There are two items I'd like to know about. After the scandal broke, Obama adviser David Axelrod said that Barack Obama always wanted his friend Valerie Jarrett to serve in the White House. It was a pure act of delusion that Blagojevich would think Obama wanted her to be a senator. But the Chicago Sun Times also reported that Rahm Emanuel told Blagojevich Jarrett would like Obama's old seat. What's the truth of this? If Emanuel did suggest her as a candidate, then a gap opens between the truth and the spin. Was Emanuel pushing Jarrett on his own and not letting his new boss know? Or was Obama, in fact, keen for her to be in the Senate? That would make the post-arrest spin look like an effort to dissemble in order to protect Obama and Jarrett from the scandal.
The next matter concerns the president-elect himself. When first asked about the scandal, Obama said, "I was not aware of what was happening," and declined to say any more. On Dec. 22, we can hope to learn how he defined "what was happening." Did he mean he didn't know the narrow details of how Blagojevich was shaking people down? Or that Blagojevich was shaking people down at all? Or that he didn't know what was happening with his former Senate seat?
Precisely. And David Frum highlights Obama's Daley time:
In another political system, the interpenetration of power and money would spark justified fears of authoritarianism. The vice of the American political system is not authoritarianism. It is corruption. Precisely.
We'll see how Obama measures up on the dissembling index. You betcha.
P.S. Peter Wehner, "Democrats and the Culture of Corruption":
As the Rod Blagojevich scandal continues to unfold, it’s worth recalling that Democrats in 2006 -led by Representative Rahm Emanuel- ran on the theme that they would end “the culture of corruption.” Indeed, Emanuel, in dismissing wrongdoings by Democrats at the time, explained them away as simply the actions of a few individuals. About Republicans, Emanuel said, “They have institutional corruption.” The argument put forth was that Democrats would bring ethics and high standards to public office and that the Democratic Party would embody integrity and police its ranks.
It hasn’t quite worked out that way.As the sportscaster Warner Wolf used to say, let’s go to the videotape.