December 10, 2008

"Obama’s Effort on Ethics Bill Had Role in Governor’s Fall."

That's the headline on the lead article in the NYT right now. Why am I getting the feeling that the mainstream media will do what it can to obliterate the connection between Rod Blagojevich and Barack Obama?

103 comments:

Paddy O. said...

Connection? How silly.

Barack Obama isn't even from Illinois. He was the senator from Hawaii, about as far from Illinois as possible. I mean there's a whole ocean between he and Blagojevich.

If he was from Illinois he'd be spending the holidays there. Where's he spending the holidays? This idea that there would be a connection is ludicrous, and possibly criminal.

Palladian said...

The New York Times is getting to be funnier than The Onion.

Simon said...

Why are you getting that feeling? Maybe because the mainstream media have had Obama's back for at least a year, and did everything in their power to run interference for him during election season, which would make burying any Blagojevich-Obama connection simply the latest in an existing behavioral patter?

The conservative instinct - small c conservative - is that the future will be like the past.

Montagne Mointaigne said...

Why don't you take a crack at describing that connection, Anne? I noticed TPM posted that same article with a smirk-- the article basically says that Obama was a neutral between reformers and machine pols in Illinois-- so it's hardly valedictory.

Conservatives started throwing around allegations of press bias literally seconds after the news broke in this case...

http://gawker.com/5105540/preemptive-complaints-of-media-bias-watch

I don't really get the whole thing. The media can't hide anything from the public in this case. The media really isn't driving this story, just reporting it, so why immediately get on the MSM (stupid term) bashing bandwagon?

traditionalguy said...

The idea this writer pushes over and over seems to be that The One only uses close allies for his own convenience and then for only long enough to rise to the next level of politcal power. So all the citizens of our Republic must eagerly wait to see how we will be useful {and than for only so long until the next level of political power opens up for His Highness}. Will Americans arise "to Protect and Defend the Constitution" when the next level of political power is the World Rule required to save us by governing all of the earth's air? Its not a coincidence that in the coldest winter since 1980 we were told yesterday by the President Elect that there will no longer be any Denial allowed over the need for The World to take action to defeat Global Warming.

garage mahal said...

I guess we'll just have to wait to see what that connection is, and see the MSM obliterating that connection. The Times is trying to obliterate it with "he has never quite escaped the murky and insular world of Illinois politics", but luckily we have Ann with her MSM B.S. Detector.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Why am I getting the feeling that the mainstream media will do what it can to obliterate the connection between Rod Blagojevich and Barack Obama?

Because they (MSM) fell all over themselves to do so with Rezko, Wright and Ayres. Why stop now?

garage mahal said...

Because they (MSM) fell all over themselves to do so with Rezko, Wright and Ayres. Why stop now?

Fell over themselves trying to cover it you mean? Dude, it was on every single night.

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Host with the Most said...

This McCain-voting conservative believes that there is almost certainly no connection to Obama in this corruption - it just doesn't make enough sense. The Man has too many other things going on to be involved in this.

That said:

- Republicans will be wise to take a wait and see attitude with Obama, and not give him any reason to slap back this early on.

- Republicans can daily go after the Pelosi/Reid Congress in preparation for 2010:

Worst. Congress. Ever.

There will not be the "Change" enthusiasm pushing so many to the polls, which will be good for Repubs.

- Why am I getting the feeling that the mainstream media will do what italways does: defend it's choice, right in the news pages.

Anyone remember Dan Rather's nightly "Reagonomics effect on the homeless" stories in the 80's?

Theo Boehm said...

As I said on the f-word thread yesterday, my hope is that Obama will prove a Harry Truman-like figure: Yes, he rose because of a corrupt political machine, but he himself was not corrupt.

People didn't believe anything good about Harry Truman, either, when he first showed up in Washington. He was called "the Senator from Pendergast," referring to the corrupt Kansas City machine and its boss who promoted his candidacy.

Truman proved his critics wrong, and my sincere hope, for the good of the country, is that Obama will do the same.

But I'm not going to let that hope blinker me to any slime that adheres to him. And if the press tries to cover it up, it will be one more very obvious nail in the coffin of the MSM.

Of course, the MSM aren't the only potential cover-uppers of a murky Obama past. They're just the PR department. But our current set of watchdogs should know if they don't bark when a housebreaker is on his way out the window with the silverware, we'll have to find some who will.

L. E. Lee said...

Ann, prosecuter Fitzgerald stressed repeatedly during his press conference yesterday that there was no connection between Blagojevich and Obama. Ann, is Fizgerald also part of the NYT/Obama/Blagojevich cover up?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Fell over themselves trying to cover it you mean? Dude, it was on every single night.

