Obama did say he was going to hit the ground running. But who knew it was going to be in the style of Bill Clinton.
The newest tidbit on the Blagovjevich indictment should not surprise anyone. The mysterious number 5 person to be contacted by Blagovjevich for the Senate seat sell is none other then Jesse Jackson, Jr:
Chicago Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill., is the anonymous “Senate Candidate No. 5” whose emissaries Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich reportedly offered up to $1 million to name him to the U.S. Senate, federal law enforcement sources tell ABC News.
According to the FBI affidavit in the case, Blagojevich “stated he might be able to cut a deal with Senate Candidate 5 that provided ROD BLAGOJEVICH” with something “tangible up front.”
Jackson said this morning he was contacted Tuesday by federal prosecutors in Obama whom he said “asked me to come in and share with them my insights and thoughts about the selection process.”
All in the family.
If anyone really believes Obama did not know the Chicago style politics at play here, then they are naive nimrods. He was raised in it. He was elected by it. And will rule with it. Chicago politics:
The Chicago Way.
What is it? Is it easily abused? Is it dangerous in the wrong hands?
This is critical, as the nation’s eyes turn toward Chicago’s federal building, where Barack Obama’s personal real estate fairy, Tony Rezko, stands trial on federal corruption charges.
The phrase must be put in context, something the national media fails to do when they portray Obama as the boy king drawing the sword from the stone, ready to change America’s politics of influence and lobbyists, ignoring the fact that Chicago ain’t Camelot.With opening statements expected Thursday, the court will be packed with journalists foreign to our idiom. In the past, a few reporters have applied “The Chicago Way” to our pizza, theater and opera, thereby embarrassing themselves beyond redemption.
To prevent such outrage, I’ve enlisted the help of George Washington, father of our country, crooner Dean Martin and aged action star Sean Connery in a cutting-edge video premiering now at chicagotribune.com/kass.~~~
One secret DaVinci Code-type sign for the Chicago Way is in the back room of the Chicago City Council chambers at City Hall, where a portrait of George Washington looks down at the crookedness below, and extends his own hand, palm up, itchy, needing that special grease.
But some strangers to our lands have used the Chicago Way with perfect pitch. Rezko’s buddy, former Iraqi electricity minister, Aiham Alsammarae, escaped an Iraqi prison where he was being investigated for corruption.
A reporter asked — How did you escape?
“The Chicago Way,” he said.
Jim Lindgren looks at the timeline of the Blagovjevich saga and does not see how Obama can say he did not have knowledge of the Blagovjevich backroom dealings:
If we didn’t have Obama’s denial to contend with, the actions of all the parties, including those purporting to speak for Obama, are consistent with Obama and his staff learning about Blagojevich’s corrupt plans on Monday, Nov. 10.
Consider the timeline, as revealed in the complaint and press reports:
1. On the weekend of Nov. 8-9, Obama lets it be known that his choice for Senate is Valerie Jarrett. Aides tell WLS-TV in Chicago and CNN, which announces Obama’s choice on Sunday. Nov. 9.
2. On Monday, Nov. 10, Blagojevich holds an incredible 2-hour conference call with multiple consultants: “ROD BLAGOJEVICH, his wife, JOHN HARRIS, Governor General Counsel, and various Washington-D.C. based advisors, including Advisor B,” discussing his corrupt schemes. He follows this with two calls with Advisor A.
3. That very night, Monday, Nov. 10, at 7:56pm, CNN reported:
Two Democratic sources close to President-elect Barack Obama tell CNN that top adviser Valerie Jarrett will not be appointed to replace him in the U.S. Senate.
“While he (Obama) thinks she would be a good senator, he wants her in the White House,” one top Obama advisor told CNN Monday.
Over the weekend, Democratic sources had told CNN as well as Chicago television station WLS-TV that Jarrett was Obama’s choice to fill his Senate seat.
So what happened? The likeliest scenario is that one of the many participants in Blagojevich’s Monday phone calls either floated his plans to the Obama transition team to assess their response or tipped off the Obama camp about the reckless ideas that Blagojevich had planned.
