Dec 23 2008
The next lame attempt by TEAM Obama to address its contacts with TEAM Blagojevich is due out this afternoon. And from the preliminary reporting I can see we are in for another round of lame Clintoneque word parsing. VP-Elect Joe Biden stepped into the spotlight today to give his pre-spin spin:
“I don’t think there’s anything to exonerate,” Biden said. He said the report will show “there has been no inappropriate contact between any member of the Obama staff or transition team with Blagojevich.“
Emphasis mine. First off we need a definition of “inappropriate”. Second, why is the investigation limited to contact with Blagojevich, and not his staff? Remember, the latest revelation is thatÂ Team Obama (in the guise of incoming Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel as one example) was pushing Blagojevich to dump his preferred choice of Illinois AG Lisa Madigan. Obama wanted Valerie Jarrett instead.Â
This begs the question of why Obama lied to the nation in his first press interview on the matter, to wit:
â€œI hadÂ no contact with the governorâ€™s office. I did not speak to the governorÂ about these issues. That I know for certain.â€
These ‘issues’ of course being who would replace him in the Senate? More lame denials:
In response to a reporterâ€™s question, Obama said, â€œWhat Iâ€™m absolutely certain about is thatÂ our office had no involvement in any deal-makingÂ â€¦That would be a violation of everything this campaign has been about.â€
Did his office discuss the senate seat selection and push for Jarrett or not? Did they discuss ways to compensate Blagojevich for changing his selection or not? Illegal or not, America wants to know what happened between the two camps and why Obama continues to pretend there was no politics involved!
My guess is we will find the ‘investigation’ is incomplete and cherry picks the focus of the results so as to not even hint that Team Obama was pressuring Team Blagojevich to place Obama’s preferred choice in his old Senate seat. That would be ridiculous on its face since we know Rahm talked on twoÂ occasionsÂ with Team Blagojevich about Obama’s choices for the seat. He and the media can try and snow America, but it will only rebound on them and complete the picture of this being politics as usual.
Watch for updates later as the white wash comes out.
Update: Well apparently the ‘report’ will cover contacts between Team Obama and Team Blagojevich:
The report, according to three people familiar with its findings, is a memorandum that will lay out a narrative in about a dozen paragraphs the limited contact Mr. Obamaâ€™s advisers had with the governorâ€™s office.Â
That’s a good start to getting past this. Will it be enough? The NY Times is carrying the PR water pretty good for Obama. Let’s see if these dozen paragraphs answer questions or raise new one.
Addendum to the Update: I should note that Obama does still have one other conflicting comment to resolve, as noted in the article:
It is unknown whether one of the leading unanswered questions will be resolved: Did Mr. Obama, through his aides, give Mr. Blagojevich a list of preferred candidates for the Senate seat?
At a news conference three days after the election, Mr. Obama said he was staying out of the matter. â€œThere are going to be a lot of good choices out there,â€ he said, â€œbut it is the governorâ€™s decision to make, not mine.â€
I would also note that the Obama staff are running a bit of a legal tightrope here:
The review was compiled from memory by Mr. Obamaâ€™s aides, rather than from recordings of any phone calls.
We all remember what happened to Scooter Libby when he did not recall phone discussions the same way others did …