All but one of the questions were about the Blagojevich scandal -- even though O's topic of the day was health care. (He introduced Tom Daschle as his pick for HHS secretary.)
He didn't answer that question, unsurprisingly. Not that he called it out of bounds. He just followed a strategy -- as he did for all the Blagojevich questions -- of saying, essentially, I'm one of the good guys and Blagojevich is one of the bad guys.
Why do bad things seem to keep coming from Illinois government? You'll have to accept as the answer that there is also good from Illinois, and he is on the side of the good.
ADDED: The news conference is detailed here:
He was asked how the governor got the impression that neither Mr. Obama nor his senior adviser, Valerie Jarrett, a possible pick for the Senate seat, were “willing to play ball and why he said those unrepeatable things about you.” A second part of the question referred to the previous governor of Illinois who is “still moldering” in federal prison, raising the question: What’s wrong with Illinois?
Mr. Obama said he could not speculate what was going on in the governor’s mind.
And he repeated what he said a few minutes ago, that he believes there are two different views of politics. One involves sacrifice and public service, the other is that politics is a business, “you’re wheeling and dealing and what’s in it for me?” He noted that there are good politicians in Illinois.
If the allegations against the governor are true, he said, “this is sort of the far end of the spectrum, that business mentality of politics.”
He added that his own campaign was about changing that view of politics. “You can get elected by playing it straight,” he said. “You can get elected by doing the right thing.”