In any event, within hours of Blagojevich substantially expanding his circle of confidants, the Obama camp withdrew Jarrett’s name from consideration and attributed that withdrawal to the President’s wanting Jarrett in the White House. And the Obama staffers went out of their way to depict this as Obama’s choice, rather than Jarrett’s, which would have been more common. The report claims Obama’s involvement in the decision and suggests a direct effort to undercut the idea that Obama was pressuring Blagojevich to appoint Jarrett.
4. Moreover, by the next day, Tuesday, Nov. 11, Blagojevich already had received his answer from the Obama camp that no quid pro quo would be forthcoming: “ROD BLAGOJEVICH said he knows that the President-elect wants Senate Candidate 1 for the Senate seat but ‘they’re not willing to give me anything except appreciation. F**k them.’”
5. On Wednesday, Nov. 12, Blagojevich pitched his corrupt bargain idea to an SEIU Official who, according to Ben Smith, is President Andy Stern. Stern agreed to convey the offer to the relevant actors. Blagojevich understood Stern to be contacting Jarrett herself, the co-chairwoman of the Obama transition team:
109. On November 12, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH spoke with SEIU Official, who was in Washington, D.C. Prior intercepted phone conversations indicate that approximately a week before this call, ROD BLAGOJEVICH met with SEIU Official to discuss the vacant Senate seat, and ROD BLAGOJEVICH understood that SEIU Official was an emissary to discuss Senate Candidate 1’s interest in the Senate seat.
During the conversation with SEIU Official on November 12, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH informed SEIU Official that he had heard the President-elect wanted persons other than Senate Candidate 1 to be considered for the Senate seat.
SEIU Official stated that he would find out if Senate Candidate 1 wanted SEIU Official to keep pushing her for Senator with ROD BLAGOJEVICH. ROD BLAGOJEVICH said that “one thing I’d be interested in” is a 501(c)(4) organization.
ROD BLAGOJEVICH explained the 501(c)(4) idea to SEIU Official and said that the 501(c)(4) could help “our new Senator [Senate Candidate 1].” SEIU Official agreed to “put that flag up and see where it goes.”
110. On November 12, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH talked with Advisor B. ROD BLAGOJEVICH told Advisor B that he told SEIU Official, “I said go back to [Senate Candidate 1], and, and say hey, look, if you still want to be a Senator don’t rule this out and then broach the idea of this 501(c)(4) with her.”
6. The complaint doesn’t say whether Stern contacted Jarrett or other members of the Obama transition team, but it is likely that he did. Whether Stern was horrified by Blagojevich’s corrupt idea and wanted to warn Obama or intrigued by the deal and wanted to assess its chances, I can’t think of a good reason why Stern wouldn’t have conveyed the idea to the Obama camp.
Then on November 13th Blagojevich asked one advisor to call someone and ask them to pitch the idea of the 501(c)(4) to an advisor of Obama.
Much has been written that the Obama advisor who was on the receiving end of the corrupt pitch was Rahm Emanuel.
I know, shocking! Riiiiight.
On November 14th Jarrett was offered a position in the Administration, Senior Adviser to the President and Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Liaison, and she accepted.
Then on November 23rd another advisor of Obama’s, David Axelrod, said during an interview that Obama has “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.”
Note the language used. While on Nov. 9, Obama staffers were telling multiple news outlets whom Obama wanted for his Senate seat, by Nov. 23, Axelrod was distancing Obama not only from any individual choice, but he used the pejorative term “kingmaker” to emphasize Obama’s avoidance of any even marginally corrupt influence. It is likely that Axelrod had in mind the corrupt bargain that Obama’s camp had already turned down.
Jim then quotes Obama’s reaction to the corruption news:
12. On Tuesday, Dec. 8, Obama denies personal knowledge of the corrupt proposal.
“I had no contact with the governor or his office and so we were not, I was not aware of what was happening.”
As I’ve said before, as with Bill Clinton, Barack Obama’s words should be read carefully to see what he is saying and not saying. Apparently, Obama started to say that “we were not” “aware of what was happening,” but corrected himself by saying that “I was not aware of what was happening.”
That language leaves open the possibility that his staff was aware, but he personally was not. But why would Obama’s staff withhold information from him? I assume that Obama is telling the truth about not having spoken to the governor himself, since that might be easily refuted.
From the evening of Nov. 10 until yesterday, Blagojevich, Obama, and his transition team acted in ways that are consistent with a knowledge of Blagojevich’s bribery attempt and a rejection of that attempt. What doesn’t fit easily with the timeline is Obama’s statement yesterday.
