Chicago Tribune: List of Senate candidates delivered to Blagojevich by Emanuel

The Chicago Tribune is reporting that Obama’s Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel had more than one conversation with Blago about the soon-to-be-vacant Senate seat. According to the article, Emanuel delivered a list a candidates Obama would accept.
Did Emanuel do this without Obama’s direction? Does anyone reading here believe Obama did not construct this list and direct Emanuel to talk to Blago? If Emanuel did this on his own, Obama should fire him. If Obama directed the contacts, then his words about not being in contact with Blago seem hollow and legalistic.

3 thoughts on “Chicago Tribune: List of Senate candidates delivered to Blagojevich by Emanuel”

  1. @Rich: I get all of that Rich. What I think is strange is the way Obama phrased it. In fact, he did have contact with Blago through Emanuel. Why not just say what happened without seeming to be driven to disclosure by the digging of media old and new?

  2. First of all, Obama never said that no one on his staff had been in contact with Blagojevich about the Senate seat. Obama said that he PERSONALLY had not spoken with Blagojevich, and he stands by that statement. To quote from the Tribune story: Obama said Thursday he had never spoken to Blagojevich about the Senate vacancy and was “confident that no representatives” of his had engaged in any dealmaking over the seat with the governor or his team. Today he announced that he is satisfied that no one on his staff had any inappropriate discussions with Blagojevich.
    Is anyone suprised that Rahm Emanuel or others on Obama’s staff would have expressed Obama’s preferences to Blagojevich? Was Obama not supposed to have made his preferences known to Blagojevich?
    It’s worth taking another look at what Patrick Fitzgerald said at the press conference:
    “But we ask that the press, in particular, recognize that we’re not casting aspersions on people other than the two people we charged and bear that in mind and be responsible…I’m never going to try to speak in the voice of a president or president-elect. So I simply pointed out that if you look at the complaint, there’s no allegation that the president-elect — there’s no reference in the complaint to any conversation involving the president-elect or indicating that the president-elect was aware of it, and that’s all I can say.”
    If phone conversations between Emanuel and Blagojevich’s office were recorded, and if any of those conversations included discussions of a quid pro quo for the Senate seat, which were they not mentioned in the criminal complaint? The obvious conclusion is that Emanuel simply gave Blagojevich the list of preferred candidates and nothing was said about making a deal.

  3. None of this passes the stink test and I have a feeling that when the FBI releases the recordings Emanuel is going to come off badly.
    Blago is going down but apparently not without a fight. He’s sitting in the capital, staring down the legislature and waiting to see who thinks they are tough enough to take him down. He’s probably got dirt on everyone including Obama. This might turn into a mushroom cloud.

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