Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Hatoyama’s Money Woes
I’ve been telling people who’ll listen for some time that there’s a small but non-negligible chance of Hatoyama leaving office before the next Upper House election in September 2010. It’s unlikely that he’ll be indicted, but there is a fairly good chance that the media will conclude that he knew of the arrangements that had funneled personal and family money to his political operations in violation of the political financing law, likely from the very beginning of his political career. He has a fairly good chance of riding it out, though, because he’s not being accused of taking money—essentially, he’s a miniature Bloomberg/Corzine. Still, his past statements regarding LDP politicians who have run afoul of the political financing laws—he has consistently called for their heads regardless of their personal complicity—are coming back to haunt him. His problems are compounded by his consistent fumbling, rambling and bumbling on the issues. He’s definitely undershooting the high hopes and low expectations of the public that swept the DPJ into office. But, as veteran economist AS said, it still beats no hopes, no expectations. (Now what could he have been referring to, hmm?) So he can still win by default.