That's right it was. The coverage consisted of 'move along, nothing to see here.'

Garage, I am well familiar with Illinois and Chicago politics in particular. Blago's antics hardly come as a shock to me. Was Obama involved in any of this? Probably not but then again, if it turns out he was I wouldn't color myself shocked.

I'm skeptical of anyone who rises in the ranks of Chicago politics only because I believe it's impossible to do so without having to smear shit on yourself at some point.

L. E. Lee said...

Also, do you think it is bad journalism for the NYT to report that Obama played a central role in getting the Illinois ethics bill passed?

Simon said...

L.E. Lee, you miss the point. One might argue that the media should investigate and highlight any connection between a disgraced, corrupt Governor and the President-elect without believing ex ante that there is a connection, or having presuppositions of the content thereof.


Montagne Mointaigne:
"Conservatives started throwing around allegations of press bias literally seconds after the news broke in this case..."

Conservatives - and everyone else except those who wilfully walk around with their eyes, ears, and minds shut - have "been throwing around allegations of press bias" for quite some time, both generally and particularly in connection to Obama. The former is arguable; the latter is not.

"The media can't hide anything from the public in this case."

That is naive. The media can refuse (or simply fail) to report on an issue, and that can accomplish one or both of the following. It can bury the story: there are plenty of people who continue to be skeptical of new media, to one extent or another, and regard coverage in the MSM as an imprimatur, vouching for the story's importance and reliability. A story that is covered only on blogs can be dismissed as noise; a story that leads on page A1 of the New York Times will draw blood, whether it's true or not. And it can slows down the spread of a story, hopefully to the point that it will be overtaken by other news.

dbp said...

"Obama’s Effort on Ethics Bill Had Role in Governor’s Fall"

So, before Obama's heroic efforts it was okay to sell Senate seats?

Titushadabaddream said...

I can't get over how that governor reminds me of the 70's.

He looks like he should be in the Brady Bunch.

He is very weird and retro looking.

I bet Tim Gunn could give him a fierce makeover.

By the way I think he may be one of the stupidest politicians we have seen in a long time and that says quite a bit.

Titushadabaddream said...

It is like 65 degrees here today.

Titushadabaddream said...

There is way too much hair going on with that governor.

jayne_cobb said...

It's bad journalism in that it's clearly meant to give an exaggerated impression.

It's no different than if Fox had a headline which said "Bush's efforts on Patriot Act bring down Spitzer".

They both may be technically true but does anyone believe they're not suggesting a more central role than the politician actually played.

JohnAnnArbor said...

These are the same journalists that were so keen on getting the divorce records of the Rep. Senate candidate against Obama, never mind the seals that BOTH parties wanted to be kept on the records.

1jpb said...

This piece had good information. I learned some stuff. I think that's the point of journalism.

What would be better? Should they they follow Hannity with a headline that says "President Elect is written 41 times in the complaint!!!!!!!!!!" And then, they could have a non-fact based piece.

David said...

Because they will?

jayne_cobb said...

It may have good information but that doesn't have anything to do with the headline or it's prominent placement.

Some useful info from the article is that the Senate passed the bill 55 to zero. This bill was going through regardless of Obama's call.

An appropriate headline would be "Obama Supported Overwhelmingly Popular Ethics Bill Which Brought Down a Governor He Helped Elect"; but I get the feeling that that's a bit too long for the newspaper format.

joemillerjd said...

You mean the mainstream media including FOX news?

Flan said...

Look at the Wrigley Field deal. Illinois is behind on payments to state providers; health care providers, etc. It may be bankrupt. Yet, it is contemplating spending millions to help a corporation controlled by a billionaire and has baseball players who have multi-million dollar contracts. Money was made hand over fist when the Tribune was sold, by the investment houses/bankers who we are now bailing out, now the ESOP's stock is worthless and the Tribune employees are out of pocket.

When Gov. B was first elected, he stated he was not moving to Springfield because of his daughter. Think why; medical, disability reasons to stay in Chicago, think again. She was in kindergarden and he was not going to disrupt her by making her go to kindergarden in Springfield. He extolled himself, what a guy. So the state pays for his commute from Springfield to and fro Chicago.

Wake Up!!!!

dbp said...

What I don't understand is how a state ethics bill could have helped with a Federal criminal complaint.

So was it an "indirect role" or really no role at all?

It seems to me that the headline was more about making Obama look good even as his (55 to 0) ethics bill had nothing to do with the story.

SteveR said...

If I'm not mistaken, Fitzgearld only said there was nothing in the arrest affidavit about Obama, not that there was nothing. But I also feel like Obama kept away from the worst of it, because he has real skill as a politician and perhaps the "machine" saw him as one who could rise to power and keeping him "clean" was advantageous.

