June 25, 2010

"The president-elect would be very pleased if you appointed Valerie and he would be, uh, thankful and appreciative."

"They're not willing to give me anything but appreciation -- f--- them." Blagojevich. The trial continues.
After Barack Obama friend Valerie Jarrett publicly pulled out of contention for the U.S. Senate seat appointment, Rahm Emanuel... wanted Blagojevich to know the list of Senate candidates "acceptable" to Obama, according to testimony Thursday in Blagojevich's corruption trial.

They were: Tammy Duckworth; Illinois state comptroller Dan Hynes; U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, according to Blagojevich's former chief of staff John Harris.

Harris told the ex-governor of the discussion in a secretly recorded phone call Nov. 12.

On the call, Blagojevich calls the list "B.S."

Harris testified the former governor believed Obama's list to be political cover.

"If that became public, the president-elect would want the list to represent a diverse group of individuals," Harris explained from the stand.

44 comments:

AJ Lynch said...

It's amazing that two days before Obama was elected, Emanuel and Blago's rep were already on the phone discussing that Obama wanted Jarrett to get the seat.

Obama was not even president-elect yet and Emanuel had not been announced as his future Chief of Staff but the scuzzy wheels of corruptitude were already turning.

Original Mike said...

Why wouldn't Obama weigh in with the governor on who he wanted to replace him? It doesn't look like he offered Blago anything (which is why Blago was pissed, right?) so I don't see anything here.

OTH, what are Jarrett's qualifications? Or was this just political payoff to her?

Richard Dolan said...

Interesting that one of the tags is "Blagosmear on Obama." But Blago's reading of Obama's intentions here -- the list was "BS" and mostly an exercise in "political cover" -- seems to be on the money. And Obama comes off, even on Blago's view, as the goody-goody, unwilling to pay for the appointment in any coin other than "appreciation". Where is the "smear," exactly?

lyssalovelyredhead said...

O. Mike, I think the idea is that Blogo basically said, "OK, you want one of those people, what are you going to give me to make it happen?" and they said "appreciation," and Blago said "not good enough."

In other words, that Obama (or someone working for him) knew what Blogo was doing and turned a blind eye- maybe not illegal, but highly reflective of moral character.

- Lyssa

AllenS said...

Moral of the story?

Obama is a poor tipper (no relation to you know who).

AJ Lynch said...

Don't kid yourself. I think "appreciation" was just a code word for future corruptitude considerations aka whatever Blago wanted.

Original Mike said...

"Don't kid yourself. I think "appreciation" was just a code word for future corruptitude considerations aka whatever Blago wanted."

Almost certainly true. But either that wasn't good enough for Blago or he didn't get it.

Maybe Blago couldn't see Rahm's wink over the phone.

AJ Lynch said...

Mike;

I bet Blago would have gotten anything he wanted but the scheme got derailed by the fed wiretaps before money / consideration could change hands.

In fact, the fed prosecutor, Fitzgerald, saw where the conspiracy was headed [the White House] so he blew the whistle and saved Obama and Emanuel's asses. IMO.

Original Mike said...

Interesting, AJ.

ricpic said...

If there's nothing on tape Barak will escape.

Scott M said...

Anyone else think this bubbling up has anything to do with the trial balloons about Rham leaving as CoS after November?

Scott M said...

Obama was not even president-elect yet and Emanuel had not been announced as his future Chief of Staff but the scuzzy wheels of corruptitude were already turning.

Don't forget the unbelievably hysterical "Office Of The President-Elect" seal.

rick said...

Scott M said

"Don't forget the unbelievably hysterical "Office Of The President-Elect" seal."

On the edge my chair waiting to see the "Office of the Lame Duck President" I have a few ideas on the seal design.

mccullough said...

Valerie Jarrett was as qualified to be a US Senator as Obama was to be President.

former law student said...

It's amazing that two days before Obama was elected, Emanuel and Blago's rep were already on the phone discussing that Obama wanted Jarrett to get the seat.

It's amazing that anyone would not have known, two days before the election, that Obama would leave a vacancy in the US Senate.

But according to the Trib, Blagojevich was counting on Obama's wanting Jarrett to replace him, so Blago was trying to figure how he could cash in.

the scuzzy wheels of corruptitude were already turning.

