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