thing as hypocrisy. Thus, there's no story.

Posted by: Mule at October 29, 2008 12:11 PM

Spongeworthy - Was it Alice?

Posted by: Mule at October 29, 2008 12:13 PM

Fresh Air,

Had "people" check two addresses for Baker, including the one you provided:

"I went to both of the NY addresses. E 2nd street didn't answer no names on the door. E14th street #8 had a man who said he didn't know her (I spoke French to him with an antillais accent at first through the intercom, to make him think that I was from martinique). He didn't register. Didn't understand French."

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at October 29, 2008 12:14 PM

Fresh Air,

The guy at that address doesn't know Baker.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at October 29, 2008 12:16 PM

I don't know why we bother with this crap. There are already so many valid reasons not to vote for BHO. Why not just focus on those? People who don't have a problem with BHO aren't going to have a problem with him having an affair. You're preaching to the choir here, amigo.

Jon: Great post, man.

Posted by: greg46107 at October 29, 2008 12:26 PM


Interesting. Did you check the New York property records. There was a property transfer under Vera Baker in Brooklyn. Another one showing 2002 at 1490 Park Place. You have to use a Windows OS to use the search tool, but it's there. Cohabitated with Basil Baker (her former husband, I presume).

See this.

Put in Reel #5525, it's on page 1849

Posted by: Fresh Air at October 29, 2008 12:33 PM


Interesting. Did you check the New York property records. There was a property transfer under Vera Baker in Brooklyn. Another one showing 2002 at 1490 Park Place. You have to use a Windows OS to use the search tool, but it's there. Cohabitated with Basil Baker (her former husband, I presume).

See this.

Put in Reel #5525, it's on page 1849

Posted by: Fresh Air at October 29, 2008 12:35 PM

You claim there was less evidence of an Iseman-McCain affair, yet your link goes to her denial of an affair.

Actually, there was plenty of evidence. First, McCain--by his own admission--was known for his philandering ways. Second, his own staff had become convinced he was having an affair with Iseman or was concerned enough about the perception to try and maintain some separation between the two. Third, Iseman was spending an awful lot of time with McCain and the firms she represented were spending a lot of cash on McCain.

You also claim Baker-Wambu was highly successful. I'd invite you take a look at for the expenditures made by the CBC from 2001-2006 to Baker-Wambu.

Posted by: Al Vanderlay at October 29, 2008 12:47 PM

"I've learned from an intelligence and strategic communications source" need to question any of your assertions.

kinda like the Obama Birth certificate meme.
Ya really think if it was true..Clinton would have used it to win? Ya think if it was really true the GOP would have pushed it? Ya think anyone running for President is not given a basic FBI check? Try getting your child into school without a birth certificate..yes he did go to American schools..

I just wish ya'll would quit hiding behind feeble
excuses that the reason you dislike Obama is his skin melanin.

Posted by: nogopostal at October 29, 2008 03:38 PM

listen up postal, I debunked the birth certificate claims, the claims he's a Muslim and that he didn't register for the Selective Service, etc.

Have you done anything to debunk liberal lies directed at Palin or McCain?

Yeah, I didn't think so.

While I'm sure your answer to every criticism is to yell "RACIST!" at the top of your lungs so you don't have to think--which by the way everyone is getting tired of, especially independents that tremor at the thought of four more years of this--the simple fact of the matter is that I spoke to the driver yesterday, who confirmed dropping Baker and Obama of at the hotel that night.

Now, you can fairly state that this isn't proof of an affair--which is what I stated as well--but I wish you'd quit hiding behind your own bigotry and hate.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at October 29, 2008 03:51 PM

Forget why the Corporate Media is not covering this...Why hasn't any GOP candidate brought this up?
If someone can post where any GOP candidate is citing
If not? Why not?
If your Republican candidate is not raising this,
contact them and demand they do...find out why they have not done so...
Why are Republicans running for office afraid to cite the facts embraced by many here?

Posted by: nogopostal at October 29, 2008 03:51 PM

@nogopostal: this likely STARTED with the Clintonistas. I say 'likely' because although we can trace the hiring of certain firms to investigate, CONFIRMING who paid them is more difficult. We DO know that some of the funding came via California 'donors' who are strong Clinton backers.


Posted by: Mr Wolf at October 29, 2008 03:55 PM

If, before anybody sticks a microphone in her face, or offers her a millon bucks for the dirt, she is found on a beach somewhere with a typed suicide note and no blood or shell casings anywhere nearby, then we can just assume that none of this is true.

That is to say, I hope she understands her life is in mortal danger.

Posted by: Korla Pundit at October 29, 2008 05:25 PM


Overdramatic, much?

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at October 29, 2008 05:30 PM

Good job, CY.

Yes, there is info on Baker out there and at least one publication is chasing it very HARD. There may be something to add to your story in a substantial way in the next 48 hours, though I hope it comes before then.

Once again, nice legwork!

Posted by: mondo at October 29, 2008 10:53 PM

Personally, I find this purient interest in possible sexual affairs disgusting. This is tabloid journalism attempting to destroy a politcian. ABC and the other networks may be checking if any validity so if the stories do break they are aware. But they may not wish to degrade themselves to be a scandal rag.

Personally I would enjoy Obama's destruction but this is a destructive device that anyone is susceptable to, so I have to deplore it . We really do not need this type of destrcutive journalism. If the American people can not decide based on the information of Ayers, Khalidi, Wright and Obama's owns utterings on the campaign trail, that McCain is the better choice, then we have to accept that fact. But I will not demean myself. This web site has been respectable at defending slander to our troops, so I suggest you refrain from similar behavior.

This is a first time commment from me since I generally read and not comment. Please rethink you strategy on this possible non story scandle.

Posted by: RAH at October 30, 2008 07:55 AM

nogo,you still around I see.CY,this guy used to talk trash @wizbang till he got Thors hammer applied to his keep an eye on this one.
btw,good post,lots of info. thx

Posted by: 1903A3 at October 30, 2008 08:15 AM

Mr. McCain's problem is that he is too senatorially civil; the honorable senator speak has eroded his attack pilot traits. Where is that man with the vicious temper that we have heard so much about? That was a reason I didn't support him in the primaries. We could use a bit of the carrier pilot and mad dog temper just now.

Posted by: amr at October 30, 2008 10:24 AM

Troy writes:

"Of course, McCain and his people will fail to exploit this issue even though marital nfidelity goes to the core of the character issue--certainly more than a 20-year-old DUI."

Er...McCain has admitted marital infidelity.

Posted by: O at October 30, 2008 07:58 PM