"The conduct would make Lincoln roll over in his grave." That said by U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald during the press conference explaining the arrest of Gov. Blagojevich.
So, how does all of the goings on in Chicago with the Governor of Illinois and the appointment of a replacement of Barack Obama's Senate seat affect the president-elect? Though U.S. Attorney Fitzgerald said Obama is not directly involved and not a part of the indictment, a prominent Chicago Democrat "close to many of those named in the indictment suggested the risk for Obama is "Whitewater-type exposure." From Politico, in an article written by Ben Smith and Jonathan Martin, the Democrat spoke with anonymity "for fear of antagonizing the president-elect." "What will splatter on to Obama is he is to some degree a product of this culture and he has never entirely stood against it." Yes, the candidate of hope and change is a politician from the Chicago machine. With only one year into his term in the Senate, he began to run for President. He never bucked his own party on any legislation. When he worked on ethics legislation with Sen. Tom Coburn, it was boilerplate stuff that neither side would oppose.
The interesting part is that the U.S. Attorney will soon be expected to resign his office as a matter of formality during the incoming president's transition. Usually, the new president sweeps out most of the current U.S. Attorneys and appoints his own people. The current president kept on many of the Clinton people and it lead to all kinds of problems. Will Obama keep Fitzgerald in his post? Will he allow him to finish this job?
The piece in Politico continues, "Anyone who has ever been near a public corruption case - and many of Obama's top advisers have, thanks to their experience in the Clinton years - knows the hassles that can torment even innocent people. Even peripheral figures wind up hiring expensive lawyers. At trial, testimony by minor witnesses becomes a major new event if it is someone close to the president taking the stand."
David Axelrod, with his long history of managing gubernatorial campaigns in Illinois, has had to deliberately contradict himself on the previous contact between the Governor and Obama after the election. Axelrod is on tape from an appearance on a Chicago Fox affiliate show saying yes, they talked and Obama had a 'fondness' for many on the list. Then, Axelrod had to back away form the taped evidence last night as the scandal progressed. See, they still think you are stupid. Who are you going to believe? Him or your lying eyes and ears?
Michelle Obama's childhood best friend and still remains so today is Jesse Jackson, Jr.'s sister. Jackson was pursuing the promotion into the Senate. He has been outed as Candidate #5 in the indictment handed down yesterday.
As John Kass wrote in the Chicago Tribune, "Blagojevich was elected here on a platform of reform." Yeah. Funny how that works. The press was hard pressed to mention the party of the Governor. We can only imagine if he had been a Republican. To them it is only Republicans who have a corruption problem. Never mind the most recent of Democrats to be in trouble - Wm. Jefferson of Louisiana, the sex scandals of the Mayors of Los Angeles and San Francisco, the Gov of New York, and so on. Currently, Charlie Rangel from N.Y. and a powerful chairman of the Ways and Means committee is under investigation for multiple infractions.
Politics, Chicago style.