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Boiling down Blagogate and how it applies to Obama
Posted by: McQ on Saturday, December 13, 2008

OK, so now we know with a modicum of certainty that Rahm Emanuel spoke with Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his administration about acceptable replacements for Barack Obama's Senate seat. As Bob Secter says:
The revelation does not suggest Obama's new gatekeeper was involved in any talk of dealmaking involving the seat.
And that, based on what is out there right now, is correct.

However, it does raise more questions which have yet to be answered.

So, what do we know?
One source confirmed that communications between Emanuel and the Blagojevich administration were captured on court-approved wiretaps.

Another source said that contact between the Obama camp and the governor's administration regarding the Senate seat began the Saturday before the Nov. 4 election, when Emanuel made a call to the cell phone of Harris. The conversation took place around the same time press reports surfaced about Emanuel being approached about taking the high-level White House post should Obama win.

Emanuel delivered a list of candidates who would be "acceptable" to Obama, the source said. On the list were Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett, Illinois Veterans Affairs director Tammy Duckworth, state Comptroller Dan Hynes and U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Chicago, the source said. All are Democrats.

Sometime after the election, Emanuel called Harris back to add the name of Democratic Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan to the approved list, the source said.
Again, given what is reported, absolutely nothing but what one would consider to be normal contact concerning the Senate seat - to include the exchange about the possibility of Emanuel being Obama's replacement prior to Emanuel being named as the incoming CoS.

It does mean, however, that the Obama team was in contact with the Governor's team about the seat - something, btw, Obama has not denied (he's denied that his "team" was a part of any scheming being done by Hot Rod).

But then there's this, and it actually has to do with Rahm Emanuel's Congressional seat:
One alleged scheme outlined in the charges against Blagojevich involves the special election for Emanuel's seat. The government affidavit said Blagojevich and others were recorded talking about an unnamed "president-elect adviser" concerned about the election for Emanuel's congressional seat who might help the governor land a new job at a non-profit organization.
That's where the connection with the Obama campaign might get dirty. Who is this unnamed "president-elect adviser"? That and was Emanuel approached with a scheme? And if he was and refused it, did he tell anyone?
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
What we know now would seem to suggest that there wouldn’t be much unusual about contact between Blago and Obama’s folks.

So why the sweeping statements that no such contact occurred?

Hmmm. This investigation is going to be interesting indeed.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Obama’s supporters are correct that Obama is smart and savvy...at least as a politician.

Obama came up from the most corrupt political machine in America. He knew about Blago’s deal even if he didn’t know about the deal.
 
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
Given that Obama’s vacant Senate seat, and Emanuel’s vacant House seat, are in play, you’d expect there to be discussions over who’d be appointed, and who Obama would support for those positions. You’d also expect that Obama’s staff would have talked to Blogo and/or his staff about it.

The issue is whether or not Obama or anyone on his staff were aware of, or engaged in, any corruption surrounding these vacancies. The right wingers are trying to spin all of this as Obama and/or his people having "lied" when Obama denied talking with Blogo about any of the appointments and stated that his staff was not involved in any "dealmaking" over the appointments.

What does "dealmaking" mean? Does "dealmaking" include Obama, through his chief of staff, giving Blogo a list of acceptable replacements? I don’t think so. To me, "dealmaking" would mean an involvement in Blogo’s selling of the seat.

If Emanuel was part of that scheming, then he should go. My guess, though, is that Emanuel learned of Blogo’s corruption and went to the FBI and Fitzgerald, and will wind up being a witness for the prosecution. We shall see.
 
Written By: grindercom
URL: http://
The very last sentence of the Chicago Tribune’s story about this was interesting:

"The government affidavit said Blagojevich and others were recorded talking about an unnamed ’president-elect adviser’ concerned about the election for Emanuel’s congressional seat who might help the governor land a new job at a non-profit organization."

That was an intriguing, if vague, sentence. It seems to imply that Emanuel was involved in securing a cushy job for Blogo. That’s something that would only happen if Blogo were to do something for Emanuel or his boss (Obama), i.e., make the Senate appointment that Obama desired.

If that’s the case, then Emanuel was involved in the "dealmaking," and it will be up to Obama to give him a quick heave-ho. But there are other possibilities, one of which is that Emanuel was approached with the idea and rejected it (and, who knows, maybe even reported it).

