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Contact with Blagojevich?
Posted by: McQ on Friday, December 12, 2008

I'm afraid I don't share Mr. Obama's confidence that no one on his staff discussed replacements for his senate seat with Gov. Blagojevich. First, it just doesn't make any sense, politically. That would indeed have been a normal topic or issue that would have been an expected topic of conversation between his "team" and the governor's "team" at a minimum.

Now it appears there may (let me emphasize the word "may") be taped evidence of multiple conversations between Obama's chief-of-staff Rahm Emanuel and Gov. Blagojevich:

My question, if this is all true, is why dissemble about it? A replacement for the Obama seat is something which any reasonable person would expect the two teams to discuss. If there were discussions, especially in light of the fact that such discussions might have been taped, why would you not admit them and discuss their content? Since the Fitzgerald charges seem to claim Blagojevich was unhappy with only the "appreciation" that the Obama camp was offering, it is pretty reasonable to assume he got that from someone within Obama's organization that he felt spoke for Obama.

To me that's exculpatory on Obama's behalf. Why wouldn't you be trumpeting that, if you were him, and admitting such a discussion instead of claiming none took place?

If, in fact, we find that there were discussions, no matter how brief, innocent and above-board, then why this immediate and seeming adamant denial?

As they always say, it isn't the activity that gets you in trouble, it's the attempt to cover it up. Are we in the middle of a knee-jerk cover up which will end up doing much more harm than if the Obama camp had just admitted contact and spun it positively as supported by the charges?

Although I said I was tired of the Blagojevich scandal (corrupt governors just aren't news anymore), this aspect I find fascinating. Obviously, I'm running on assumptions and conjecture here. But they're at least supported by the report above and the statement in the Fitzgerald charges. Like many of the things Obama has claimed ("That's not the Rev. Wright I knew"), I find this stretches the bounds of credulity. We'll see how it plays out.

(Via Stop the ACLU)
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Previous Comments to this Post 

You are right. It is the cover-up, not the crime, that has trapped most of the Washington crowd in the past decades.

These people seem to lie and cover-up even when there is absolutely no reason to!
Written By: jjmurphy
These people seem to lie and cover-up even when there is absolutely no reason to!
I started a comment in response, and turned it into a post. It’s here.
Written By: Billy Hollis
I would have a hard time believing that no one in the transition team had any contact with Blago, but I also don’t believe that’s what Obama said in his press conference.
I have never spoken to the governor on this subject. I’m confident that no representatives of mine would have any part of any deals related to this seat. I think the materials released by the U.S. attorney reflect that fact.

I’ve asked my team to gather the facts of any contacts with the governor’s office about this vacancy so that we can share them with you over the next few days.
Obama is saying three things here...

1. I did not discuss the Senate appointment with Blago.
2. I am confident that no one on my team took part in any discussions of a deal to get a preferred appointment.
3. I will gather information about any contacts between my team and Blago regarding the Senate appointment and make them public.

So, if anyone on the transition team had contact with Blago, it does not mean that they discussed the Senate appointment, and if they did, they would be insane not to fess up because it’s very likely recorded.

I don’t like the parsing though, it would be less controversial if Obama just said that there were contacts with Blago, but no discussions of any deal for the Senate seat. And Obama has clearly said that he will release information about ANY contacts regarding the Senate seat with no caveats as to whether it was related to a deal.

The real risk here is that Blago tried to make an illegal deal as was rebuffed by the Obama team. Blago would still be guilty of a crime and the person who said no, would be a witness to a crime. The reality is that since no one talking to Blago would have any idea that the call was recorded by the FBI, they would know that even though they knew Blago was commiting a crime, they had zero evidence, so just saying no was about all they could practically do. The opposition meme of a conversation like this, if one ever happened, would be that Obama’s team didn’t play ball, but they didn’t uphold the law either.

Somehow Blago learned Obama’s preference for the Senate seat, so there was some kind of contact, somehow. But that doesn’t mean any quid-pro-quo was ever discussed, which validates Obama’s statement, that no one discussed a deal for the Senate seat.

