“I had no contact with the governor or his office..”

The New York Times reports – “No Improper Contact With Governor, Says Obama Report” – that US President-elect Barack Obama has released his incoming team’s own report [pdf file] on the contacts they had with fellow Democrat, and Governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevitch, about who to appoint as Obama’s replacement in the Senate. According to the NY Times

[Rahm] Emanuel, Obama’s pick for White House chief of staff, was the only Obama adviser to talk to Blagojevich and his top aide, John Harris, Craig found. The two men have been arrested as part of a federal corruption investigation. Emanuel had one or two conversations with Blagojevich and four with Harris on the subject of the Senate seat, according to the review. The report said Obama authorized Emanuel to pass on the names of four people he considered to be highly qualified to take over his seat — Illinois Comptroller Dan Hynes, Illinois Veterans’ Affairs Director Tammy Duckworth, Rep. Jan Schakowsky and Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.

“In later telephone conversations, Mr. Emanuel — also with the president-elect’s approval — presented other names of qualified candidates to Mr. Harris including Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Ms. Cheryle Jackson,” the report said. “Mr. Harris did not make any effort to extract a personal benefit for the governor in any of these conversations. There was no discussion of a Cabinet position, of 501c(4), of a private sector position or of any other personal benefit to the governor in exchange for the Senate appointment.”

But here’s what Barack Obama initially stated after Balgojevitch was charged with corruption [dated Dec 9]

Asked what contact he’d had with the governor’s office about his replacement in the Senate, President-elect Obama today said “I had no contact with the governor or his office and so we were not, I was not aware of what was happening.”

The NY Times also reports that

[Incoming White House attorney Greg] Craig revealed his findings into a memo to Obama. The memo was dated Tuesday, but a transition official said an initial copy was given to Obama on Dec. 15. On that day, Obama announced that the report was ready but that he was withholding it from public release for a week at the request of the U.S. attorneys still conducting their investigation.

In the meantime, the transition official said, Emanuel was interviewed by federal officials who replayed a wiretapped conversation for him. He then was able to give Craig more details about what he said, and those details were included in the final report, the transition official said. Transition officials discussed the final version with Obama on Monday as he vacationed in Hawaii.

Adds I wonder if the wire-tap was of the conversation referred to by Jim..

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  • John K Lund

    The USA has possibly got another president with selective loss of memory. Another white hot revolutionary, who promised to cleanse the Augean Stables of the Bush White House from bad habits with the Clinton family as instructors and role models.
    Some people are driven by a desire for power others are motivated by a desire for achievement. Power orientated people are focused on the approval of others. It gives them a “high” that others like, envy and admire them, or must in some way submit to them.
    People motivated by achievement, however, care about what is required to make something right, efficient, or effective. It,s all about getting the job done as expertly and honestly as possible.
    I wonder which approach does the future President Obama follow.

  • Jimmy Sands

    Shocking stuff.

    Apparently Fox is about to go public with a claim he fathered two African American children in wedlock.

    Impeach Now!

  • 6countyprod

    Who do they think they are kidding? Probably most people. They were fool enough to vote for him in the first instance. The media have certainly been persuaded that a Chicago politician can do no wrong, although UK media appear to be the most gullible. ABC et al seem to be a little more sceptical.

    Just think of the howls of laughter and derision from the media if Bush had released an internal report clearing his actions on a touchy subject. There would be calls for congressional inquiries, and fbi probes and all sorts of checks.

    You get the feeling that maybe this type of internal inquiry will become a regular event in the Obama administration.

  • jr

    john trudell said once, the politicians that are so easy to hate, forget them. it’s the politicians that you dont really know, watch then watch them watch them, cuz they are the ones to be afraid of.

  • Harry Flashman

    Ronnie Reagan came from California and brought the easy going laid back sunny disposition with him, Bill Clinton came from Arkansas and brought the good ol’ Southern boy attitude with him, George W Bush came from Texas and he swaggered in with his big boots, ten gallon hat and both guns blazing, can anyone have had any doubt what sort of president a man who worked his way up through the corrupt Chicago machine politics of Illinois would turn out to be?

  • “I wonder if the wire-tap was of the conversation referred to by Jim..”

    There are three things to take home from this party.

    The attempt to embarrass Balgojevitch into resigning in shame required one capable of the emotion. Tough luck Fitzgerald, you have to take it to court.

    Obama’s displeasure with either the timing or the choice of the Illinois Attorney General as his replacement may have been the trigger for this brouhaha.

    Balgojevitch is playing a game counter to the Illinois political establishment.

    Ever get the feeling you are being played?

    The Senate is still in play: We have one Senate race that will not be called until January, if then. Fitzgerald just cut the Illinois impeachment committee off at the pockets. Willie Brown, the real Slick Willie, doesn’t see the play for pay as a way to get Balgojevitch.

    So which shell is the pea under, Sluggiepoos?

  • Rory Carr

    I have been hors de combat for a little while and this is the first entry I have been able to read for some weeks. I am delighted to be able to say that the introduction and and the responses so far represent, for me at least, the best of what Slugger can be.

    Smilin’ Jim has me head spinning with his ‘3-card monte’ approach and I have a sneaking suspicion this particular pea is nestling snugly where Jim knows it lies.

    Harry Flashman made me smile with his reference to “the corrupt Chicago machine politics of Illinois ” (although in this case I thought that “the corrupt Illinois machine politics of Chicago” might have been more apposite). But that would be larding the goose a little, when really what amused me was Harry’s juxtaposing “politically corrupt” Chicago (or Illinois, or both) to sunny, laid back Californian decency, Alabaman Southern charm and good ‘ol boy Texan swagger and the inference that they are either too honest, or too taken up with being laid back and sunny or Southernly charming or swaggering, Texas style or maybe just too plain dumb-ass to be able to afford their own brand of “machine-politics corruption”. But – season of good will and all that – maybe I’ll just smile and pretend that politics in these three states are just cutesy-pie as all get out.

    But Jimmy Sands wins the cigar and his entry encourages me in my thoughts that Obama’s outright assurances that he had no inappropriate contact with the Governor is merely a positive response to Pope Benedict’s warning of the danger of inappropriate man-to-man contact to the very future of mankind itself. Which I suppose is all well and good just so long as none of you guys out there get yourselves a stiffy while hugging a particularly attractive tree.

  • Harry Flashman

    Good to see you back Rory, have a happy Christmas, I have to wrap the wee’uns’ presents now and given that I have already over indulged in the Christmas spirit it’s probably best I don’t continue the debate tonight.

    ho, ho, ho

  • Rory Carr

    Thank you, Harry, and a very happy Christmas to you as well. I too am feeling somewhat ..er, delicate today and have yet to wrap the presents. How come all my fine womenfolk wrap their presents to me really beautifully and mine to them all wind up looking like a dog’s dinner? Do you think maybe women have a secret that they are not letting us guys in on?

  • IRIA

    I’m still waiting for something to be actually “there” in this “Obama” controversy. Blago will be in jail soon, that’s about it.

  • 6countyprod

    Sounds like Team Obama’s self-exoneration has created more questions than it has answered.

  • Jimmy Sands

    You should pass this fascinating information to the authorities.