PRESIDENT-ELECT Barack Obama was “saddened and sobered” that his old political ally, disgraced Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, was arrested yesterday on charges he tried to sell Obama’s old Senate seat to the highest bidder.
Saddened? Sobered? Is he kidding?
This, from the guy who championed himself as the very face of ethical reform in Washington?
This, from the great orator who once opined that the rising seas would recede after his election?
This, from the guy who promises to kick the lobbyists out the door and down the street?
By Charles Hurt
The New York Post
Obama: Sad and sober?
U.S. President-elect Barack Obama talks to the media in his transition office in Chicago December 9, 2008.(Jeff Haynes/Reuters)
That’s not to say Obama’s hands are dirty here. Clearly, he and Blagojevich appear to be cut from a different cloth.
At the very least, Obama is not a crude dope with a runny mouth who doesn’t shut up even after everyone knows he’s being watched by the feds. And most likely wiretapped.
More importantly, there has never been evidence that Obama is involved in the sale of his own seat or any of the other big-time rancid corruption that dominates his home town of Chicago.
In this Aug. 17, 2005, file photo Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, left, laughs with Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich during Governor’s Day at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield, Ill. Blagojevich was roused from bed and arrested Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2008, after prosecutors said he was caught on wiretaps audaciously scheming to sell now President-elect Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat for cash or a plum job for himself in the new administration.(AP Photo/Randy Squires, File)
Obama probably should be commended for crawling out of that stinking swamp smelling as rosy as he does.
Still, it’s a little alarming that he stuck with and supported Blagojevich even after many fellow Democrats, including his top aide, David Axelrod, washed their hands of him.
Obama also opens himself up to harsh criticism that maybe he’s not the great reformer he makes himself out to be.
His reaction was “insufficient at best,” Republican National Chairman Mike Duncan said yesterday. “Given the president-elect’s history of supporting and advising Governor Blagojevich, he has a responsibility to speak out and fully address the issue.”
And Obama has about used up his favorite excuse for all his friends in low places – that they were mere acquaintances.
He tried that with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and wore it out with the unrepentant Chicago terrorist Bill Ayers.
The real problem here is that his home state’s government is under siege and the appointment to his old Senate seat is in the hands of a common criminal.
Blagojevich could appoint himself to the Senate tomorrow and start drawing his $170,000 salary from federal taxpayers right away.
And Obama’s standing around all sad and sober? This is no time for sadness or sobriety.