Daryl said...

Note that this new law wasn't even in effect when the crimes and investigation took place.

Obama gets credit for creating an attitude of anti-corruption by passing the bill that had no effect on these scandals. That's really going out on a limb to give him credit.

And Obama supported Blagojevich twice for re-election.

Simon said...

Flan said...
"Illinois is behind on payments to state providers; health care providers, etc. It may be bankrupt."

An utterly predictable result of the Warren Court's "reapportionment revolution." As soon as you say that the legislature has to be apportioned by raw population figures, Chicago will inevitably gain 100% control over the Illinois state political process, and the same pattern will repeat in any state with a single megalopolis whose population is greater than the rest of the state combined.

dick said...

Wonder if they published that Obama was front and center in 2002 and in 2006 to get this governor elected and this governor was front and center in 2004 and 2008 to get Obama elected. Now there is no possible connection. Nothing to see there. No connection at all. No. Nothing.

I'm surprised that Obama did not vote as usual "present" when this bill came up.

salaryman said...

What dbp said. Frankly, I'm amazed it took so long for someone to comment on the federal/state distinction, which seems to me the primary reason why the NYT article is nothing more than puffery on Obama's behalf.

Maybe a white collar criminal attorney can explain how a state ethics statute that apparently hadn't gone into effect when many of these shenanigans occurred can support federal wire fraud and bribery charges (I'm not being snarky, maybe it's the case) but it doesn't seem likely to me.

Theo Boehm said...

Simon nicely expanded and explained upthread how my tired watchdog metaphor for the MSM would work in practice.  The dogs may be taking meatballs from the burglers, but getting new ones trained to not eat out of some people's hands is not easy. And no one takes seriously all the yipping puppies of the blogosphere.


Given that, is there any good, contemporary reporting that anyone knows of, that details the sleazy nature of Illinois, and specifically Chicago, politics?  I'm not interested in speculative mud stuck to Obama, but more the background of the swamp.


I know, I can do my own research.  It's just that time is short, and why reinvent the wheel?  I can tell you ALL about corruption in California 30 years ago, and am something of a minor expert on modern Massachusetts shenanagans, but other than knowing the general outlines of the virtues and vices of Chicago's way of doing things, I plead ignorance of its grimy underpinnings.

Lem said...

Obama did talked to the governor.

http://tinyurl.com/6hg8o8

AlphaLiberal said...

You had a different reaction than Josh Marshall who actually read the article.

Here's his first comment. And his second.

Josh's first comment:
Shorter New York Times: By lobbying for ethics reform, Obama showed he could not escape the murky world of corrupt Chicago pols.

Of course, the paranoid right (incl Ann Althouse, apparently). will see anything short of a full frontal attack on Obama as being "in the tank" for him.

Meanwhile, the MSM continues to ignore W's return to drinking booze.

AlphaLiberal said...

Hey, Ann. Paglia alert. She has another Palin puffing piece up at Salon.com.

go nuts.

dick said...

More fun stuff on this.

Just heard on PBS news that Obama and the governor have been long time rivals. The fact that Obama served as advisor to and campaigned for the governor in 2002 and 2006 and that the governor served as advisor to and campaigned for Obama in 2004 and 2008 means nothing. NOTHING!!!

AlphaLiberal said...

Dick, you sound new to politics. Your "facts" prove don't actually contradict the NPR story.

Campaigns have lots of advisory committees, pols are often on them and do little.

And, powerful pols tend to get support from other pols, even if just to "keep them close."

Darcy said...

Ha ha. Could it be someone else "misspoke"??

AlphaLiberal said...

From the criminal complaint:
As detailed below, in early October 2008, the government obtained information that ROD BLAGOJEVICH was accelerating his corrupt fund raising activities to accumulate as much money as possible before the implementation of ethics legislation on January 1, 2009, that would severely curtail ROD BLAGOJEVICH’s ability to raise money from individuals and entities conducting business with the State of Illinois.

And, from the Times story Ann Althouse is complaining about:

Mr. Obama placed the call to his political mentor, Emil Jones Jr., president of the Illinois Senate. Mr. Jones was a critic of the legislation, which sought to curb the influence of money in politics, as was Mr. Blagojevich, who had vetoed it. But after the call from Mr. Obama, the Senate overrode the veto, prompting the governor to press state contractors for campaign contributions before the law’s restrictions could take effect on Jan. 1, prosecutors say.

So, the headline is factual and accurate.

What, exactly, are you guys bitching about? You demand lies in your headlines?

EDH said...

Meanwhile, the MSM continues to ignore W's return to drinking booze.

W's drinking booze again?

Good for him!

Why do I get the feeling Titus will find something to like in his style of pour.

Cardboard FLOTUS said...

