Barack is disappointed in the revelations of this week. And he's confident that his team has no role in the entire affair.
The language the President-elect used was careful. He didn't say there had been no contacts or that no one on his staff was aware that Blagojevich was allegedly trying to make an exchange where Blagojevich secured a lucrative job for himself or his wife in exchange for his appointing Mr. Obama's preferred candidate, friend and adviser Valerie Jarrett, to take his place in the U.S. Senate. Rather, Mr. Obama said no one would have had any part of a deal. More information would follow, he said.
Call me cynical, as any reasonable observer must be, but somehow Barack's language suggests to me that he's not so confident. A Fox News analysis suggests that the Obama folks were talking to Blagojevich.
That's because shortly after Blagojevich allegedly told his advisers, in an expletive-laced conference call, that he would not appoint Obama's pick to the Senate absent huge favors in return, Obama's apparent pick promptly dropped out of the running for the Senate and joined the new White House staff.
A worst-case scenario for the President-elect would be if they were talking about a deal, but then backed out because the price was too high. That doesn't seem to be the case.
"F--- him. For nothing? F--- him," Blagojevich said in response to advice that he wouldn't get anything out of Obama, according to the court document. Blagojevich said he would not pick Senate Candidate 1 without some kind of reward.
Instead, it seems that Team Obama was talking about getting their gal into the seat, but recoiled appropriately at the suggestion of a quid pro quo.
"Reading between the lines ... clearly somebody from (Obama's) operation did have a conversation with Blagojevich," Democratic strategist Bob Beckel told FOX News. He added that Obama's representative evidently wasn't trying to cut a deal since Blagojevich indicated he was "getting nothing out of the Obama people." FOX News has confirmed that Valerie Jarrett, a senior Obama adviser, is the individual identified in the Blagojevich affidavit as Senate Candidate 1.
Jesse Jackson, Sr, meanwhile, says he wasn't involved with trying to buy the seat for Jesse Junior. The Blagojevich tapes indicate that the governor was negotiating for a million dollar deal to give the seat to Junior.
Speaking publicly for the first time, Rev. Jackson said he last met with the Governor four months ago and was not the unnamed individual cited in the FBI affidavit who promised to raise up to a $1 million in exchange for the Senate seat.
Despite claims in stories over the past couple of days that have Harry Reid saying he wouldn't seat a Senator appointed by Blago now, clarifications today indicate the Senate doesn't have the right to reject a qualified candidate.
"The Constitution does not vest in the Congress a discretionary power to deny membership by majority vote," wrote Chief Justice Earl Warren. Congress may "judge only the qualifications set forth in the Constitution," he said. The qualifications are minimal. A senator must be at least 30 years old, a U.S. citizen and "an inhabitant" of the state.
Which has folks from Obama on down eager to find a way to get Blago outta there asap. It seems unlikely he'll resign without, you guessed it, a deal. So Dems are looking at impeachment.
Illinois lawmakers are pushing ahead with plans to impeach the governor.
The legislators are moving ahead with their impeachment plan because the governor has given no indication he will resign. Illinois Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn Thursday said impeachment is an urgent matter. He is pushing the Illinois legislature to act quickly.
Their wish is to get Blago out and a new Senator appointed so fast that more responsible opinions asking for a special election don't have time to gain popularity.