It should be noted that it is not a crime to fail to report a bribery attempt. The federal misprision of felony statute would seem to make it a federal crime to fail to report a federal felony:
Whoever, having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the United States, conceals and does not as soon as possible make known the same to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both. 18 USC s.4.
But case law has conclusively determined that mere non-reporting is not enough. Active concealment or the acceptance of a benefit for concealing is required.
Yet, looking at this timeline of Blagogate, it seems quite possible that someone in the Obama Camp is either lying or at least not revealing what they know. I also find it hard to believe that Obama’s closest advisors were hiding major corruption from him, especially as he was making decisions about where to place Senate candidates such as Jarrett.
Something important is missing from this story. Let’s hope that, whatever it is, the absent fact or explanation will allow the narrative to fit Obama’s denial more naturally.
Since by all accounts, the Obama camp refused Blagojevich’s bribery attempt, it would be extremely unwise to lie about it. Remember, it’s not the crime that trips you up; it’s the cover-up.
Sure, Axelrod now says he mis-spoke about Obama speaking with Blagovjevich about some candidates for the seat, but come on….who is naive enough to believe that? I know the Obamatrons are, seeing as how they ignored the Rezko deal, a deal in which Obama most definitely had a big part, his connections to terrorists, his connections to racists….basically his utterly horrible judge of character. I mean the guy endorsed Blagojevich in 2002 and 2006. He was the top adviser for him during his first 2002 run for the state house.
…Mr. Obama’s incoming White House chief of staff, Emanuel, then-state senator Obama, a third Blagojevich aide, and Blagojevich’s campaign co-chair, David Wilhelm, were the top strategists of Blagojevich’s 2002 gubernatorial victory.
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.”
And somehow Obama didn’t know about the Blagovjevich deal? While Jim may be right, Obama did not play a part in the Blagojevich saga. It’s looking increasingly like he knew about it and is now trying to cover it up. As in Bill Clinton’s case. He was not impeached due to his affair, it was because he lied about it.
Either way, Pelosi can stop gleefully talking about that Republican swamp. Remember when Howard Dean said:
“Now that they control the White House and the Congress, Republicans in Washington have made their culture of corruption the norm, and no longer put the interests of Americans first.”
Or Pelosi saying:
“It is long past time for the Congress to address the systemic Republican culture of corruption that has undermined the American people’s confidence in this institution,” Pelosi said. “I am proud that some of the best minds in our Caucus will be leading the Democratic effort to clean up the corrupt Republican Congress. These great leaders will work to restore truth and trust to the People’s House.”
But the Blagojevich case will make those scandals look like chicken feed I’m afraid. What will Pelosi and Dean say now?
Finally we have Michelle Malkin with some cold water for the Democrats:
Chicago’s Fox affiliate reports that Obama Chief of Staff and Chicago hometown heavy Rahm Emanuel was the catalyst for the Blago takedown and suggests Rahm-bo tipped off the feds. If so, this raises more questions than it answers about who on the transition team may have talked to Blago and his shakedown artists about what and when. Needless to say, if it were the Republican Bush administration tied to the Blago bust, the White House press corps would be frothing like a pack of Michael Vick’s pit bulls.
Democrats and the media can no longer rest on the old rationalization that Blago is an exception to the “we’re cleaner than thou” rule. 2008 was the year of Democratic Reps. William “Cold Cash” Jefferson, Charlie “Sweetheart Deals” Rangel, and former Detroit Mayor Kwame “Text Me” Kilpatrick. It was the year Democratic Massachusetts State Senator Dianne Wilkerson got caught stuffing bribes from an FBI informant down her shirt. It was the year 12 Democratic leaders and staffers in Pennsylvania’s state Capitol were stung in a massive corruption scandal involving cash, sex and abuse of public office. And it was the year of multimillion-dollar embezzlement scandals at Democratic satellite offices of ACORN and the SEIU.
The Democrats have met the culture of corruption, and it looks like it ain’t just elephants among the jackasses soiling public office.
How much you wanna bet the same liberals who were in love with Fitzgerald during his Plame investigation will be calling him all sorts of names during this new one?
The hypocrisy of the left knows no bounds.