Ann asks, “Why am I getting the feeling that the mainstream media will do what it can to obliterate the connection between Rod Blagojevich and Barack Obama?”

Answer: Because contrary to this report, which was delivered prior to the Blago eruption, Obama had no contact with the governor or his office, so he was not aware of what was happening.

dick said...

They may get some support but they do not get that kind of active campaigning and serving as advisors. In fact the gov was so crooked that even Axelrod wouldn't handle his campaign in 2006 but Obama was right out there front and center. I think AL is pedaling to try to cover Obama on this one as hard as he can and is losing ground the more that comes out. There are just too many close advisors and supporters who got thrown under the bus and now the questions are gonna start coming as to why and how and when and what and how these people were involved and why they are now persona non grata.

Ann Althouse said...

L. E. Lee said..."Ann, prosecuter Fitzgerald stressed repeatedly during his press conference yesterday that there was no connection between Blagojevich and Obama. Ann, is Fizgerald also part of the NYT/Obama/Blagojevich cover up?"

I can't find the transcript of the press conference, but I watched it live, and I believe that Fitzgerald kept saying that he didn't want to say one way or the other the way additional people were connected to the scandal. He was pressed about Obama, but I think he took a neutral stance. If I'm wrong and he somehow gave Obama a clean bill of health, please quote from the actual remarks.

bearbee said...

Is anyone keeping a spreadsheet?

Governors
Spritzer
Blago

Senators
Stevens

Representatives
Jefferson
Renzi

Waiting List
Rangel
Frank
Dodd

Ann Althouse said...

Alpha: "Josh's first comment: Shorter New York Times: By lobbying for ethics reform, Obama showed he could not escape the murky world of corrupt Chicago pols. Of course, the paranoid right (incl Ann Althouse, apparently). will see anything short of a full frontal attack on Obama as being "in the tank" for him."

Think about the way in which Josh and I are describing the same thing: the weird disconnect between the beginning of the article, the highlighted stuff, and what you get further down.

I say the top part is fluffy stuff intended to help Obama and distract attention from the material that might make us worry that O is tainted by Blago somehow. Josh is saying the stuff I consider fluffy actually is the real story and the material further down goes the other way and isn't fair. Who's got the better perception here, me or Josh? I say me.

AlphaLiberal said..."Hey, Ann. Paglia alert. She has another Palin puffing piece up at Salon.com."

Yeah, I read it already. Drudge always links to her. Would have blogged it if anything interested me. Didn't think it was one of her better essays, and I don't automatically link to everything she writes (a la Drudge).

Richard Fagin said...

"The media really isn't driving this story, just reporting it."

If the media didn't include in substantially every report so far that there is no alleged or proven connection between Obama and Blagojevich related to the Senate appointment controversy I would agree that they're just reporting and not driving the story. The media, however, have gone out of their way, in the same fashion that they reported about Obama all year, by particularly pointing out and distinctly claiming (35 U.S.C. sec. 112, par. 3 - haha) that there is no connection. That is in fact driving the story, by emphasizing one fact above the others, in a manner calculated to be defensive without any facially apparent need to do so. The story is about Gov. Blagojevich, not Sen. Obama, and highlighting the lack of alleged or proven connection does nothing to enhance the story. Reporting that fact so forecefully has no other purpose than to drive the story. U.S. Attorney Fitzpatrick has already been accused of "overreaching", notwithstanding the wiretap tapes, while his incredibly contorted case against Scooter Libby was hailed in the same media as evidence of Fitzpatrick's incorruptibility.

That's not driving the story?

AlphaLiberal said...

OK, I did look up the Blago-Obama adviser connection and it seems he was close - in 2002. But not in 2006 when Blago ran for re-election.

So, that doesn't actually prove anything. In 2002, Blago was not an incumbent and hadn't a record (though he may have been idiot). If you're big on "guilt-by-association," then you probably think Obama is guilty.

If you're a more rational person, not so much.
---------------------------
Ann, you can hear some of Fitz' comments here.
About 4:20 is one comment on Obama. May be more out there.

More here
"I should make clear the complaint makes no allegations about the president-elect whatsoever," said U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald."

Duke of DeLand said...

I am reminded of my time as News Director of a Radio Station in Illinois (NEAR Chicago). We, as a station, endorsed our incumbent Mayor. He won, and then my crack team of news reporters....one female beginner; a psychotic; and, a former newspaper reporter who also was a Chicago precinct committeeman!...found the Mayor had solicited money in letters to all liquor license holders for his campaign.

I ran the story as my lead on the noon news. My station manager heard it while driving and almost ran up a tree... He called, ranting and raving about us looking silly.

He later listened to reason and decided that if we had NOT covered the story which others soon caught...we'd have looked worse.

