(bumped up from December 10, 9:30 a.m.)
“Obviously like the rest of the people of Illinois I am saddened and sobered by the news that came out of the US attorney’s office today, but as this is a ongoing investigation involving the governor I don’t think it would be appropriate for me to comment on the issue at this time.”
Saddened and sobered? This sounds familiar…
“Yesterday we saw a very different vision of America… I am outraged by the comments that were made, and saddened over the spectacle that we saw yesterday. The person I saw yesterday was not the person that I met 20 years ago. His comments were not only divisive and destructive but I believe they ended up giving comfort to those who prey on hate.” ~ Obama on Wright.
“I’m saddened by today’s verdict, this isn’t the Tony Rezko I knew, but now he has been convicted by a jury on multiple charges that once again shine a spotlight on the need for reform.” ~ Obama on Rezko
“…That is why I am deeply disappointed in Father Pfleger’s divisive, backward-looking rhetoric, which doesn’t reflect the country I see or the desire of people across America to come together in common cause.” ~ Obama on Phleger
Throw in some Kwame Kilpatrick, Jim Johnson, and William Ayers and it seems like Obama is always finding himself connected to people who end up disappointing him or making him sad, or aren’t who he thought they were.
But, anyway, back to Blagojevich and Obama, it is always Obama’s denials that bother me. As it stands right now, Obama has not been accused of any wrong doing, but he always issues denials that make him sound guilty, and are proved to be fibs, half truths, lies, or cover-ups…
“Asked what contact he’d had with the governor’s office about his replacement in the Senate, President-elect Obama today said “I had no contact with the governor or his office and so we were not, I was not aware of what was happening.”
But on November 23, 2008, his senior adviser David Axelrod appeared on Fox News Chicago and said something quite different.
While insisting that the President-elect had not expressed a favorite to replace him, and his inclination was to avoid being a “kingmaker,” Axelrod said, “I know he’s talked to the governor and there are a whole range of names many of which have surfaced, and I think he has a fondness for a lot of them.”
So, why does Obama always issue these bizarre denials (like what he knew about Wright, or Ayers)? Why not just say that he has made recommendations on who he would like to fill his seat, but was not aware that Blago was seeking payoffs, or whatever? Flat out denials just make a person look guilty. But, perhaps because Obama has close ties to Blago he was trying to put as much distance between them as possible. But, as usual, Obama forgot about the internet machine…
“And, it should be pointed out, Mr. Obama has a relationship with Mr. Blagojevich, having not only endorsed Blagojevich in 2002 and 2006, but having served as a top adviser to the Illinois governor in his first 2002 run for the state house.
That 2002 endorsement came at the same time that Axelrod had such serious concerns about whether Blagojevich was ready for governing he refused to work for his one-time client.
According to Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., Mr. Obama’s incoming White House chief of staff, Emanuel, then-state senator Obama, a third Blagojevich aide, and Blagojevich’s campaign co-chair, David Wilhelm, were the top strategists of Blagojevich’s 2002 gubernatorial victory.
Emanuel told the New Yorker earlier this year that he and Obama “participated in a small group that met weekly when Rod was running for governor. We basically laid out the general election, Barack and I and these two.”
Wilhelm said that Emanuel had overstated Obama’s role. “There was an advisory council that was inclusive of Rahm and Barack but not limited to them,” Wilhelm said, and he disputed the notion that Obama was “an architect or one of the principal strategists.”
(Emanuel later changed his recollection of this story to Rich Miller’s “CAPITOL FAX,” saying, “David [Wilhelm] and I have worked together on campaigns for decades. Like always, he’s right and I’m wrong.”)
Either way, others now around Obama were less enthusiastic about Blagojevich at the time, namely David Axelrod, Obama’s senior campaign adviser who will soon be a senior adviser at the White House.
Axelrod had worked for Blagojevich in his past races for the House, but he declined to work on his gubernatorial run.
“He had been my client and I had a very good relationship with him, but I didn’t sign on to the governor’s race,” Axelrod told the New Yorker. “Obviously he won, but I had concerns about it…I was concerned about whether he was ready for that. Not so much for the race but for governing. I was concerned about some of the folks — I was concerned about how the race was being approached.”
Sounds to me like Axelrod knew something fishy was up with Blago… (UPDATE: Sounds like Joe Sco agrees with me. This video is long, but the beginning talks about how for four years people have known Blago was corrupt, but Obama still endorsed him, even when Axelrod wouldn’t touch him.)
“On the Chicago TV show “Public Affairs with Jeff Berkowitz” on June 27, 2002, state Sen. Obama said, “Right now, my main focus is to make sure that we elect Rod Blagojevich as Governor, we…”
“You working hard for Rod?” interrupted Berkowitz.
