I think our President-Elect has some serious ‘splainin’ to do.
Asked what contact he’d had with the governor’s office about his replacement in the Senate, President-elect Obama today said “I had no contact with the governor or his office and so we were not, I was not aware of what was happening.”
But on November 23, 2008, his senior adviser David Axelrod appeared on Fox News Chicago and said something quite different.
While insisting that the President-elect had not expressed a favorite to replace him, and his inclination was to avoid being a “kingmaker,” Axelrod said, “I know he’s talked to the governor 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.”
Tapper notes that there isn’t any indication that Obama nor any of his people were inclined to make a deal with Blagojevich; however, the Governor had some strong reasons to believe that Obama might play ball and that his offer would stay between them. Obama and Blagojevich go back for years. They’ve endorsed each other and Obama was one of three who masterminded the Governor’s successful campaign in 2002. The P-E strongly endorsed the Governor as late as 2006, when Blagojevich was already mired in an investigation over illegal hiring practices.