News has always been influenced by many things...just NOT NEAR the level of today's tank for Obama.

Trooper York said...

I hope that the President elect steered clear of this crook and had no more that the usual associations that one politician has with another. It would be a shame if he is tainted by this crook before his administration even started.

What is interesting is that corrupt journalists are at the center of this story. The Governor seemed pretty sure he could muscle these guys to get better ink and get some money out of it as well.

Journalists, lawyers and politicians. We would be lot better off without any of them befouling our planet.

AlphaLiberal said...

Bearbee, you missed a few.

* Sen Norm Coleman - Now under FBI investigation, announced today.

* Rep Rick Renzi - still under investigation.

* Sen Larry Craig - Court refuses to let him withdraw guilty plea.

* Alberto Gonzalez, now under investigation.

* Tom Delay - Wheels of Justice grinding on with his indictment.

* Former Rep now convict, Rep. Randall "Duke" Cunningham.

* Former Rep now convict, William "Bob" Ney.

* Dollar Bill Jefferson, finally tossed out of office.

For starters. More here Yeesh. America, we have a problem.

Orolo said...

"Obama was a neutral between reformers and machine pols in Illinois"

TR had to keep up a similar balancing act in NY with the Platt Machine.

BJM said...

Axelrod's the one with his nuts in a wringer. He either lied to the feds or has set himself up with a perjury trap when called for interview/deposition.

Will he take the fall or be pushed?

Either way, look for Axelrod to be the next to taste Obama bus rubber.

Karma payback is a bitch.

AlphaLiberal said...

And, Bearbee, aside from some philandering and hilarious kinkiness, Spitzer was recently cleared of illegal actions.

lumiere said...

Nov. 5

"Ill. governor meeting with Obama today

By Carol Sowers
Wednesday, November 05, 2008 at 10:39 a.m.

CHICAGO, ILL. -- Now that Barack Obama will be moving to the White House, his seat in the U.S. Senate representing Illinois will have to be filled.

That's one of Obama's first priorities today.

He's meeting with Governor Rod Blagojevich this afternoon in Chicago to discuss it."
http://www.connecttristates.com/news/news_story.aspx?id=217582

Nov. 8
Duckworth comments on consideration for Senate

By Alexis Hunt
Saturday, November 08, 2008 at 9:48 p.m.

QUINCY, IL -- Now that Barack Obama will be moving to the White House, his seat in the U.S. Senate representing Illinois will have to be filled.

Obama met with Governor Rod Blagojevich earlier this week to discuss it. Illinois law states that the governor chooses that replacement. There's already been speculation about his selection...from Congressman Jesse Jackson, Junior to Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs Director Tammy Duckworth.

Another report of Il. Gov's office:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 5, 2008


Governor Blagojevich Congratulates President-elect Obama and Discusses U.S. Senate Seat
To fill President-Elect Barack Obama’s Senate seat, Governor will use deliberate process to select suitable replacement
CHICAGO – After congratulating President-Elect Barack Obama on his decisive victory, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today that he will take his time and use a diverse senior staff made up of key members of his administration who will assist him in selecting a suitable replacement for Obama.

“Last night’s victory was bittersweet for Illinois - as we gain a great President, we lose a great Senator. And it goes without saying that our next Senator has big shoes to fill. Because it’s important that the best person for Illinois is selected, I want to be clear that the calendar won’t dictate our search. Instead, I want to ensure that Obama’s successor will understand and fight for the needs of average Illinoisans,” Governor Blagojevich said.
http://www.illinois.gov/PressReleases/ShowPressRelease.cfm?SubjectID=2&RecNum=7260

Looks like Obama lied when he said he never met with the Gov to discuss who would fill his seat.

peter hoh said...

Nice photo of Blagojevich in the Sun Times.

John Stodder said...

I just think it's time for politicians to be more careful about who they endorse, and for the media to hold them accountable when a politician they endorse ends up dirty or dishonest.

The media focuses on the coattail effect, but that's not what the endorsement transaction is all about. It's a form of co-signing. If some voters had doubts about Blagojevich, the reassuring words of Barack Obama might have stifled those doubts.

Obama was not corrupt like many Illinois pols are. But like someone said above, he was "neutral" on corruption, which might have been politically savvy in the short run but will exact a cost.

I have no problem with the NY Times' story by the way. The interesting part is how the looming ethics deadline sent Blagojevich into this frenzy of corrupt activity. Get it while you can.

Tom Royce said...

"And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed—if all records told the same tale—then the lie passed into history and became truth. 'Who controls the past' ran the Party slogan, 'controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.'"

All Orwell seems to have gotten wrong is the date? He misspoke...

Methadras said...

