David Axelrod said on November 23rd that President-elect Obama had talked to Blagojevich about the open Sanate seat. Axelrod has now said that he “mis-spoke.” There’s a video @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o19ovKcLHp0
Obama said today that he had not talked to the Governor about the Senate seat vacated by his election as president. The Affidavit makes many references to the “president-elect” after the election.
Here are some other comments and connections between Governor Blago and Obama:
Obama Advised Blagojevich On His Victorious Gubernatorial Run. “That year, [Obama] gained his first high-level experience in a statewide campaign when he advised the victorious gubernatorial candidate Rod Blagojevich, another politician with a funny name and a message of reform.” (Ryan Lizza, “Making It,” The New Yorker, 7/21/08)
* Obama: “If the governor asks me to work on his behalf, I’ll be happy to do it.” (John Patterson, “Senator Says He’s Still Willing To Help Blagojevich Despite Hiring Concerns,” Chicago Daily Herald, 7/27/06)
Obama Endorsed Blagojevich For A Second Term. “Obama, who endorsed Blagojevich for a second term nearly 18 months ago, said he’s ready to help Illinois democrats in the upcoming elections.” (John Patterson, “Senator Says He’s Still Willing To Help Blagojevich Despite Hiring Concerns,” Chicago Daily Herald, 7/27/06)
* Obama: “We’ve got a governor in Rod Blagojevich who has delivered consistently on behalf of the people of Illinois.” (Deanna Bellandi, “Illinois Democrats Talk Unity But Don’t Show It,” The Associated Press, 8/16/06)
The Affidavit puts forth some possibilites and discussions about the candidates for the Senate seat, not by name but by number. According to Gawker.com, Candidate 5 is either Emil Jones or Jesse Jackson, Jr. Candidate 1, Obama’s pick, is apparently Valerie Jarrett, now a member of the Obama Transition Team. Affadivit @ http://media.npr.org/documents/2008/dec/illinois_complaint.pdf
Emil Jones/Jesse Jackson Jr. “Candidate 5” in the criminal complaint is either Illinois Senate President Emil Jones or Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. Obama didn’t want this person appointed (which is why we think it’s Emil), but Blago kept threatening to appoint him anyway, as a bargaining tool. Now. Candiate 5 was supposed to give Blago something “tangible up front.” If they were willing to do this, in exchange for the seat, it looks bad for them. Emil is reported to have aided young Obama’s state legislative career, back in the day, with plum assignments. And Jesse Jackson Jr is a family friend. Either way, there’s a connection that might look bad.
But I am sure without a doubt that Barack Obama does not even know Governor Blagojevich — and if he does know him, he’s not the man he knew. 🙂