“You betcha,” said Obama.
“Hot Rod?” asked the host.
“That’s exactly right,” Obama said.
In 2004, then-Gov. Blagojevich enthusiastically endorsed Obama for the Senate seat after he won the nomination, and Obama endorsed Blagojevich for his 2006 re-election race in early 2005.
Sorry, but one can’t help but wonder, if Blago is all about *getting something for Obama’s Senate seat*, was he up to the same kind of funny business with Obama? Did they have a deal to endorse each other? Was it more than that? I think Rod ‘Fuck him. For nothing? Fuck him’ Blagojevich made it quite clear that he doesn’t give anything away for free.
“In the Summer of 2006, then-U.S. Sen. Obama backed Blagojevich even though there were serious questions at the time about Blago’s hiring practices.”
Why did Obama endorse someone who was being subpoenaed? What did Obama owe the Governor for his earlier endorsement?
“At the time, numerous state agencies had had records subpoenaed, with U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald telling authorities he was looking into “very serious allegations of endemic hiring fraud” with a “number of credible witnesses.”
In an interview with the Chicago Daily Herald in July 2006, then-Sen. Obama said, “I have not followed closely enough what’s been taking place in these investigations to comment on them. Obviously I’m concerned about reports that hiring practices at the state weren’t, at times, following appropriate procedures. How high up that went, the degree at which the governor was involved, is not something I’m going to speculate on.”
If you are endorsing someone, and lending your name to their credibility, and they are under investigation for something, don’t you think you would try to figure out what is going on? Am I wrong here? Wouldn’t you try to *follow closely* what is happening, before you continue endorsing the person, putting your credibility on the line?
“If I received information that made me believe that any Democrat had not been acting in the public interest, I’d be concerned,” Obama said.
That said, Mr. Obama said, “If the governor asks me to work on his behalf, I’ll be happy to do it.”
Apparently the governor did. At the Illinois State Fair in August 2006, Obama spoke on Blagojevich’s behalf.”
Hmmm, Obama finds out Blago is under investigation, but says he will continue to be happy to work on his behalf? So, he wasn’t THAT concerned, apparently.
“We’ve got a governor in Rod Blagojevich who has delivered consistently on behalf of the people of Illinois,” Obama told the crowd.
In September 2005 Blagojevich’s approval rating was 36% (that is worse than Bush’s). Polling completed on October 13, 2008 put Blagojevich’s approval rating among Illinois voters at 4%. Only 8 percent of the state’s voters believe Blagojevich has lived up to his promise to end corruption in government—the hallmark of his initial election as governor in 2002 after the tenure of scandal-tarred Republican Gov. George Ryan. Three out of four Illinois voters said Blagojevich failed to keep his promise to end corruption in state hiring, contracts and appointments to state boards and commissions.
It doesn’t sound like the people of Illinois felt that Blagojevich was working on their behalf…
In fall 2006, on his way to winning a second term, Blagojevich held an average job approval rating of nearly 70 percent among African-American voters in a series of Tribune polls.
Could this be due to, in part, the endorsement from Obama?
“In January 2007, Blagojevich’s office reserved the Old State Capitol for Mr. Obama’s presidential announcement at Obama’s request.
Blagojevich spokeswoman Rebecca Rausch told reporters that “Representatives for Sen. Obama contacted the governor’s office regarding use of the Old State Capitol. We contacted the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and reserved the Old State Capitol for the Senator on February 10th.”
The Old State Capitol is where President Abraham Lincoln delivered his “House Divided” speech in 1858.
Fitzgerald today said that the charges the government was making about Blagojevich “would make Lincoln turn over in his grave.”
It was reported on November 5th that Obama had a meeting with Governor Blagojevich to discuss the Senate seat.
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.
Illinois law states that the governor chooses that replacement.
And the Governor sent out a press release on Nov. 5th stating that he had spoken to Obama, and congratulated him on his victory, and that he will begin the process to selecting a suitable replacement for Obama.
On Nov. 8 it was reported that Obama had met with Blagojevich to discuss the Senate seat.
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
So, what do we have here? Another case of Obama displaying very poor judgment, or extreme naivete, or a typical case of Chicago style politics?
All I know for sure is that this seems to be a song and dance I have seen and heard before.
UPDATE 3: Those dirty devils went and DELETED the news stories from Nov. 5 and 8th. NOW do people believe us when we say that the media is COVERING for Obama? Thankfully The Robot captured a screen shot, and posted it for me. (I was stupid and didn’t get them). Also, New Busters covered this. They saved the google cache, but even that was scrubbed. Not your sweetie also has images from the story.
Tom Blumer from Newsbusters is on top of it! He has the saved cache, and makes an excellent point in response to the latest *denial*.