I wonder where Chris Mathews is on this since he is going to do everything in his power to insure that Mr. Barely's presidency is a success.

The NYT is a joke now. It running comedy skit at this point. The more things change, the more they stay the same and in Mr. Barely's case they actually start to get worse. Hail the new President and the suckers who voted him into office. Hey Ann, tell me, what was it like voting for a fraud?

Roger J. said...

Bearbee: And then there was the rep who replaced mark foley in foley's district. And no one mentioned the Senator from MBNA, now vice president elect Biden's rather unsavory ties to the banking industry.

bearbee said...

AlphaLiberal said...
Bearbee, you missed a few.

I knew I had. Glad you're on top of it.

We need to start of lottery.

John Stodder said...

Spitzer was recently cleared

No. They declined to prosecute. Not the same thing as being cleared. (The feds seldom "clear" anyone, to their discredit.) The determination was, Spitzer's forced resignation was adequate punishment. If he'd hung onto his office, he would've been prosecuted.

Roger J. said...

Alpha Liberal: I thought you were leaving this blog--you lied to us.

Spitzer was cleared just like Rep Mark Foley was cleared--you set the bar for public conduct pretty low there alpha; pretty damn low.

Brian said...

Why do you get that feeling Ann? Because your gut tells you that the media will protect Obama as vigorously as they did before the election.

Churchill said...

Don't forget Obama's connection to his national campaign co-chairman, Jesse Jackson Jr. a/k/a Senate Candidate 5. The one who offered a million dollars for the seat.

m00se said...

*sigh*

It's not as much that Rod was trying to sell the senator's seat, it's the window that was opened into how Chicago politics are played that was revealing.

I read the complaint and 2 things jumped out at me: one was that Rezko's name was all over it, and the other was how program funding was being used as a lever to get what the governor wanted. Blatantly and without shame.

I know, I'm naive, but this is pretty damning. Given Obama's rather intimate ties with each and every person involved in this case, and his hamhanded disavowal of Axelrod's statements (Obama would have been better off saying that they had discussed the issue, but at no time did the governor make any statements regarding selling the seat).

It's what I've said all along - you can't really expect Obama to have never laid down with these dogs, could you? He's been quite adept at hiding his involvments, but sooner or later his relationships with these guys yield the inevitable dirt.

And, even if Obama knew of these sorts of deals going on, but never participated, how could he rationalize not taking action on them with the Feds?

Sooner or later, Obama will have to come clean on this and we can only hope he resigns quickly when it does come to light.

Brian said...

Oh, and let me add this. If this were a Republican, the media would be asking what did everyone know and when did they know it.

Mike said...

They have got to be fucking kidding! "Obama’s Effort on Ethics Bill Had Role in Governor’s Fall"?!?!

This investigation has been ongoing since 2002! The same 2002 when Obama, Axelrod and Emanuel were all thicker than thieves with this scumbag.

Buzz said...

Of course Axelrod misspoke.

Of course Obama never talked to Blagojevich about the appointment.

Eurasia has always been at war with Eastasia.

Mark said...

Portrait of a Politician

Time to play "Name that Pol"!

Running on a do-good theme as a candidate of change, he swept into the ... office ... mainly on promises that he would be different, that he would restore integrity to the ... office after the previous chief executive...

“Tonight, ladies and gentlemen, [the electorate] has voted for change,” he told a crowd at his victory party on election night...

Darcy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aloysius said...

Ms. Althouse,

May I presume that the press and their ongoing protectiopn of Obama was a significant factor in your decision to vote for him?

Montagne Mointaigne said...

Are the hacks on this board predicting the imminent resignation of Obama the same ones who swooned over Sarah Palin of Alaska and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana? Because obviously politicians from corrupt states are corrupt themselves, no matter what.

Simon said...

BJM said...
"Axelrod's the one with his nuts in a wringer. He either lied to the feds or has set himself up with a perjury trap when called for interview/deposition."

All he has to do is dodge the bullet until the afternoon of January 20th and he's home free. At that point, DoJ will be under new management and President Obama will have the power to end the investigation. Will he use it? "Yes we can!"

Mark said...

Love your line of reasoning, Monty. Is this a revelation you had before or after pulling the lever for Mr. Change?

Montagne Mointaigne said...

No. It's called sarcasm.

BJM said...

Simon, No I don't think he can or will dismiss Fitzgerald, not with Rezko on the back burner too.

Obama will do the usual Presidential dissembling and stone walling while surrogates spin the blame onto a few unfortunate, but not entirely innocent, subordinates who will do the MSM perp walk and some country club detention time.

POTUS Bidness as usual.

Mark said...

Or you could just refer to the old maxim "when you don't really have anything to say, say it with a sneer."

