Byron York from National Review has been doing a lot of reporting on the Blagojevich scandal as it relates to the incoming Obama administration.
I wonder if the press-Obama wedding is over or if we are looking at a temporary spat? I think the later, but it is interesting watching what we thought was an administration adulated by the MSM is now taking some tough shots from the press.
I think it at best a temporary lover's spat. In fact, the reporting on the Blogojevich scandal is not really focusing on connections between president-elect Obama and Blagojevich anymore than the MSM looked into candidate Obama's ties to Chicago style politics.
However, Byron reports on an interesting exchange:
Until then, don’t ask Obama anything even related to the matter. “Let me just cut you off, because I don’t want you to waste your question,” Obama told Tribune reporter John McCormick Tuesday, after McCormick attempted to ask whether Emanuel’s reportedly extensive communications with the Blagojevich administration on the Senate-seat question contradicted Obama’s earlier claims to be taking a hands-off approach to the issue. “I don’t want to get into the details at this point,” Obama answered.Source: National Review Online Could the Blago Scandal Ensnare Team Obama? (You Betcha. If you don’t think it can, you don’t know prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald.) by Byron York
McCormick got the message. As Obama, standing by education-secretary-designate and basketball buddy Arne Duncan, continued to avoid answering the question, McCormick moved on to a more acceptable topic. “Do you or Duncan have a better jump shot?” he asked.
Obama smiled. At least for now. But he knows, or should know, that Fitzgerald and his prosecutors won’t be nearly as accommodating as the press.
Of course, this is low-level stuff, we are unlikely to hear the likes of Keith Olbermann, Katie Couric, et. al. report on the snide question and its circumstances.
I believe, some members of the Obama transition team are going to get caught up in the mess and end up trapped in either the underlying offense or by charges of perjury. I do not believe President-Elect Obama will find himself directly tied into this mess. The question then is Rahm Emmanuel.
How about Rahm? I can understand why Rahm would be talking to Blagojevich, he and I am quite sure president-elect Obama have preferences as to who should fill the vacant senate seat. This does not automatically mean they were involved in corrupt activities, it means they were lobbying.
I strongly suspect Rahm Emmanuel will not get caught up in this and here is why. It is reported Blagojevich was going on about how president-Elect Obama had better not expect something for nothing. That is, Emmanuel at most had a list of suggestions but no quid for the pro-quo. At most, Rahm will get pinched with something akin to what Fitzgerald pinched Libby with however, I suspect only the press will pinch Rahm.
As this unfolds I expect a number of my right-wing brethren will get caught up in giddy anticipation of major charges against the Obama administration and will pass on as fact any rumor fed to them.
Can this scandal potentially cause great harm to the Obama administration? Yes it can, but will it? I do not think so, but in the end at the moment very few of us know.