Barack Obama,  Rod Blagojevich,  Valerie Jarrett

Barack Obama on BlagoGate:”Absolutely Certain” No Deal Making From Transition Team – But, Who Tipped Off Valerie Jarrett?

Obama reacts to Blagojevich “Pay for Play” Scandal

Allah does a good job here about documenting what “The One” said today about BlagoGate.

He never spoke to Blagojevich personally, he insists, and is “absolutely certain” there was no dealmaking by anyone on his team, which is quite an assertion when the facts haven’t been gathered yet.

The presser was called ostensibly to talk about the economy and introduce Daschle, his new health-care quarterback, but the number of questions about the scandal shows that the media’s got Blago on the brain. Skip ahead to 1:45 for his initial statement about it and then to 13:00 or so for Q&A, including him calling on Blagojevich again to quit. (84 percent of Illinoisans agree.) Highlights come at 15:30, when he tries to contain his glee at being cursed out in the transcripts for refusing to play ball, and then again a minute later when a reporter asks him the question on everyone’s mind. The One, for once, has no easy answers.

But, who tipped off Valerie Jarrett?

And, how was Barack Obama involved in her appointment to another position? Somebody on the Obama Transition Staff had to inform Obama and make the switch.

Was it the Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel?


Here is the transcript of what Barack Obama said this morning:

Obama: I have never spoken to the governor on this subject. I’m confident that no representatives of mine would have any part of any deals related to this seat. I think the materials released by the U.S. attorney reflect that fact.

I’ve asked my team to gather the facts of any contacts with the governor’s office about this vacancy so that we can share them with you over the next few days.

Finally, on this matter, let me say that this Senate seat does not belong to any politician to trade. It belongs to the people of Illinois, and they deserve the best possible representation.

They also deserve to know that any vacancy will be filled in an appropriate way so that whoever is sent to Washington is going to be fighting for the people of Illinois. I hope and expect that the leaders of the legislature will take these steps to ensure that this is so.

But, who from the Obama Transition Team warned Valerie Jarrett that Blagojevich wanted a “quid pro quo?” And, were you told?

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  • Vinny

    What makes you think it was anyone on the transition team? According to the Complaint, it was a union official who approached Blagojevich on behalf of Jarrett and heard what the governor wanted.

    The complaint also mentions consultants who told Blagojevich to “suck it up” and give Obama what he wanted for nothing. I suspect that the consultants had put out feelers on behalf of Blagojevich and been told by someone on the transition team that Obama wasn’t interested in any deals.

  • Flap

    Well, who did the Blago consultants talk to about the proposition?

    Who is someone on the transition team that you mention in your second paragraph? And, to whom did they report?

    Who tipped off Valerie Jarrett and was Obama or Rham Emanuel informed?

    Either the both of them were incredibly out of the loop or they are running an exceedingly sloppy organization.

    which was it?

    Who on Obama’s team knew and when did they know it?

    A new post here:

  • Vinny


    Those are legitimate questions and I certainly think that Obama should answer them. However, I think it unlikely that the consultants or the union official would have been as blatant as Blagojevich when reaching out to Obama’s transition team. I think that Axelrod or Emmanuel could have cut them off long before they reached the point of suggesting a quid pro quo.

    What is more interesting to me is what the Obama guys knew about Blagojevich eightteen months ago that made them decide to freeze out Blagojevich from the start. I wouldn’t be surprised if Obama gets away without ever answering that question as the right is going to make itself look silly trying to prove some contact between Blagojevich and the transition team.

  • Flap

    They are not only legitimate questions but questions that Obama will have to anwer fairly quickly before this scandal starts to taint his new Administration.

    Somebody will take the fall and it may be Rahm Emanuel but it could be Axelrod who misspoke and whose hand was slapped.

    As a former political candidate and office holder I know of plausible deniability and so does Obama. But he is responsible for his staff. And, they knew what a snake Hot Rod was and acted accordingly.

    Wonder if someone from the US Attorneys office or FBI leaked to the Transition Team?

    And, the right will not have to prove anything. Hot Rod will go to trial and he will sing like a bird under oath. Or have to allocute for his plea deal.

    Exit question: Will Obama have the balls to fire Patrick Fitzgerald in January?

    What a great way to start a new Presidential Administration based on change. What BS.

  • Vinny

    I think you are dreaming Flap. There won’t be any fall to take. Obama, Axelrod, and Emmanuel all knew that Blagojevich was a ticking time bomb. I think their plan from the beginning was to cut Blagojevich and his representatives off before they could even suggest some sort of deal by saying, “We would love to see Jarrett get it but you have to choose whoever you think would be best for Illinois.” I think Axelrod misspoke because he assumed that Obama had already told Blagojevich what they planned to tell him.

    I don’t think that Obama will ever fire Fitzgerald. Nothing makes Obama look better than the fact that a tough prosecutor like Fitzgerald has never laid a finger on him. He can always promote Fitzgerald to some important job in the justice department in Washington if he wants to get him out of Chicago.

  • Flap

    Yeah right. Don’t you think a pissed off Blagojevich will sell the story of his ties to the Obama campaign to keep his ass out of prison? Or to the highest bidder for his book deal?

    Axelrod misspoke because he knows more than he is allowed to say. But, he will YELP in front of the Grand Jury or in a deposition for Hot Rod’s trial.

    I agree that Obama will not fire Fitzgerald and Fitz will make a fine GOP candidate for Governor or US Senate from Illinois. I don’t see Patrick ever working under the corrupt and highly partisan Eric Holder.

  • Vinny

    If there are any ties between Blagojevich and Obama’s transition team, it is highly likely that they will show up on Fitzgerald’s tapes. I don’t think that Obama would have been as cocky as he was at the news conference today if he wasn’t damn sure that his people were clean. It may even turn out that they were cooperating with Fitzgerald.

    I’m not claiming that this proves Obama’s purity. I just think that he’s a hell of a lot smarter than Blagojevich. I think he knew that the good press he could get by helping to bring down a hack like Blagojevich more than outweighed the potential benefit of getting his pick for the senate seat. Moreover, if Lt. Gov. Quinn gets to make the selection, Obama may still get his choice.

  • Flap

    Yep, there will be alot more to come from the tapes and Hot Rod himself during his trial.

    I wouldn’t doubt that somebody in the US Attorney’s office or the FBI tipped off somebody from Team Obama but that would be tampering now wouldn’t it?

    Nobody wil accept an appointment to that seat for two years. It is now toxic and the LEFT will moan when a Republican wins in the special election.

    Culture of corruption, baby.

  • Vinny

    It is equally possible that Team Obama went to the FBI. Since everybody knew that Blago was under investigation anyway, there was more to be gained from ratting him out than making a deal with him.

  • Flap


    1. There was an on-going investigation of Hot Rod anyway

    2. No one would trust Obama again to make a deal – no one likes a rat.

    But, possible with a huge downside, especially from the corrupt labor unions that own Democrat politics.

  • Vinny

    It is no surprise to me Emanuel communicated which candidates Obama preferred because Obama acknowledged last week that people on his staff had contacted Blagojevich. There is no evidence that Rahm Emanuel was a “bag man.”

  • Flap

    Rahm carried the preferred list to Blago’s staff. Bag man baby.

    Don’t you think Obama owes the American people an apology for lying to them?