FWIW, I'm personally hoping Obama comes out of this squeaky-clean. (Even better if Obama's team turned on Blags; some people belong under the bus.) But I keep worrying about the worst case scenario: President Biden.

Montagne Mointaigne said...

OK geniuses-- what "role" would Obama or "Obama Associates" (by associates I assume you mean people who work for him, not everyone he has ever met) have played in... the crimes... which are, according to you, what?

These charges relate to one (1) guy. Blagojevich.

blake said...

Right.

When a Democrat commits crimes, it's done in a vacuum, and he's betrayed the true principles of Liberalism.

When a Republican commits crimes, it's part of the Culture of Corruption, and he's acting as Conservative philosophy dictates.

Got it.

Sloanasaurus said...

Obama was part of the Chicago Machine. Maybe Obama wasn't proactively corrupt himself, but it is very possible that we will find out that Obama turned a blind eye to corruption so as "not to mess up his own career." Perhaps Obama is corrupt by omission.

This is the people's long awaited opportunity to bust the Chicago corruption machine. The investigation is going to last years and there are going to be more indictments. Unfortunately for Obama it came at the wrong time.

Sloanasaurus said...

Obama is very lucky that Fitzgerald came public before Blagovich executed the transaction. If Blago had picked Obama's choice, then it would have been really bad for Obama regardless of his actual involvement.

Martin said...

Darcy,

Indeed, why lie? Yet you could say the same about Wright and Rezko and Ayers-- the available information does not really suggest anything particularly untoward, and there is a perfectly reasonable and innocent explanation for what is known, and yet the first response is ALWAYS to lie about it.

Curious behavior--suggests either there is something very deep that he is scared of, or an incredibly thin skin.

Darcy said...

Oh, Martin...I'm sorry. I deleted that post where I was suggesting Obama lied because I have since read elsewhere that the meeting reported in that article was not on his official schedule for that day. It's murky enough for me to say that I'm not prepared to call him a liar.

However, I think it is probably a stretch to believe that no one from his staff was in touch with Blago since the election. Why wouldn't they be? It just seems like such a perfectly reasonable assumption - that Obama would care who the governor selected to replace him, doesn't it?

Darcy said...

Well...interesting. Glenn Reynolds reports that the article I linked earlier, referring to a meeting on Nov. 5 between Obama and Blago has disappeared. It was there when I linked it - from a local news station.

That really bothers me. If the info was incorrect, then post a correction. Making it disappear...doesn't that just seem too convenient?

Korla said...

Be honest, Ann. We all knew about this guy's dirty dealings with Rezko, et al, and his tight ties to Obama, long before Election Day, but you guys really, really convinced yourselves to look the other way. And now, even as some of the tentacles are being lopped off, the slimy, dirty octopus of the Chicago machine has squirmed its way into the Oval Office.

Let's not pretend we're shocked by whitewashing that hasn't changed since Obama first emerged on the scene.

But hey! It was a "historic" election, right? You guys satisfied now?

Sheesh.

Lawgiver said...

Well...interesting. Glenn Reynolds reports that the article I linked earlier, referring to a meeting on Nov. 5 between Obama and Blago has disappeared. It was there when I linked it - from a local news station.

Yep, it's gone, I wonder why?

BJM said...

Consider this, we know Obama is an astute politician as his quick rise to power and victory confirms. He assesses the lay of the political landscape, takes what he needs and moves on. He certainly knew of the coming Chicago storm and began to distance himself once his national campaign was on it's legs.

The Blagojevich scandal is the perfect opportunity for Obama step away from his "Pendergast" unscathed with reputation enhanced by a willing media.

Oh, they will turn on him, but not yet. Not yet.

Trooper York said...

Exactly right BJM. Anyone who puts his faith in the press is a fool. They will turn on him just as they did with McCain. But who knows it might be about a principled stand about an important issue and he will get a lot of support from unexpected places. If he takes a really strong stand on a terrorism issue for instance. He has a chance to do that you know. He's made a pretty good start so far and I want to give him a chance.

Just one guys opinion.

David said...

To paraphrase a line from "A Time to Kill" - Now imagine that Blogojevich and Obama are Republicans...

Mitch said...

Regarding the question of the press being in the tank for Obama on this issue, how about this example?

Obama seen untouched by Illinois governor charges

I don't recall seeing Reuters provide absolution to Bush the day after the Valerie Plame brouhaha became public, but I may have missed it.

Ofc. Krupke said...

OK geniuses-- what "role" would Obama or "Obama Associates" (by associates I assume you mean people who work for him, not everyone he has ever met) have played in... the crimes... which are, according to you, what?

Okay, I'll bite. If they offered Blago a bribe or negotiated the terms of a buy, that's a role.

