links for 2008-12-17

  • It’s official. The old Clinton gang really is back together again. Answering the phones these days for the co-chairman of President-elect Barack Obama’s transition, John D. Podesta, is none other than Betty Currie.
  • A committee of the Illinois House considering evidence and testimony in an impeachment inquiry against Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich adjourned its first day of hearings after about an hour on Tuesday, after the governor’s lawyer and the federal prosecutor seeking to indict him both expressed concerns.
    And, no special election legislation – Chicagoland politics as usual
  • US President George W. Bush said in an interview Tuesday he was forced to sacrifice free market principles to save the economy from "collapse."

    "I've abandoned free-market principles to save the free-market system," Bush told CNN television, saying he had made the decision "to make sure the economy doesn't collapse."

    Bush's comments reflect an extraordinary departure from his longtime advocacy for an unfettered free market, as his administration has orchestrated unprecedented government intervention in the face of a dire financial crisis.

    "I am sorry we're having to do it," Bush said.
    Maybe Bush should let Cheney be President for a month or so.

  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) urged New York Gov. David Paterson to appoint Caroline Kennedy to the Senate seat being vacated by Hillary Rodham Clinton, according to a Democratic strategist familiar with Reid's thinking.

    Reid and Paterson spoke by phone last week, according to the source. The call was not prompted by Kennedy or anyone in her inner circle but rather was based on Reid's belief in her qualifications to serve and her ability to run for and win the seat in a 2010 special election.
    The fix is in for caroline.

  • Team Obama's response has made what should have been a one-day story into a full-blown p.r. crisis. So far, it seems to have adopted the early Clinton-administration approach – turn a minor problem into a big one by mismanaging the media.

    The Obama camp has managed to violate almost every tenet of crisis communications – starting with Rule No. 1: Get all the information out quickly, accurately and fully.
    But Obama and Rahm do NOT want the information out until they have stories coordinated.

  • Democrats in the Illinois House of Representatives postponed stripping Governor Rod Blagojevich’s power to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama that prosecutors say Blagojevich tried to sell.

    The governor, a Chicago Democrat, retains authority to appoint Obama’s successor while the House pursues an impeachment process that may last weeks. Democratic lawmakers led by House Speaker Michael Madigan dropped plans late yesterday to schedule a special election to fill the post after failing to agree in a closed-door meeting, said Steve Brown, a Madigan aide.

  • The expectation that Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar will be nominated as Interior Secretary by President-elect Barack Obama presents Republicans with a prime pickup opportunity in a swing state, an early sign that their fortunes may be turning after two disastrous elections in which the party lost a combined 13 seats in the Senate.

    Gov. Bill Ritter (D) will appoint Salazar's replacement but that appointed senator will have less than two years to establish himself or herself before standing for election to a full six-year term in 2010.
    GOP's best shot would be for Salazar's brother getting the appointment and then the GOP winning his House Seat.

    (tags: GOP KenSalazar)
  • In talks with Emanuel and others, sources say, Pelosi has “set parameters” for what she wants from Barack Obama and his White House staff — no surprises, and no backdoor efforts to go around her and other Democratic leaders by cutting deals with moderate New Democrats or conservative Blue Dogs.

    Specifically, Pelosi has told Emanuel that she wants to know when representatives of the incoming administration have any contact with her rank-and-file Democrats — and why, sources say.
    Dem turf wars have already started.

  • Clinton is focused on her transition to the State Department, people close to her say, and being seen as meddling in the Senate choice would likely make her more enemies than friends.

    "Sen. Clinton completely respects the privacy of his process so will not be commenting on it or any individual candidate, nor does any third party speak on her behalf," said her spokesman, Philippe Reines.
    Yeah right…..

  • Illinois lawmakers started impeachment proceedings Monday against Gov. Rod Blagojevich as he continued to show up for work in Chicago and firmed up his legal team to fight corruption charges.
    The state House of Representatives unanimously authorized a bipartisan committee to explore the possibility of ousting the two-term Democratic governor, by a vote of 113 to zero. But lawmakers did not move forward with a bill to create a special election to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama, which Gov. Blagojevich is accused of trying to sell.
    Should the Dems not pursue a special election who will take the seat for two years? A lame duck Senator before they even started.


  • Ling

    You know, making Cheney the President for the next month is probably the best idea I’ve heard of in a long, long time. Lefty bloggers on Kos and HuffingtonPost will be having nervous breakdowns, and Pelosi will likely stage a protest march or something. Would be a very, very interesting month.