December 10, 2008

Obama Busted on His ‘No Contact’ Statement? Oh, I Think So (UPDATE: Ace Has Pic of ‘Contact’ at Guvs’ Conference)

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 1:34 pm

Yes indeed (content at original link was deleted; current link is to copy at my web host; HT to an e-mailer, who tells me that “this is (in) the newspaper from Quincy, IL from KHQA, a CBS affiliate”; bold is mine):

By Alexis Hunt
Saturday, November 08, 2008 at 9:48 p.m.

Duckworth comments on consideration for Senate

QUINCY, IL — Now that Barack Obama will be moving to the White House, his seat in the U.S. Senate representing Illinois will have to be filled.

Obama met with Governor Rod Blagojevich earlier this week to discuss it. Illinois law states that the governor chooses that replacement. There’s already been speculation about his selection…from Congressman Jesse Jackson, Junior to Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Director Tammy Duckworth.

Obama, yesterday (a quote that, strangely enough, seems barely present on Google News, and on Google Web):

“I have had no contact with the governor or his office, so I was unaware of what was happening.”

My take: Barack Obama was, at best, trying to limit his “no contact” statement to the last few days of Blago’s troubles without saying so.

But if so, why did David Axelrod feel the need to back off his assertion of November 23 that “I know he’s [Obama] talked to the governor [about the Senate vacancy] and there are a whole range of names many of which have surfaced, and I think he has a fondness for a lot of them”?

Somebody’s pants are on fire.

It seems surreal that this would be “breaking news” a full 21 hours after Obama’s “no contact” statement. But there it is.

I believe Obama’s call for Blago’s immediate resignation is as much a matter of self-protection as it is any interest in getting rid of a corrupt governor. The faster Blago goes away, the more quickly Obama’s apparent untruth becomes “old, irrelevant news” to Old Media.


UPDATE: Let’s also not forget that Obama spoke at the National Governors Association conference last week, and that Blago was there:

Obama promises governors he’ll be listening

Reporting from Philadelphia — The nation’s governors came to tell tales of financial woe, but President-elect Barack Obama was already sold on them playing a role in the national economic recovery plan.

….. Governors also asked for help to expand children’s healthcare, to continue unemployment benefits and for continued support of food stamps and Medicaid.

Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich, a Democrat, was among those arguing that money should go directly to people bearing the brunt of the worsening economy. Facing an estimated $2-billion deficit, Blagojevich has already made budget cuts that closed state parks and historic sites.

“The more help we can give to the average American, the better the economy will be,” Blagojevich said. “And it’s a far better way than bailing out a few corporate, well-connected entities that have powerful lobbyists.”

It’s a little difficult to believe that Obama and Blago “had no contact” during the conference.

UPDATE, Dec. 11: I was right; they had “contact” (HT Hot Air) –


Given that Obama’s statement had no qualifications, this moves it definitively into the “false” category, regardless of all of the backtracking KHQA does from its own November 5 and 8 stories.

Cross-posted at


UPDATE 2: Commenter Doug has noted this Volokh post — “The Blagojevich Timeline: Everything Fits Easily Except Obama’s Monday Denial.”

UPDATE 3: The same source I cited at the beginning of this post also had an article that was written just in advance of an Obama-Blago meeting (link is to backup copy at my web host; original content was removed earlier this afternoon, and Google cache was apparently deleted shortly thereafter):

Ill. governor meeting with Obama today

By Carol Sowers
Wednesday, November 05, 2008 at 10:39 a.m.

CHICAGO, ILL. — Now that Barack Obama will be moving to the White House, his seat in the U.S. Senate representing Illinois will have to be filled.

That’s one of Obama’s first priorities today.

He’s meeting with Governor Rod Blagojevich this afternoon in Chicago to discuss it.

Illinois law states that the governor chooses that replacement….

Old links that don’t work:



  1. As a show of respect for America’s choice. Pres. Bush should preemptively pardon Obama before he takes office for any role he may have played in the Blago scandal so that he doesn’t have to start his administration under a(nother) cloud of corruption.

    Comment by Joe C. — December 10, 2008 @ 3:14 pm

  2. Tom,
    You also missed the interview Obama did with the LA Times referenced here:

    Q: Have you ever spoken to [Illinois] Gov. [Rod R.] Blagojevich about the Senate seat?

    Obama: I have not discussed the Senate seat with the governor at any time. My strong belief is that it needed to be filled by somebody who is going to represent the people of Illinois and fight for them. And beyond that, I was focused on the transition.

    Q: And that was before and after the election?

    Obama: Yes.

    Comment by Doug — December 10, 2008 @ 3:29 pm

  3. Rahm Emanuel was talking to Blagojevich and therefore Obama knew everything.

    Comment by dscott — December 12, 2008 @ 11:43 am

  4. We need to add a couple things, points brought up at NB

    Screen shot of Governor’s Gazette paper with Obama and Blagojevich in huddle.

    Exerpts of Nov 13

    After congratulating President-elect Barack Obama on his Nov. 4 victory, Governor Rod Blagojevich now begins the difficult task of finding a replacement for Illinois’ Senate seat. The Governor said he would be deliberate in his decision process and plans on using a diverse senior staff to assist him in selecting a suitable replacement for Obama.

    “Last night’s victory was bittersweet for Illinois – as we gain a great President, we lose a great Senator. And it goes without saying that our next Senator has big shoes to fill. Because it’s important that the best person for Illinois is selected, I want to be clear that the calendar won’t dictate our search. Instead, I want to ensure that Obama’s successor will understand and fight for the needs of average Illinoisans,” Governor Blagojevich said.

    Governor Blagojevich will be looking for candidates that will support the President-Elect’s agenda for the people;

    hat tip katainkent:

    Comment by dscott — December 12, 2008 @ 2:00 pm

  5. [...] 1 in the FBI’s criminal complaint. That a discussion did occur between Blagojevich and Obama can’t be denied at this point since Blagojevich has publicly stated before the scandal broke that he and Obama were talking about [...]

    Pingback by President-Elect Oblivious &laquo Publius’ Forum — December 13, 2008 @ 5:04 am

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