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Emanuel: Obama helped elect Blagojevich

Monday, Jun 16, 2008

* I don’t recall ever hearing about this, but the Republicans now have an avenue to directly connect presidential candidate Barack Obama to our embattled, investigated, unpopular and all but humiliated Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Congresscritter Rahm Emanuel says Obama helped get Blagojevich elected…

“I’ve known [Obama] a long time. We used to sit around helping our governor get elected, help those strategy meetings, stuff like that.”

I’m assuming that since Emanuel said “elected,” he meant 2002, before it was widely known that Blagojevich had some seriously shady pals. Even so, Obama can now be tied to the Blagojevich shipwreck. Not good.

* Emanuel did provide a great insight elsewhere in that article…

I asked him about the phrase “Chicago-style politics,” ubiquitous in profiles of both him and Obama.

Chicago-style politics? Well, first of all, politics is our all-season sport… People always know somebody or someway or somehow to make it into politics, it’s not some distant thing. Look at today, just pick up the paper. The Speaker of the House, who’s a Democrat, is the one encouraging people to file articles of impeachment against the governor, who’s a Democrat. That usually how we do it?” He laughs. “So that’s Chicago-style politics. A lot of elbows, a lot of tackling.”


* Meanwhile, in other political news

The annual banquet of Association of Indians in America (AIA) held last week at Meadows Club in Rolling Meadows notched many firsts this time and in no small measure it was reflective of a vibrant and imaginative leadership of its newly elect AIA Executive team headed by Naren Patel.

It was for the first time that one of the most powerful Illinois Politicians who also happens to be the longest serving House Speaker, Mike Madigan decided to attend the event as the Chief Guest.

Madigan so far had never come to any function organized by ethnic Indian organization and his present at AIA Banquet at the behest of Naren Patel was a pleasant surprise to many.

Up until now, Gov. Rod Blagojevich has been the star at these sorts of events. For years, Blagojevich has aggressively pursued Indian-American campaign financial support. This Madigan visit makes me wonder what he’s up to. Lisa?


- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Snidely Whiplash - Monday, Jun 16, 08 @ 8:25 am:

    Does anyone not see a parallel between “inexperienced and unqualified but apparently well-meaning and outspoken agent of change wins governor’s race” to Obama’s presidential run? The only dif I see between Blago circa 2002 and Obama presently is that Obama is half black.

    Lesson: “Change-agent” product of Chicago Dem Machine effects no changes pollitically and morally but thrusts left-wing agenda on unwilling voters, anyway. Wake up, for cripe’s sake.

  2. - so-called "Austin Mayor" - Monday, Jun 16, 08 @ 8:58 am:

    SW: “The only dif I see between Blago circa 2002 and Obama presently is that Obama is half black.”

    When making an argument, one should not include a sentence utterly discrediting oneself.

    – SCAM
    so-called “Austin Mayor”

  3. - Cassandra - Monday, Jun 16, 08 @ 8:58 am:

    I think the concept here is that maybe it isn’t a great idea to have an old-time Chicago Democratic ward boss pick his son in law as your state’s governor. What are the chances the guy would be any good. Well….

    We do pay the price for our apparently evolutionary tendency to let other people do our thinking for us.

  4. - wordslinger - Monday, Jun 16, 08 @ 9:07 am:

    That’s a bonehead statement from Emanuel, a dumb slip. Nothing to gain by linking either yourself or Obama to Blago. Maybe he’s readings his press clippings too much.

  5. - Ghost - Monday, Jun 16, 08 @ 9:43 am:

    Looks Like Mike Madigan is helping expand the Madigan family contacts with some constiuency grps. Good idea if Lisa hopefully decides to become Gov.

  6. - Bill Baar - Monday, Jun 16, 08 @ 10:14 am:

    If Obama was smart he’d put a lid on Emaneul and all of this talk of Chicago style politics. It doesn’t translate very well outside Cook County.

  7. - VanillaMan - Monday, Jun 16, 08 @ 10:29 am:

    First of all, what Emanuel said was the truth. Folks here should pack away their ideological prejudices and recognize Obama as a Chicago politician. If you were going to marry Barack Obama, you would be concerned about his past, his friends, and his sources of income. Please look at this guy objectively and see his flaws too.

    SW isn’t off-base. The failure of Blagojevich is also a failure of the Chicago Democratic establishment. They lost, as well as everyone else. We depended on them to vet Rod Blagojevich and made a number of assumptions about him due to his connections within Chicago. Yet he has floundered since Year Two and no one has been able to get him on-track since Day One. Blagojevich’s failure should cast a negative light on an organization we had given a semblance of credibility to.

