Saturday, December 20, 2008

Blagojevich & Emanuel -- Will the Dots Connect to Obama?

The Rahm Emanuel watch continues. Chicago Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed reports that she "hears rumbles President-elect Barack Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, is reportedly on 21 different taped conversations by the feds -- dealing with his boss' vacant Senate seat!" (link).

This could get messy. Thomas Lifson at American Thinker writes (link):

Hugh Hewitt, talk show host and law school professor, points out (link) that Rod Balgojevich will get access to the entire wiretap records of [federal prosecutor] Patrick Fitzgerald as soon as he is indicted. And, unless Rahm Emanuel is also indicted, or unless Balgo elects to share those tapes, Rahmbo will have no such access to what was said.

Considering the way Scooter Libby's memory lapse about what was said in his conversations re: Valerie Plame, and Fitzgerald's eagerness and ability to obtain a conviction for perjury based on a false recollection, this has got to give pause to Emanuel. No wonder he is unwilling to speak publicly about anything related to the case. 2009 promises to be an interesting year for designated White House Chief of Staff.

However, there are other views. Lifson's piece evoked this comment from "Ricardo," who obviously has a suspicious mind:
You really think Rahm does not already have copies of the tape-recorded conversations? I would strongly speculate that Fitzgerald, who apparently pulled the plug on the investigation to protect Obama and assure that he, Fitzgerald, retains his job after January 20, has seen to it that the tapes or transcripts have been "leaked" to Emmanuel. Fitzgerald already provided Obama and Emmanuel with cover by requesting that they not release the results of their internal investigation until when, Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?
So where's Rahm? When the story of his possible involvement broke, I suggested he would begin secretive comings and goings -- "[e]xpect Rahm to come and go via the rear-door rumba, a quick-step shuffle in and out of the back door that Chicago pols know so well." (link). Or should I have said the rear-door "rahmba"?

Gateway Pundit
has placed Rahm's picture on a milk carton with the tag "have you seen me?" (link)

Jennifer Rubin writes at Contentions weblog at Commentary Magazine (link):
President-elect Obama is fond of reminding us that he is a tough customer, having learned politics in Chicago. But what he learned was to bob and weave, live among the crooks without either challenging the status quo or practicing the worst tactics of his Democratic colleagues. But that strategy of purposeful ignorance and avoidance simply won’t work any longer. The President of the United States can’t turn a blind eye to corruption in his own party. He risks losing his own moral authority, his Congressional majority, the ability to pursue his agenda and ultimately his chances for re-election. This was acutely displayed in the handling of Blago-gate, when his chief of staff was not only aware of “what was happening” (as the President-elect vaguely offered), but apparently spent a good deal of time with Blago and/or his advisors chatting about the vacant seat. Clever answers and feigned ignorance isn’t likely to hold up, even with a largely compliant media. It works in Chicago to converse with crooks and claim innocence, but not when you occupy the White House. People begin to wonder why you are operating with the ethically impaired….
Mark Steyn had this to say to Sean Hannity on Fox's H&C the other night (December 16), when asked about Obama's first statement that he was certain no one from his team had any contact with Balgojevich about his open Senate seat, which Obama later changed to "let me gather the facts":
[Obama] was verging on the OJ 'I'm looking for the real killers' routine.... What is the dog that isn't barking here? [a reference to Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes story Silver Blaze] He doesn't express outrage that his Senate seat is being sold to the highest bidder by this political colleague of his. It's very mysterious to me.... Any minute now Obama will be saying 'this guy [Emanuel] is just a chief-of-staff in my neighborhood.'
John M Greco