3 weeks ago
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Obama-Blago Tag Team
Obama works to distance himself from Ill. governor
WASHINGTON (AP) — Though Barack Obama isn't accused of anything, the charges against his home-state governor — concerning Obama's own Senate seat no less — are an unwelcome distraction. And the ultimate fallout is unclear. As Obama works to set up his new administration and deal with a national economic crisis, suddenly he also is spending time and attention trying to distance himself from Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and charges that the governor was trying to sell the now-vacant Senate post.
The president-elect was blunt and brief in addressing the case on Tuesday: "I had no contact with the governor or his office, and so I was not aware of what was happening" concerning any possible dealing about Blagojevich's appointment of a successor.
It's Obama's first big headache since his election last month, and Republicans were anything but eager to let it go away.
Said Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, the new GOP House whip: "The serious nature of the crimes listed by federal prosecutors raises questions about the interaction with Gov. Blagojevich, President-elect Obama and other high ranking officials who will be working for the future president."
Added Robert M. "Mike" Duncan, chairman of the Republican National Committee: "Americans expect strong leadership, but President-elect Barack Obama's comments on the matter are insufficient at best."
Editor's Note: Doesn't this sound familiar?
Here's one of the biggest smoking guns in the complaint on pages 63-64:
click images to enlarge
Criminal Complaint: U.S. v. Rod R. Blagojevich and John Harris