Unanswered questions for Obama Team on Blagobust

It hasn't quite gotten to the "What did the president know and when did he know it" stage. But there are several lingering questions about contacts between the Obama team and Governor Blagojevich's over a replacement for his senate seat. And the Obama people are only making it worse by clamming up and not answering questions:

The "unanswered questions'' -- as the Republican National Committee and others are calling them -- will continue to haunt President-elect Obama and staff in the sordid case of the Illinois governor accused of attempting to sell Obama's Senate seat.

Until Obama, and his staff, answer them.

While Obama maintains that he had no conversations with Illinois Gov Rod Blagojevich about the appointment, Obama's chief of staff has refused to say what talks he may have had.

It's important to remember that federal prosecutors, who have accused Blagojevich of dialing for dollars with his power of appointment over the seat that the junior senator from Illinois left after election as president, have implicated neither Obama nor his staff in the Blagojevich scandal.

But Emanuel did have conversations with Blagojevich's administration about who would replace Obama in the Senate, the Chicago Tribune has learned.

"The revelation does not suggest Obama's new gatekeeper was involved in any talk of dealmaking involving the seat.,'' the Tribune's Bob Secter has written. "But it does help fill in the gaps surrounding a question that Obama was unable or unwilling to answer this week: Did anyone on his staff have contact with Blagojevich about his choice for the Senate seat?''

Obama has been more than "unwilling" to answer questions. He either flat out lied when he said he was unaware of any contact between his people and the Blagojevich crew about the senate seat or he has staffers going behind his back. That latter is incredible, of course, which makes Obama a liar.

The real question is what is on those tapes of the phone calls between Blago chief of staff John Harris and his chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. Are there offers of pay to play? Is there anything that could be construed as not on the up and up and if so, why didn't Emanuel report the conversation to the Feds? Did Rahmbo make a counter offer to one of Blago's bribes?

Emanuel, as reported on AT, still refuses to talk to the press which only leads to speculation that the Obama camp may be at a loss as to how to square the president-elect's statements about his staff never having spoken to Blago about the senate seat with Emanuel's taped conversations about that very subject.

It also makes his promise to get a list of staffers who talked to Blago's people a sham. He almost certainly knows exactly who has been in contact with Blagojevich at this point. If not, we might start wondering what kind of executive he is when he allows his staff to run off on their own tangents without informing him.

Maybe the Obama team is hoping this will all just go away. Don't bet on it because it will all surface again when those tapes begin to leak - as they almost surely will. At that point, we'll see if Emanuel is avoiding the press because of his guilt or because they can't find a way to spin his conversations with Blago to their advantage.


It hasn't quite gotten to the "What did the president know and when did he know it" stage. But there are several lingering questions about contacts between the Obama team and Governor Blagojevich's over a replacement for his senate seat. And the Obama people are only making it worse by clamming up and not answering questions:

The "unanswered questions'' -- as the Republican National Committee and others are calling them -- will continue to haunt President-elect Obama and staff in the sordid case of the Illinois governor accused of attempting to sell Obama's Senate seat.

Until Obama, and his staff, answer them.

While Obama maintains that he had no conversations with Illinois Gov Rod Blagojevich about the appointment, Obama's chief of staff has refused to say what talks he may have had.

It's important to remember that federal prosecutors, who have accused Blagojevich of dialing for dollars with his power of appointment over the seat that the junior senator from Illinois left after election as president, have implicated neither Obama nor his staff in the Blagojevich scandal.

But Emanuel did have conversations with Blagojevich's administration about who would replace Obama in the Senate, the Chicago Tribune has learned.

"The revelation does not suggest Obama's new gatekeeper was involved in any talk of dealmaking involving the seat.,'' the Tribune's Bob Secter has written. "But it does help fill in the gaps surrounding a question that Obama was unable or unwilling to answer this week: Did anyone on his staff have contact with Blagojevich about his choice for the Senate seat?''

Obama has been more than "unwilling" to answer questions. He either flat out lied when he said he was unaware of any contact between his people and the Blagojevich crew about the senate seat or he has staffers going behind his back. That latter is incredible, of course, which makes Obama a liar.

The real question is what is on those tapes of the phone calls between Blago chief of staff John Harris and his chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. Are there offers of pay to play? Is there anything that could be construed as not on the up and up and if so, why didn't Emanuel report the conversation to the Feds? Did Rahmbo make a counter offer to one of Blago's bribes?

Emanuel, as reported on AT, still refuses to talk to the press which only leads to speculation that the Obama camp may be at a loss as to how to square the president-elect's statements about his staff never having spoken to Blago about the senate seat with Emanuel's taped conversations about that very subject.

It also makes his promise to get a list of staffers who talked to Blago's people a sham. He almost certainly knows exactly who has been in contact with Blagojevich at this point. If not, we might start wondering what kind of executive he is when he allows his staff to run off on their own tangents without informing him.

Maybe the Obama team is hoping this will all just go away. Don't bet on it because it will all surface again when those tapes begin to leak - as they almost surely will. At that point, we'll see if Emanuel is avoiding the press because of his guilt or because they can't find a way to spin his conversations with Blago to their advantage.