Obama — who crusaded against government-by-crony — was dragged into the proceedings last week when a top Chicago labor official testified that Obama tapped him to talk to Blagojevich about the Senate seat.
That testimony by Tom Balanoff of the Service Employees International Union is the strongest challenge yet to a White House transition office timeline from December 2008 that lays out the Obama team’s discussions surrounding the efforts to fill the seat.
Balanoff told jurors that he answered Obama's call on the eve of the presidential election and told the soon-to-be president that he would pitch Jarrett to Blagojevich. No such call is mentioned in the transition team report, prepared by then-incoming White House counsel Greg Craig.
Also in December 2008, Obama told reporters that "no representatives of mine" tried to cut a deal with Blagojevich regarding the Senate seat.
They quote Dem Rep. Luis Gutierrez. You know, Gutierrez had a Rezko deal of his own. Did you know that Politico? But perhaps he's right. After all, he's dodged a few bullets of his own. Valerie Jarrett was big buddies with Rezko too.
And what about David Axelrod. 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.Hmm, mmm, mmm.
While no one is alleging Obama and his staff did anything illegal, Obama himself alluded to the possible fallout from having the Blago scandal turn into the Blag-Obama scandal.
“[W]hat I’m absolutely certain about is that our office had no involvement in any deal-making around my Senate seat. That I’m absolutely certain of,” Obama said at his post-election press conference.
“That would be a violation of everything that this campaign has been about. And that’s not how we do business.”
Keep trying Politico. More than timid media attention unfavorable to The One would be unusual, though. As usual.
But Obama’s critics make the case that the episode fits with other ham-fisted interventions by Team Obama — including unsuccessful attempts to force Joe Sestak from the Pennsylvania Senate primary and maverick Democrat Andrew Romanoff from the Colorado Senate race.
Yessiree, Jesse Jr.'s sweating already and it's no wonder Rahmbo's giving Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) the finger. And don't forget about Alexi in the political damage tally. The bleepin' golden Obama seat's at stake.
And the political damage would not be limited to the president.
P.S. Remember how Alexi got his start in politics. And El Rushbo is talking about this Politico article now.