The latter possibility — that Emanuel rejected Blogo’s entreaties — would jibe with the anger captured on the wiretaps of Blogo, in which he referred to Obama as a m*****f***** and so on. I’m going to be surprised if it turns out that Emanuel or Obama were involved in Blogo’s "dealmaking."
 
Written By: grindercom
URL: http://
I feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone. We are back in the 1990’s where Democrats engage in unsophisticated graft and everyone sits around parsing phrases of sentences to avoid the conclusion that any laws were broken. The standard of the last eight years, as established by Democrats in Washington and the media, is that even perfectly legal actions like firing your own political appointees is somehow improper or illegal; where a non-existent association between Enron, Ken Lay and George Bush constitute evidence of corruption of the Bush Administration; Richard Armitage’s disclosure of a non-covert CIA employee constitutes evidence of a vindictive White House punishing a truth teller, etc., etc. Axelrod has already admitted on videotape that Obama spoke with Blagojevich about the appointment of his successor. Emmauel obviously spoke with him as well about his congressional seat. Eugene Volokh has made some pretty good arguments that this sort of thing is actually normal and, while pushing the envelope, not illegal. Perhaps, but by the standard established by Democrats, it is impeachable conduct. Does anyone really doubt that the parties were negotiating with each other to get what they wanted in this deal. Obama is just the latest scumbag to emerge out of the swamp of Chicago politics. He willfuly broke campaign finance laws and now this and he hasn’t even taken the oath of office. I hope rezco sings like a canary
 
Written By: jt007
URL: http://
Twice, in his run for the U.S. Senate, once against his main Democratic rival and then against his most viable Republican opponent, sealed divorce records were leaked to the press that destroyed the candidacies of each of said opponents.

From that I can unequivocally say that Obama had no involvement in the corruption of Chicago politics.

Case closed.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://newpaltzjournal.com
"Axelrod has already admitted on videotape that Obama spoke with Blagojevich about the appointment of his successor."

——

Maybe I’m missing the timeline, but I thought Obama subsequently corrected that and said he’d never spoken to Blago about his successor.

I’d expect that there’d be staff-level communications. If it was to transmit a list of people who Obama would support, I don’t see anything wrong with that in the least. You’d expect that Obama would weigh in on that. The issue is whether his staff, i.e., Emanuel, was in on the horsetrading, and especially any corrupt horsetrading.

Thus far, there isn’t any evidence of that. Until there is, I’m willing to wait and see what comes out. The rest of your complaints are irrelevant partisan junk of the kind that typically comes from sore losers. Save it for someone who take that crap seriously.
 
Written By: grindercom
URL: http://
I was promised Hope and Change.

No?

and grindercom, where were you when people were calling for Karl Rove to be frog marched out of the White House?

And everyone keep in mind that "legal" does not mean morally right or ethical.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
grinder — Axelrod, not Obama, claimed that he was mistaken when he said that Obama had talked to Blago.

Obama made the interesting little stutter-step shifting from "we" to "I" who had never spoken to Blago, then claimed that he was sure that none of his staff would have been involved in dealmaking

Meanwhile, Rahm Emmanuel has been revealed as talking to Blago’s administration, and now Emanuel is a man who’s hard to reach about what actually transpired.

I suspect that Blago felt out Emmanuel for a deal and Emmanuel was non-committal. So then it becomes a gray area depending on how explicit Blago was, and whether one judges Emmanuel complicit for not blowing the whistle.

In the meantime, Obama said:

"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."

It’s been two days now and nada. Not exactly the "transparency" and "new politics" someone promised. No, this is just more Chicago-style politics. And that’s the lovely machine Obama calls home.

"Forget it, Jake. It’s Chi-town."
 
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
grindercom, where were you when people were calling for Karl Rove to be frog marched out of the White House?

I was among the chorus. Karl Rove is a criminal, and he’d better hope Bush pardons him or he’ll be going to the slammer.

As for the rest, time will tell. Meantime, wingnuts, don’t let your grapes get too sour. You lost the election, and the public WILL give Obama time to deal with the mess that the worst president in American history, George W. Bush, has left him. Deal with it.
 
Written By: grindercom
URL: http://

 
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