Blago was being investigated for corruption from Day Two. Everybody knew he was dirty, so everyone wanted to stay at arm's length. Read the Trib's chronology. Obama had already felt the heat from palling around with Rezko -- no way was he going to touch Blago with anyting less than a ten-foot-pole.

http://media.apps.chicagotribune.com/blago/chronology.html

Half of Illinois' governors since Otto Kerner have ended up in federal prison, and Blago is not going to break the chain.

MadisonMan said...

what are Jarrett's qualifications?

Oh for God's sake. Qualifications to be a Senator? Beyond breathing?

Why even ask the question?

Original Mike said...

Point taken, MM.

Scott M said...

Oh for God's sake. Qualifications to be a Senator? Beyond breathing?

Why even ask the question?


Well, for starters, you have to be able to spell filabustr...er, filletbster, uh...hmm

It's the House that only requires a pulse. In the Senate, it's BYOG (Bring Your Own Gravitas)

Hoosier Daddy said...

Oh for God's sake. Qualifications to be a Senator?

Well when you look at the current state of the nation, Buckley's preference of being governed by the listings of the Boston phone book never rang more true.

AJ Lynch said...

FLS:

You must think you are some kind of smart, wiseass mofo.

Scott M said...

You must think you are some kind of smart, wiseass mofo.

Not just smart, but also a closet conservative judging by the comments yesterday about who pays taxes and who doesn't.

Right, FLS?

PatCA said...

"Yawn."

--MSM

Original Mike said...

Well, FLS is a registered Republican.

KT said...

As despicable as he is, I think Blago is f****** hilarious.

Michael said...

FLS, I was pleased to learn, is an expert on hunting among every other thing on planet earth. He dissed me for suggesting that a labrador did not hunt in front of the hunter since I apparently did not know that labradors were meant to point grouse and quail. FLS is one of those splendid progressives who know everything about everything especially the things about which they know nothing. FLS, of course, made up the story about hunting in the first place and so was offended when I made an observation about the position of a retriever on upland birds and had the gall to then accuse me of knowing nothing about hunting. Ah, the progressive life!!

Liar AND moron.

SteveR said...

If they were smart, the Office of the President-Elect would have stayed the hell away from this. They would have got another democrat willing to vote however Obama wanted.

But true to the political climate of their Chicago home, they coudn't resist the opportunity to peddle power. Rather than dirty themselves by dealing with Blago, its clear they were already there.

edutcher said...

The one thing The Zero had going for him 2 years ago was that he was clean. For somebody coming from Chicago, that was something

Well, he'll have to settle for fastidious from now on.

Original Mike said...

"The one thing The Zero had going for him 2 years ago was that he was clean. For somebody coming from Chicago, that was something"

Oh, is that what Biden meant?

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Since neither Obama nor the ballerino appear to have consented to a deal, I don't think they will turn out to be criminally liable. I think there's an excellent chance AJ Lynch is right about Fitzgerald. He demonstrated clearly how he operates during the Plame/Wilson debacle.

On the other hand, the Blago mess can only be a negative for O. Who lies down with dogs gets up with fleas.

holdfast said...

I'd endorse AJ's analysis as to Ftizy's intent, but Rahmbo isn't dumb - I think it unlikely that he would have crossed over the line, even given more time. Politicians do favors, request favors and appoint friends all the time. It's not really great for democracy, but what team Obama did here was not more than crony politics. Blago was obviously too greedy or too dumb to understand that having the future president owe you a solid is a pretty good thing - he wanted cash on the barrelhead. It should be illegal to be that dumb.

Methadras said...

Original Mike said...

Maybe Blago couldn't see Rahm's wink over the phone.


Hey, that's nearly like one of my "the most interesting man in the world" bits. It goes like this, "he can charm you with a look... Over the phone..."

HDHouse said...

and it was Harris who cut the deal right? right.

just checking.

Peter V. Bella said...

Blago was always a Dem Machine hack; part and parcel of the felonocracy known as the Cook County Democratic Party aka the Chicago Machine. The real question is why it took so long for the government to catch him. He was a hack as a congressman and from day one as a governor.

Fr Martin Fox said...