    Then Stroger. Then the Hired Truck Scandal. Then Rezko. And Kelly. We can go on, can’t we? This is the organization that has been in control of Illinois since 2003.

    Barack Obama is from this team.

    Now you can point out a number of differences between Obama and Chicago Democrats, but you should not be fooling yourself by claiming he is not a Chicago Democrat. He goes way-back with South Side politics, both good and bad. You can swallow his “petunia in an onion patch” act, but first see him for who what he is.

    Obama didn’t have to sell himself as The Messiah. He set himself up by writing a bunch of autobiographical books and playing the Messiah game. He didn’t have to run in 2008. He could have done what everyone else has done, prove themselves in office first. He could have been a full-time senator for a full-term.

    When we ask how far short Obama’s reality is from his performance art, we are merely asking the right questions one should ask before making a commitment as huge as the one he wants us to make. We are merely comparing what he says to what he has done. Sorry if we come across as a cynical father questioning his daughter’s love interest, but someone has to ask since the Media is infatuated with Obama.

    Since when is it wrong to ask a presidential candidate is he is for real? Considering his lack of experience we should be asking a lot of questions. He claims superior judgement, but what has he based that judgement on without experience?

    Show us your worth by asking the hard questions, then embracing him after he proves himself - OK?

  8. - BigDog - Monday, Jun 16, 08 @ 12:55 pm:

    VanillaMan, if only those sentiments were echoed by the national media. Well stated!

  9. - TaxMeMore - Monday, Jun 16, 08 @ 1:13 pm:

    Could it be Emmanuel is speaking about Rod’s Congress campaigns they worked on?

  10. - Anonymous45 - Monday, Jun 16, 08 @ 1:17 pm:

    Mike Madigan is starting to get to know a well heeled, up and coming constituency for future political purposes….

  11. - VanillaMan - Monday, Jun 16, 08 @ 2:25 pm:

    ==I’m assuming that since Emanuel said “elected,” he meant 2002, before it was widely known that Blagojevich had some seriously shady pals. Even so, Obama can now be tied to the Blagojevich shipwreck. Not good.==

    Not just that, but consider this too - Blagojevich was working on a presidential run in 2002. What kind of fat was chewed with Obama regarding Blagojevich’s national interests? Obama was a part-time state senator at the time and being groomed by Emil Jones for bigger stuff. What impact did these pow-wows have on Obama?

    As these guys sat around and brain stormed over Mr. Blagojevich’s political future, what part of the conversation was spent on Obama’s political future? These smokey back room bull-sessions are a part of political life.

    If Obama was doing business with Rod Blagojevich in 2002, what kind of business was conducted for Barack Obama during these talks?

    Just wondering…

  12. - PhilCollins - Monday, Jun 16, 08 @ 3:59 pm:

    Maybe Blagojevich thought that Obama had a better chance of being elected President than Blagojevich did, so Blagojevich promised to stay out of the presidential race, if Obama promised to nominate Blagojevich to a cabinet position, if he wins.

  13. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jun 16, 08 @ 4:32 pm:


  14. - JonShibleyFan - Monday, Jun 16, 08 @ 6:02 pm:

    Really, though, is it any more asinine than anything else that’s been written here.

    Barack Obama a machine Dem? Barack, Emil and Rod sitting in a smoke-filled room (wearing their green eye shades, no doubt), scheming about their collective futures? Proclaiming himself a Messiah because he “wrote two autobiographical books?”

    Obama worked for a law firm that fought City Hall’s aldermanic remap. He ran for US Senate against Dan Hynes (Daley’s guy) and Gery Chico (City Hall Guy) and Blair Hull (Rod’s guy).

    The backroom meeting idea is almost Onion-like in its ridiculousness.

    And one book was autobiographical, and it was published 13 years ago. The other was about public policy.

    Get. A. Grip.

  15. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jun 16, 08 @ 6:06 pm:

    ===The backroom meeting idea is almost Onion-like in its ridiculousness.===

    What I have learned from watching the reaction to national politics over the years is that hardcore partisans are predisposed to believing the absolute worst about the other side’s candidate. They want it to be true. They need it to be true.

    I hate national politics.

  16. Pingback Race-baiting, Iraq and a Link to Troubled Blagojevich : NO QUARTER - Tuesday, Jun 17, 08 @ 10:41 am:

    […] Another blogger noted this statement in particular and said Emanuel thus linked Obama directly to embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. * I don’t recall ever hearing about this, but the Republicans now have an avenue to directly connect presidential candidate Barack Obama to our embattled, investigated, unpopular and all but humiliated Gov. Rod Blagojevich. […]

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