Jake Tapper at ABCNews raises some significant questions regarding conversations between the Obama campaign and Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Obama’s statement today on the matter: “I had no contact with the governor or his office and so we were not, I was not aware of what was happening.”
But earlier David Axelrod said Obama had conversations with Blagojevich about possible nominations to Senate (“I know he’s talked to the Governor…”)
Tapper writes the following after this YouTube clip from Axelrod:
(UPDATE: An Obama Transition Team aide says that Axelrod misspoke on Fox News Chicago.)
There are no allegations that President-elect Obama or anyone close to him had anything to do with any of the crimes Gov. Blagojevich is accused of having committed.
In fact, there are indications that Mr. Obama and his team refused to go along with the “pay to play” way Blagojevich is accused of operating, offering only “gratitude” if the governor appointed his friend Valerie Jarrett to take his U.S. Senate seat, much to the governor’s chagrin.
But there remain questions about how Blagojevich knew that Mr. Obama was not willing to give him anything in exchange for the Senate seat — with whom was Blagojevich speaking? Did that person report the governor to the authorities?
Now Axelrod misspoke? I would like to hear Axelrod himself explain that. Given Axelrod’s prior writings on patronage, the nature of Chicago politics, and the cozy relationship of all these players, questions about ethics and influence peddling are relevant. This just scratches the surface of the questions both Obama and even Joe Biden (long time fundraiser and friend of Biden, Joseph Cari provided Blagovich information secondary to a plea agreement in the Rezko case) might have to confront about people involved in this sting of Blagojevich.
This indictment is R-rated (lots of F-word variations) and has some interesting twists. One is the outing of the Governor’s leakmeister, Michael Sneed. Gawker has more…
Tapper keeps up the with the questions. The Axelrod misspoke thing is incredible. Furthermore, it seems incredible that the Obama team would not have spoken to Blagojevich about something so important as a Senate seat appointment. As Tapper notes, the issue that is obscured is who on the Obama team told Blago that Obama would not be dealing up plums.
UPDATE: Read this lengthy Huffington Post column with the Blago phone calls in mind. This column goes all the way back to early November, just after the election, with a blow by blow account of what seemed like high-minded deliberations by Blagoshowmethemoneyvich.
Is this a gaffe or did Jolting Joe give away the fine print?
Said as only Andy Borowitz can:
October 22, 2008
McCain Sends Biden to Key Swing States
‘Just Keep Talking,’ Says Mac
In a move unprecedented in the annals of presidential politics, Republican presidential nominee John McCain announced today that he was sending Democratic vice presidential nominee Joseph Biden on a campaign trip to several key swing states.
“I told Joe, I will pay your plane fare, hotels, all your expenses,” Sen. McCain said. “Just get out there and say whatever’s on your mind, my friend.”
Sen. McCain added one small caveat: “Whatever you do, don’t edit yourself.”
The Arizona’s senator’s unusual proposal is part of what one aide called the campaign’s “Two Joes” strategy.
“For the next two weeks, this campaign is going to be all about two Joes,” said McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds. “Joe the Plumber and Joe the Blabber.”
But the McCain campaign’s plans were short-lived as Sen. Barack Obama today announced plans of his own for talkative running mate: “Between now and the election, Joe Biden will be reaching out to voters in Antarctica and possibly the Moon.”
Sen. Biden said he was grateful for the assignment, adding, “I will be proud to serve under Barack Obama, especially when one of our enemies tries to test him with a full-on nuclear attack. Kerblooey!!!!”
Andy writes referring to Joe Biden’s prophecy of a significant international test for a newly minted President Obama.
Here is what Biden said:
Mark my words. It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking,” Biden said.
“Remember I said it standing here. if you don’t remember anything else I said. Watch, we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy. And he’s gonna have to make some really tough — I don’t know what the decision’s gonna be, but I promise you it will occur. As a student of history and having served with seven presidents, I guarantee you it’s gonna happen,” Biden continued.
However, to my knowledge no one is reporting Biden’s attempt to reframe his comments.
Biden added, “What I meant was the Obama will receive a very hard written test from the world, and he will pass it with flying colors. When Jack Kennedy was tested like that during the Korean war, he logged on to the Internet and assured the American people that he could pass that test, and he did!”
And if you wonder why this hasn’t been reported, see this: Joe Biden’s fun with history!
The gaffes didn’t materialize in tonight’s VP debate. Most commentary had Palin winning the debate but Biden and Palin both did well without major problems.
Palin had the most to lose and probably on that basis could be perceived the winner.
Drudge has a poll with over 100,000 votes at this point with Palin over Biden about 75-25.
In a conference call after the debate, Senator Rick Santorum of PA said Palin really connected with voters in ways that she has not since the Republican convention. Santorum said her personal story will connect with social and religious conservatives.
UPDATE: Ace of Spades has a list of 14 errors he asserts were made by Biden in the debate.
Here is the video where Obama said he would meet with Ahmadinejad without precondition.
Stock market crash. Franklin Roosevelt. Television. Ok, I understand the point he was trying to make…
Watch CBS Videos Online
It was a little strange to hear him say, “if Barack had…” in relation to the ad. So did Obama approve the ad or not?
I admire Biden for saying the McCain attack was terrible and I agree with him that it is wrong for either camp to knowingly distort the other candidate’s positions. The differences between candidates is great enough without embellishing.