Best non-scandal scandal headline of the day (via LGF):
Obama team probe of Obama team finds no Obama team impropriety
Whew, what a relief! I’m sure the Obama team is sleeping much better tonight knowing that this horrendous ordeal is over. The L.A. Times has a surprisingly sarcastic report; I tried to excerpt it, but it’s just such good entertainment that you really should read the whole thing:
The Barack Obama presidential transition office today finally released its own report on its own internal investigation of its own contacts with legally challenged Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. And you’ll be comforted to know the Obama folks found no impropriety whatsoever by Obama folks.
So go back to wrapping holiday presents or pretending you’re working at your dIllinois Democrats governor Rod Blagojevich, then-senator Barack Obama and still-mayor Richard M. Daley in happier pre-criminal complaint timesesk and checking out Obama’s important abs. All is well with the coming World of Change.
Speaking of tidy packages, the five-page report was not released in the morning as things are when public attention is desired.
It was released at 4:30 Eastern time to provide minimal exam time before the network news. But that’s probably a coincidence.
According to the report by Greg Craig, an incoming White House attorney, Obama personnel had numerous contacts with the governor’s office but no one ever suspected that Blagojevich, who’s been under federal investigation for three years now, was doing anything wrong.
Craig said the feds have interviewed Obama’s new chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, who inherited Blagojevich’s 5th District House seat, and Valerie Jarrett, a newly named White House aide, as part of the governor’s investigation. Emanuel did suggest some names but there was never any bargaining.
None of these Obama-Blagojevich contacts is a shock. It would be surprising if an exiting senator’s office was not in touch with a nominating governor’s office of the same party on his/her successor, although Obama promised immediately after Nov. 4 he would not be involved.
But given the *&#$%# excerpts read aloud two weeks ago by Chicago U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald apparently showing the governor demanding money for state business, aid and the “golden” revenue opportunity of peddling a Senate nomination, the media world was curious to know what did Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, a longtime political pal of Blagojevich, say on those wiretaps.
Fitzgerald has said Obama is not involved in the investigation.
Pulling together all of the Obama contacts apparently took longer than expected because days passed. Then out of the blue Obama’s team said that Fitzgerald’s team had provided perfect cover by asking them to hold off a week so as not to threaten interviews in the the federal investigation of the governor. Why? Because Blagojevich still didn’t know he was bugged?
On Friday, Fitzgerald’s offWhite House Chief of Staff designate Rahm Emanuel who’s gone on vacation to Africa and his boss president-elect Barack Obamaice reportedly asked Obama’s team to push the report release day back to Tuesday from Monday.
At the time we suggested politicians prefer to release not positive news when people aren’t paying attention, like John Edwards doing his TV affair confession on a summer Friday night when 14 people are watching the tube.
Oh, look, here we are 24 hours from Christmas Eve. Few are paying attention. The world has moved on. Looks like Mark Teixeira has been bought by the Yankees for $180 million.
Obama is in Hawaii working out in a Secret Service bubble, so he certainly won’t be talking. He’ll leave the political world to watch wannabe senator Caroline Kennedy pull a Sarah Palin with the media.
Emanuel, the transition team told Huffington Post today, has just a little bit ago — in fact, we just missed him — left for a long-planned family vacation in that place that every North Side Chicago family dreams of visiting for the year-end holidays, somewhere in Africa. We’re not told the area code. Likely on a safari. With no cell coverage, of course. So he’s not around to talk.
So, amazingly, there won’t be any Obama person on news video to run in endless tube loops over the slow holiday. Just the five report pages, which makes for poor TV video.
There may, however, be some future amendments. The Obama team did not keep phone logs, so their contact list was developed from memory, which may or may not match the federal wiretap chronology if it’s ever released.
Fitzgerald, who so helpfully asked Obama to hush up his internal report when people were most interested, is busy doing his job as the only really investigative arm perusing Illinois politics. Now that his hand was forced by the alleged impending sale of Obama’s vacant Senate seat, the clock is running on an indictment of Blagojevich and his chief of staff, John Harris.
Oh, and did we mention, four weeks from today a little before noon Eastern time, Obama becomes boss of Fitzgerald and all the other U.S. attorneys? What do you want to bet that despite the Democratic Cook County clamoring Fitzgerald stays on a while?
While it’s clear that Obama is trying to just ignore the whole mess, it may not be that easy. First, if there is really nothing going on, why did they release this report late in the day just 36 hours before the biggest holiday of the year? Very few people have politics on their mind right now (kudos to you for keeping up!), so the report is sure to generate little coverage. Also, there are still questions swirling around the timing of the interviews, and the hubris that Obama and his team are displaying by brushing everything under the rug is starting to annoy even the Kool-Aid drinking press. It’s not generally wise to ignore the press when they get their panties in a bunch about something, and you know it’s suspicious when even they are asking more questions than Obama wants to answer.
Gateway Pundit posts an interview with long-time political reporter Bill Sammon, who thinks there is still a minefield of potential problems to navigate:
I will point out my own conclusions once again: even if there is no actual wrongdoing here (and it still doesn’t look like there is), Obama is choosing to be cagey about it, and that’s not the transparency he promised. He has apparently chosen to lie about it, first saying there had been no contact, then admitting there was, which is the same old politics of corruption that Washington is sadly good at producing. That’s not the new kind of politics he promised. He and his team started out by botching this mess, and have continued botching it with each passing day. That’s not the sort of incompetence that America needs in its top leadership.
Change! Hope! (there is nothing to see here…) Change! Hope! (there is nothing to see here…)
There’s my two cents.