I don't see what Barack Obama did wrong. He, or someone acting for him, let the governor know who he favored for the appointment. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

That he had thought about who he'd want in his Senate seat sometime before the election reflects well on him, not badly.

Assume he knew Blago was crooked; so he can't seek to influence the selection of a replacement Senator? How is getting a crook to do something legitimate crooked? It's better to leave him to do something shady?

When it was clear Blago wanted more than incoming President Obama wanted to offer, Obama's folks backed away. What's wrong with that?

I'd bet that if someone tries to say President-designate Obama did something wrong, his defense will run along the lines above.

Now, those who say there was something else going on, the proper response is, "What? And you have some proof for this?"

former law student said...

Michael -- I'm sorry I shook your smug knowitallness. If you didn't know that Labs have been hunting upland game for years, you do now.

former law student said...

He was a hack as a congressman and from day one as a governor.

Be fair now. The last Illinois governor to go to Federal prison was a Republican.

Milwaukie guy said...

Let's not forget that Blago was a darling of the "progressive" IVI-IPO [Independent Voters of Illinois-Independent Precinct Organization]. His first governor's campaign guru was David Axelrod who ran Blago as a "real reformer" against Paul Vallas, arguably a real reformer. And Roland Burris was tapped to siphon off the Chicago African-American vote so Vallas couldn't benefit from his reforms to Chicago schools.

wv: dicabl: What Jon Kass calls "the combine," the joint looting of Illinois by both parties.

MadisonMan said...

The last Illinois governor to go to Federal prison was a Republican.

Who was the last Illinois Governor not to go to prison? Ryan?

former law student said...

Let's look at the governors since Kerner. I'm only counting elected governors, not Lt. Govs who had to fill the vacancy left by their crooked superiors:

JAIL: Otto Kerner, Jr. 1961-1968 Dem

NO JAIL: Richard Ogilvie 1969-1973 GOP

JAIL: Daniel Walker 1973-1977 Dem

NO JAIL: James R. Thompson 1977-1991 GOP

NO JAIL: Jim Edgar 1991-1999 GOP

JAIL: George H. Ryan 1999-2003 GOP

????? Rod R. Blagojevich 2003-2009 Dem

Michael said...

FLS: You dumb fuck are you too lazy to even google Labradors and find it in yourself to apologize for telling me I know nothing about hunting when you invented an episode? You insanely thought that Labradors are pointers and that they pointed game birds. You are a complete idiot on this topic and a liar to boot.

I have shot quail and dove and grouse and pheasants for over forty years. I have a dozen shotguns. I have owned Labradors and pointers. I know exactly what I am talking about and you have the temerity to even post on the topic.

Dust Bunny called you out on the spot for being a fool and a liar. Own up idiot.

Michael said...

FLS: Just to highlight your ignorance and pigheaded stupidity with respect to gun dogs I reprise the exchange:


FLS SAID:"(I have hunted pheasants and quail behind a Lab before.)"


MICHAEL SAID: "If you "hunted" quail and pheasants behind a lab your lab was poorly trained. He should have been beside or behind you."

FLS SAID (foolishly):"How's a dog going to point a bird if he's beside or behind you?

If you know zip-squat about hunting, why post about it?"


DBQ SAID: "Labs are not pointers. Their job (usually) is to sit and stay until told to retrieve the dead quail or pheasant. A labrador who bolts out in front of you after the game is a very poorly trained dog."

FLS: Your comment will go down as one of the classic idiotic statements ever. Self-dick stepping.

former law student said...

DBQ SAID: "Labs are not pointers. Their job (usually) is to sit and stay until told to retrieve the dead quail or pheasant. A labrador who bolts out in front of you after the game is a very poorly trained dog."


Sorry, even if the mighty Nimrod dbq does agree with you, I still can't ignore my actual, personal experience.

Are you German, btw? The besserwisser is a popular figure in Germany, comical once his ignorance is exposed.

Darrell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Darrell said...

Amazing that no one brought up that Patrick J. Fitzgerald tipped off Obama's people to the fact that all of Blagos phones had been tapped--by his own admission--when
prosecutors began to hear conversations they weren't comfortable with. Perhaps someone can enlighten me how that can be legal and why no one has attempted to do anything about it. Do you think that may have stemmed the flow of indictable discussions from Obama's side? Any guesses?