Press scrambling to cover Obama's rear end

At this point, the media is torn. They are looking at perhaps the biggest story of the next 4 years square in the face and yet, can't help themselves by overreaching to protect their investment and try and keep Obama's hands clean in the Blago scandal.

Case in point, the Washington Post's Eli Saslow tries to make the case that Obama "distanced himself from Blagojevich" long ago:

Long before federal prosecutors charged Blagojevich with bribery this week, Obama had worked to distance himself from his home-state governor. The two men have not talked for more than a year, colleagues said, save for a requisite handshake at a funeral or public event. Blagojevich rarely campaigned for Obama and never stumped with him. The governor arrived late at the Democratic convention and skipped Obama's victory-night celebration at Chicago's Grant Park.

Even though they often occupied the same political space -- two young lawyers in Chicago, two power brokers in Springfield, two ambitious men who coveted the presidency -- Obama and Blagojevich never warmed to each other, Illinois politicians said. They sometimes used each other to propel their own careers but privately acted like rivals. Blagojevich considered Obama naive and pretentious and dismissed his success as "good luck." Obama disparaged Blagojevich for what he viewed as his combativeness, his disorganization and his habit of arriving at official events half an hour late.

Under different circumstances, friends said, Obama might have derived some satisfaction from seeing Blagojevich handcuffed for allegedly trying to sell off Obama's vacated Senate seat to the highest bidder. But, only six weeks after Obama won the presidency by casting himself as a reformer, the Blagojevich scandal is a jarring reminder that Obama's political origins are in a city and state long tainted by corruption.

This is only half true. Obama, in fact, served as one of Blagojevich's chief advisors during his first run for the governorship in 2002. Blago endorsed Obama for the presidency even while corruption investigations swirled around him and no one heard Obama complain about it. He also accepted Blagojevich's help when he was trying to augment his non-existent record of accomplishment in the state senate in preparation for his senate run in 2004.

They also shared the ministrations of Tony Rezko who was a fundraiser, patron, and advisor to both men. And in the Byzantine world of Chicago politics, there were other connections, including their friendship with the now Illinois state treasurer Alexi Giannoulias who, as Vice President of the Broadway Bank in Chicago, aided both men despite his rather unsavory reputation of mingling with mobsters. Obama endorsed Giannoulias who turned around and raised gobs of money for both Obama and Blago in their campaigns.

Try as they might, the media will not be able to sweep this thing under the rug. It may not bring down Obama. But it will dog him for the first few months of his administration unless he can get ahead of the curve and answer the nagging questions that are already making a mockery of his promise for a "transparent and open" administration.



At this point, the media is torn. They are looking at perhaps the biggest story of the next 4 years square in the face and yet, can't help themselves by overreaching to protect their investment and try and keep Obama's hands clean in the Blago scandal.

Case in point, the Washington Post's Eli Saslow tries to make the case that Obama "distanced himself from Blagojevich" long ago:

Long before federal prosecutors charged Blagojevich with bribery this week, Obama had worked to distance himself from his home-state governor. The two men have not talked for more than a year, colleagues said, save for a requisite handshake at a funeral or public event. Blagojevich rarely campaigned for Obama and never stumped with him. The governor arrived late at the Democratic convention and skipped Obama's victory-night celebration at Chicago's Grant Park.

Even though they often occupied the same political space -- two young lawyers in Chicago, two power brokers in Springfield, two ambitious men who coveted the presidency -- Obama and Blagojevich never warmed to each other, Illinois politicians said. They sometimes used each other to propel their own careers but privately acted like rivals. Blagojevich considered Obama naive and pretentious and dismissed his success as "good luck." Obama disparaged Blagojevich for what he viewed as his combativeness, his disorganization and his habit of arriving at official events half an hour late.

Under different circumstances, friends said, Obama might have derived some satisfaction from seeing Blagojevich handcuffed for allegedly trying to sell off Obama's vacated Senate seat to the highest bidder. But, only six weeks after Obama won the presidency by casting himself as a reformer, the Blagojevich scandal is a jarring reminder that Obama's political origins are in a city and state long tainted by corruption.

This is only half true. Obama, in fact, served as one of Blagojevich's chief advisors during his first run for the governorship in 2002. Blago endorsed Obama for the presidency even while corruption investigations swirled around him and no one heard Obama complain about it. He also accepted Blagojevich's help when he was trying to augment his non-existent record of accomplishment in the state senate in preparation for his senate run in 2004.

They also shared the ministrations of Tony Rezko who was a fundraiser, patron, and advisor to both men. And in the Byzantine world of Chicago politics, there were other connections, including their friendship with the now Illinois state treasurer Alexi Giannoulias who, as Vice President of the Broadway Bank in Chicago, aided both men despite his rather unsavory reputation of mingling with mobsters. Obama endorsed Giannoulias who turned around and raised gobs of money for both Obama and Blago in their campaigns.

Try as they might, the media will not be able to sweep this thing under the rug. It may not bring down Obama. But it will dog him for the first few months of his administration unless he can get ahead of the curve and answer the nagging questions that are already making a mockery of his promise for a "transparent and open" administration.