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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Team Obama Scrambles For Cover- Re: Blagojevich

(Rod Blagojevich and Barack Obama)

Yesterday Illinois Governor, Rod Blagojevich was arrested by the Feds on a variety of charges and today there are conflicting reports about Barack Obama meeting personally with Blagojevich to discuss the Senate seat that Obama held which Blagojevich would be naming a replacement for.

Political Punch:

But on November 23, 2008, his senior adviser David Axelrod appeared on Fox News Chicago and said something quite different.

While insisting that the President-elect had not expressed a favorite to replace him, and his inclination was to avoid being a "kingmaker," Axelrod said, "I know he's talked to the governor and there are a whole range of names many of which have surfaced, and I think he has a fondness for a lot of them."

Simple enough and actually since Obama held that Senate seat, it would have made sense for him to meet with Blagojevich about the seat, but according to Political Punch, team Obama is now denying Axelrod's statement on Movember 23, 2008.

(UPDATE #2: Axelrod this evening issued a statement saying. "I was mistaken when I told an interviewer last month that the President-elect has spoken directly to Governor Blagojevich about the Senate vacancy. They did not then or at any time discuss the subject.")

So, instead of simply leaving things be about a meeting that would have been natural given the circumstances, team Obama is denying that Obama and Blagojevich discussed the Senate seat at all?

Problem for team Obama is that the meeting as well as the topic of conversation for that meeting had previously been reported on, back on November 5, 2008.

Now that Barack Obama will be moving to the White House, his seat in the U.S. Senate representing Illinois will have to be filled.

That's one of Obama's first priorities today.

He's meeting with Governor Rod Blagojevich this afternoon in Chicago to discuss it.

The reason the discussion regarding the Senate seat is so important is because some of the charges leveled against Blagojevich, are directly related to the "sale of the Senate seat."

Regarding the Senate seat, the charges allege that Blagojevich, Harris and others have engaged and are engaging in efforts to obtain personal gain, including financial gain, to benefit Blagojevich and his family through corruptly using Blagojevich's sole authority to appoint a successor to the unexpired term of the President-elect's former Senate seat, which he resigned effective November 16. The affidavit details numerous conversations about the Senate seat between November 3 and December 5. In these conversations, Blagojevich repeatedly discussed the attributes of potential candidates, including their abilities to benefit the people of Illinois, and the financial and political benefits he and his wife could receive if he appointed various of the possible candidates.

Instead of leaving well enough alone, admitting that Obama did speak to Blagojevich about the Senate seat, since it has already been documented that he had, why on earth would team Obama find it necessary to try to deny it?