It’s pretty close to weasel wording, except that weasel wording is usually about saying enough truth to cover up a misdeed, and in this case, the weasel wording is to cover up innocent contact that would just look bad. Of course it will look worse when the truth of contacts come out and people claim that Obama said there were no contacts, even though that’s not actually what he said.

Ain’t politics a beyotch.

Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://
It’s pretty close to weasel wording, except that weasel wording is usually about saying enough truth to cover up a misdeed, and in this case, the weasel wording is to cover up innocent contact that would just look bad.
It’s about as close to weasel wording as you can get without picking up fleas. That innocent contact can look really bad if you know there are other skeletons likely to be uncovered.
Written By: Arcs
URL: http://
When do we get to the part where we discuss what the definition of "is" is?

Or how about Blago feeling out Rahm Emmanuel on a deal, Emmanuel is noncommittal, and voila! — no one on Obama’s staff discussed a deal with Blago.
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
The misprision possibility interests me. Zero’s shift from "we" to "I" seems to indicate that some part of the "we" did talk to Blago, was aware of what went on. If that guy heard Blago ranting on about getting money up front for the seat - likely, I would think - then he’s a witness to a felony. If he doesn’t report that event, he could be guilty of misprision or even conspiracy.

Take it another step. The guy who heard Blago panhandle tells Zero what happened. Zero says nothing to anyone until the story breaks, when he is "appalled" that there is corruption in the fair state of Lincoln. Does the misprision, even the conspiracy, taint Zero? What do you think, Mr. Fitzgerald? Libby went down for less.

So even if Zero didn’t talk to Blago about anything, he still could be in trouble.
Written By: Robert Speirs
URL: http://
Barack Obama has now resigned to his seat as Senator of Illinois, State’s governor Rod Blagojevich has ruined and had gave Illinois a bad name. The American political climate, which had been so optimistic of late, has started to get ugly again. Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich has likely seen his last payday for awhile, along with his chief of staff, John Harris. Both were arrested by the FBI on federal corruption charges on Tuesday morning. Normally, a person in such a high position getting busted for something that big is shocking enough, but it gets worse in that he is the second governor if Illinois in a row to get arrested on federal criminal charges. His predecessor, George Ryan, was arrested a few years ago, on corruption charges as well. Blagojevich evidently assumed that he was King of Illinois and was trying to literally sell the Senate seat recently vacated by Barack Obama. According to Illinois law, the governor determines who fills the seat, and Blagojevich figured that it was a quick way to make a buck or two. Well, it would be an understatement to say he got a little greedy. The FBI compiled a 76 page indictment against Harris and Blagojevich. He was caught on wiretap last month, and the FBI waited to get even more evidence against him, which they did. He claims that everything he did and said was legal. Residents of the state of Illinois will just have to wait and see. The climate in DC appears to be hopeful for now, but darker clouds are on the horizon for Blagojevich and his buddy, Harris. It’s likely they’ve seen their last paydays in office. Click to read more on Blagojevich courtesy of Personal Money Store’s Payday Loan News.
Written By: Franrose_O
URL: http://
There is a saying that if there is a smoke, there is a fire. Rumors and gossip circulates because somebody knows something and is just sharing it to anyone. It depends on us if we will believe it or not. You would probably think that drunken politicians, on the job, willing to miss their next payday, would only be found in movies and fictional books. Looks like Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich may have proven us wrong. Although he may have seen his last payday in office, he isn’t the only politician accused of being under the influence while on the clock. The Australian parliament is considering measures that would make current members and future members take a breathalyzer test while in session so that they don’t drink and legislate. A member of one of the leading parties in Australia’s parliament had to resign his post after he allegedly roughed up a female colleague after a Christmas party where he had become intoxicated. Other officials in Australia have also been ousted out of their public offices for drinking related offenses. The public seems to be open-minded about the idea. For instance, public transportation operators think that those who create the laws that govern should do so soberly, in the same way as the way they operate trains and buses soberly for public safety. Politicians worldwide have enjoyed a few rounds from time to time and most of them responsibly. Even still, this should be handled with extreme care. When it comes to your finances, you should handle these just as soberly. If your budget goes temporarily dry, you can soberly obtain fast payday loans with no problem. Click here to read the full article yourself on the payday loan money blog at

Written By: Charlotte U.
URL: http://

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