Obama Absolves Himself

Barack Obama’s campaign has investigated itself, and has found itself to be beyond reproach. Bernie Madoff can only envy the press relations that allow Obama’s self-exoneration to be reported straight.

The Obama report was done by Greg Craig, who is about to become Obama’s White House Counsel. You can read his report here. In some respects, it is humorous. Craig, having interviewed Obama aides Rahm Emanuel, David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett, along with Obama’s good friend Eric Whitaker, concludes that:

The accounts support your statement on December 11, 2008 that you “have never spoken to the Governor on this subject [or] about these issues,” and that you “had no contact with the Governor’s office.”

That’s reassuring, I guess, but how would Valerie Jarrett, for example, be able to testify that Barack Obama never talked to Rod Blagojevich?

What Craig’s report does show is that Obama’s aides had 6 or 7 conversations with Blagojevich or his staffers about the Senate appointment. They told Craig that in these conversations, they never learned that Illinois’ governor was trying to sell Obama’s Senate seat. That could be true, of course.

For now, though, one question lingers. It has been widely reported that Blagojevich cursed the Obama camp and said that they offered “nothing but appreciation” if he appointed their favored candidate. If he didn’t explore the idea of getting a reward in his or his staff’s conversations with Emanuel and others, then how did Blagojevich know that Obama was offering “nothing but appreciation”?

Perhaps that question will be answered when transcripts of the conversations with Emanuel are made public.

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