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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Obama Connection to Rod Blagojevich?


Friend, and political ally, of Barack Obama - Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich - was indicted for operating a bribery scheme that specifically was designed to sell Barack Obama's U.S. Senate seat to the highest bidder. Such a political corruption scandal has Obama's political foes asking about connections between Barack Obama and the Illinois governor - after all, it was Obama's Senate seat that caused the stir in the first place.

The scandal carries with it the typical degree of illegality and corruption one expects to see out of Illinois politics - after all, the corruption of Chicago area politicians is well known, and dang near legendary. In fact, Blagojevich is the 4th of the last seven governors to find himself behind bars.

Interestingly, after bail was paid, Blagojevich went back to work as if nothing had happened, and then refused to resign after many people of both parties asked him to do so. Even President-Elect Barack Obama recommended that Blagojevich step down. One comes to the conclusion that he is either very arrogant, or lacks a conscience, or both.

Immediately, after the scandal broke, Barack Obama said he had no contact with the governor, or Blagojevich's office - this coming only a month after Obama's advisor, David Axelrod, said otherwise in an interview on Fox News Chicago. Axelrod, of course, later issued a retraction, claiming that he was mistaken.

But here is what interests me: Obama's vacant Illinois Senate seat was to be filled by an appointment by the Illinois Governor, Blagojevich, and surely Barack Obama would have kept tabs on the status of the choice. Also, considering the close ties Obama had with Blagojevich, you would have thought they had at least had a conversation here and there, regardless of whether or not the exchange was regarding the U.S. Senate seat. The suggestion that Barack Obama has not talked to Governor Blagojevich since the election, to be honest, seems ludicrous.

In fact, I fully expected that they had been in contact, and I would not have been saying "ah ha!" had that come out after this scandal. The fact that Obama is claiming there has been absolutely no contact with Blagojevich, or his office, sends up many more red flags, than if Obama had said something like, "Yes, we've been in contact, but I was not aware of, nor did Rod say anything about, trading favors for my vacant Illinois Senate seat."

But that is the way Barry works. The moment a scandal, or a connection that may make him look bad, crosses the horizon, he detaches any and all connections to that person. But does it seem reasonable that the person who left a senate seat open would have absolutely no contact with the person tasked with filling the seat? Would it seem reasonable that something as exciting as being elected President of the United States would not prompt Barack Obama and Rod Blagojevich to at least have a chat about it?

Unlikely.

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