Monday, December 22, 2008

Absolution for Obama: Who Knew What, and When Did They Know It?

Rham Emmanuel, the numero uno aide in the incoming Obama administration, has now been offered absolution of any wrong doing in any connection he or the Obama administration may have had with media tainted Governor of Chicago Rod Blagojevich by 1) the Obama administration (in a report the administration soon will released) and 2) host of ABC’s “This Week,” George Stephanopoulos, to whom the report was released early. It's who you know that counts in political reporting.

That should satisfy the the complaisant Main Stream Media, as well as President-elect Barack Omaha’s other adoring fans.

“I have been briefed on the review that Obama has done,” Stephanopoulos said. “The sources I talked to say that what it will show is there were actually far less contacts than we had heard – that Rahm Emanuel only had one phone call with Governor Blagojevich. It wasn’t even really about the Senate seat.”

The New York Times is reporting that "lawyers who compiled the Obama review did not have access to wiretapped telephone conversations between Obama aides and the governor’s office." The report itself is "a product of cooperation from the office of Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the United States attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, who is leading the federal investigation into Mr. Blagojevich." Upon its release, Obama will not answer any questions relating to it.

Cynics – there can never be too many of them, though they do seem to scatter at the mention of Obama’s name – may continue to have reservations. Stephanopoulos is a man of the left, bubbling with good will. And although the report concludes, according to Stephanopoulos’ interpretation, that Emmanuel has had only one direct phone conversation with Blagojevich, Obama's chief has had numerous conversations with Blagojevich's chief aide John Harris – aide to aide communications.

It would be very odd indeed if Obama's caretakers were to permit a direct contact between their chief and the soiled Blagojevich; and it was politically astute for Emmanuel to maintain a discrete distance. The Obama administration likely was kept informed of prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald’s investigation, through discrete third parties.

ABC’s Cokie Roberts thought: “It would be political malpractice if somebody from the Obama had not talked to the governor.” The same may be said of the Fitzgerald investigation, which exculpated the president-elect -- and only the president-elect -- very early on, without releasing transcripts of the conversations.

Jesse Jackson Jr. has been a prosecutorial informant long before Blagojevich was served with Fitzgerald’s letter of accusation. Obama, Jackson and Emmanuel are old Chicago political intimates. Obama cannot say of any of them, as was the case with Bill Ayres, the sixties terrorist, that they were guys he knew in the neighborhood. Is it plausible to think that the left hand never knew what the right hand was doing -- in Chicago politics?

Who knows what Fitzgerald folks have caught on tape, certainly not Stephanopoulos or his intimates. An honorable cynic would suppose that we’ll find out around the time Obama’s second term runs out – assuming there is not a deep throat in the mix somewhere.

One used to seek absolution from priests, Rabbis and ministers. Now it is dispensed by Cokie and George, the commentary cops. Nothing here -- move on please.

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