Darcy said...

Yeah...Mitch, David, it's just really disgusting the double standard. I'm trying not to think too much about it. It's infuriating.

John Stodder said...

These charges relate to one (1) guy. Blagojevich.

Well that's circling the wagons a bit too tightly. There's also his chief of staff, who was also arrested yesterday. And his wife, overheard on the FBI calls. And Candidates 1-5, some of whom were evidently aware that some emolument was expected if they wanted the appointment. Especially #5, who seems to have been on the verge of actually acceding to Blagojevich's demands. And who has been identified as Jesse Jackson, Jr. And the SEIU, someone there in a position to negotiate with the governor's office.

Obama's circle was likely to have been made aware of a potential problem with Blagojevich trying to sell the seat when their preferred candidate withdrew suddenly -- one assumes now that it was to avoid being tainted.

In fact, I think it's fair to speculate that one of Obama's advisers gave evidence to the FBI.

I don't think this scandal does much to harm Obama's reputation, but I think it's a stretch to say he had zero to do with it. Like Darcy says, it's weird he would deny talking to Blagojevich about anything from election day on. Not even a bland congratulatory call? Nothing? It's an over-denial, more than is necessary, especially given what Axelrod said and now denies.

Obama will give us a blow by blow eventually. It'll probably be unexciting and barely newsworthy, but until he does this, he's got a distracting little problem. But as of this moment, his team is mishandling this.

dbrutus said...

Wasn't the SEIU supposed to be the "labor reformers" and weren't they strong Obama supporters all the way through? Is it reasonable to ask Obama how this SEIU role changes Obama's view (if at all) of the SEIU and their influence in his administration.

BJM said...

Blogojevich is looking at serious jail time if convicted. Does anyone believe that he will not roll to save his ass?

I'd bet paper shredders are humming and rampant computer theft has swept Chicago.

John said...

Montagne,

You are right that Palin is also from a corrupt one-party place. The difference is that she resigned from her spot on the Petroleum Board (or maybe it is called Oil and Gas Board, I forget) to protest the corruption. She gave evidence against the corrupt machine and put some of them in jail. Then she ran against the corrupt boss and beat him, put in new ethics rules, and shook the corrupting oil companies down for all the money they avoided paying by giving out bribes. You can sure bash Palin for her ignorance on the Couric interview, but in terms of anti-corruption she is stellar. At least corporate money corruption -- she seems OK with using power to get her rotten brother-in-law.

Obama wasn't a crook like Blagojevich. He did take Rezko help on his house and stack the hospital board in exchange, but that was pretty small potatoes corruption. Not worse than most politicians. But he did side with the Stroeger Cook County machine against the reformers. He was always happy to help the crooks in exchange for help with his career.

Obama always does what is smart for Obama. He has never taken a stance against self-interest. If that means hanging out with crooks, and helping them, well....

Palin is an anti-corruption heroine. Obama might not be a big crook, but he never took them on.

richard mcenroe said...

"Was Obama involved in any of this? Probably not but then again, if it turns out he was I wouldn't color myself shocked."

Of course he wasn't. He got all those donations and cushy appointments and house deals to STAY OUT of Chicago politics, yeah, that's it...

Except, of course, for when he didn't...

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2008/06/27/grim_proving_ground_for_obamas_housing_policy/

EDH said...

But I keep worrying about the worst case scenario: President Biden.

I'm "hopeful" Hillary will pull an Alexander Haig if need be before 2012.

Ken said...

Obama is the media's President. they created him, nurtured him and protected him. They continue to do so. When the disaster they have wrought becomes apparent, the tiny bit of credibility they have left will be gone.

The 'mainstream" media is simply the propaganda machine of the Democratic Party.

Korla said...

2010 can't get here fast enough.

Then will all you softheads who voted for this "historic" candidate realize you were suckered, and please get some palpable opposition in the legislature?

John Althouse Cohen said...

Why am I getting the feeling that the mainstream media will do what it can to obliterate the connection between Rod Blagojevich and Barack Obama?

Based on this clip show, there are clearly some in the MSM who aren't exactly trying to "obliterate the connection."

USpace said...

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I wonder if Shot Rod will plead not guilty by reason of insanity. Poor little Rahmbo. Not too good for the Obamassiah either.
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absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
coddle poor politicians

always let them get their way
they should not be role models

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absurd thought -
God of the Universe loves
a culture of corruption

but likes the Democrats' best
give them the most leeway

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absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
corruption is OK

as long as scoundrels mean well
and strive for Utopia

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All real freedom starts with freedom of speech. Without freedom of speech there can be no real freedom.
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Philosophy of Liberty Cartoon
.
Help Halt Terrorism Today!
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USpace

:)
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