Saturday, July 03, 2010

Obama and Blago

Dan Curry and John Pearman look carefully at the relationship as the trial unfolds.

Latest here: Obama didn’t “actively” seek to get Jarrett seated if you don’t count four major communiques

And what did the White House know? We know they abruptly withdrew Valerie Jarrett's name from consideration weeks before Blago's arrest. I've wondered whether the president lied to the FBI in Dec. 2008, as the information coming out of the trial now conflicts with the Craig report issued after the FBI questioning of the president, Jarrett and Rahmbo and the supposed "investigation" by incoming White House counsel Craig. Here's a question: Did the WH know contents of tapes?

If they did, and Greg Craig still issued the whitewash, that's even more bizarre. (And why did Craig resign?)

...Maybe the White House just got to hear the Rahm tapes with Blago chief of staff Harris. Balanoff talked to Blago. But the question remains--if the White House got to hear any of the tapes, under whose authority? And do we trust the Holder Justice Dept.? And don't we know the U.S. Attorney (Patrick Fitzgerald) serves at the president's pleasure.

P.S. Thanks for the link, Chicago Daily Observer.

More. Here's the old video of David Axelrod, who wasn't mentioned in the Craig whitewash report, but was subpoenaed, saying Obama talked to Blago about the Senate seat: Axelrod: Obama has talked to Blago about replacement Nov. 23, 2008

That's what Blago is threatening to talk about when he takes the stand. Will he tell the truth or will he lie. As far as we know none of it is on tape.

Political Punch
and others noted it after the Blago arrest, whereupon Axelrod changed his story and said he "misspoke". And, just for fun, let's look at this--Rahm has been known to change his story before as well:
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."

(An Obama Transition Team aide emails to note that 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."

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.
You betcha. (Gee, I thought only that hick Sarah Palin talked like that.)
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.

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.

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."
You betcha.

Previous posts: Blago and Patti Spent More on Clothes than Mortgage, The Obama Blago Lie is Unraveling


Mamasooz said...

Fascinating. I pray that P-BO isn't another teflon president. (fyi found you through Mind Numbed Robot)

Anne said...

My prayers too. At the very least I hope he's a one termer.