Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Rahm Has Work to Do with Blag's Downfall

The Chicago boys are likely mixing concrete for Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. His arrest for influence peddling stands to taint the Democratic machine.

Rod implemented a pay for play scheme worthy of Tom DeLay's K Street. The indictment mentioned Blag's arm twisting for a public-private toll road project, funding for a children's hospital, and the chance to serve in the U.S. Senate.

The question is how fast the Governor sinks. Will his shepherding by President elect Barack Obama and Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel come to light? One only has to read a New Yorker piece to find:

That year, he (Obama) gained his first high-level experience in a statewide campaign when he advised the victorious gubernatorial candidate Rod Blagojevich, another politician with a funny name and a message of reform. Rahm Emanuel, a congressman from Chicago and a friend of Obama’s, told me that he, Obama, David Wilhelm, who was Blagojevich’s campaign co-chair, and another Blagojevich aide were the top strategists of Blagojevich’s victory.

He and Obama “participated in a small group that met weekly when Rod was running for governor,” Emanuel said. "We basically laid out the general election, Barack and I and these two.” A spokesman for Blagojevich confirmed Emanuel’s account, although David Wilhelm, who now works for Obama, said that Emanuel had overstated Obama’s role. “There was an advisory council that was inclusive of Rahm and Barack but not limited to them,” Wilhelm said, and he disputed the notion that Obama was “an architect or one of the principal strategists.”

David Axelrod, the preĆ«minent strategist in the state, declined to work for Blagojevich. “He had been my client and I had a very good relationship with him, but I didn’t sign on to the governor’s race,” Axelrod said. “Obviously he won, but I had concerns about it. . . . I was concerned about whether he was ready for that. Not so much for the race but for governing."

Rest assured, David has a strategy to divorce Obama and Emanuel from Blagojevich. Will they turn him into a raving madman? Might it involve copious amounts of silence from an underwater Blag, sporting his new shoes. Or, will Rahm end up as hero?

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