I'm not sure I'd blame Obama for this:
"Sen. Obama really does want to help," Mr. Gibbs told Mr. Kakugawa, according to both men's recollection. The advisers suggested Mr. Kakugawa get help from social-service agencies, and that the Obama office would help with that. But he would not get money, Mr. Gibbs said.
The exchange left Mr. Kakugawa upset. "Everybody's just abandoned me," he says.
"Obviously [Sen. Obama] feels badly that Keith, 30 years later, has fallen on hard times," says Mr. Gibbs, the Obama campaign aide. "There's a sadness to this, a distinct human sadness to this story."
During the few times that I have helped at the rescue mission in my old hometown, and from some other ministry work I've been involved in over the years, it is a dicey thing to get a call from someone out of the past asking for money. One of the issues, of course, is that by handing them a "blank check," you may be enabling them to partake in their destructive habits. Sending them money, out of observation as to what they're actually doing with the money is a gamble.
In the scenario described above, I think Sen. Obama's staff acted wisely in directing Kakugawa to a local social service where meals and shelter are given for free and the temptation to use cash to indulge in the old habits that got you on hard times in the first place, are minimized.
HT. Michelle Malkin.