This is all my admittedly “amateur hour” attempt to fill in the gaps of knowledge about the course of events in November. I’m not saying its perfect, but I think it’s rather close to the truth.
Keep in mind this is all speculation, but it is consistent with the Fitzgerald
timeline of events, and more importantly, explains why there’s such a
hyperactive effort to deny there was any communication between the two of them
after Obama became President-Elect.
I chewed this over and did some Google researching. It’s only a matter of time
before it comes out that Obama met with Blagojevich on Nov 5th (CBS in Chicago
already reported it) for the EXPRESS purpose of pushing the Governor into
appointing Valerie Jarrett. It is my speculation (and I freely concede it is
speculation) that either at that meeting directly to Obama or VERY shortly
thereafter to an Obama surrogate, Blagojevich communicated to Obama the “cost”
for appointing Jarrett. It is likely, based on the timeline that Fitzgerald
released, that Team Obama seriously considered the request, but ultimately
rejected it. It was only at THAT point that the Governor started referring to
Obama as an MF’er. It is also likely that Jarrett was made aware of the
Governor’s demands and how this put Obama is a difficult position, and that’s
why Jarrett withdrew.
- Why did Obama (or his team) take the time to consider the request?
Barack Obama “owes” Jarrett, in the sense that she helped Michelle Obama get a
key job way back in the day, shortly before the Obamas married. It is VERY
naive to think that once Obama had a clear lead in the polls heading into
Election Day, there was not already a decision made on whom Obama would
reccomend to Blagojevich as his successor. Remember, it’s already a matter of
public record that most of Obama’s major Cabinet appointment decisions were
made 2 weeks before the Election. I can’t believe the issue of who would fill
Obama’s U.S. Senate seat would go untouched in that timeframe. Ultimately,
Obama appointed Jarrett to a sub-cabinet position and appointed a Blagojevich
aide to be her personal Chief of Staff.
- Why didn’t Obama immediately report the solicitation to the authorities?
Well, first of all, they took their time considering the request. Secondly,
Obama has been around Illinois long enough to know that its a bit of a cesspool
and that the sort of things Blagojevich were requesting were too high a price
to be paid, but that also it was just the game that was commonly played. I
can’t believe this is the first time Obama has encountered corruption in
Illionois. Plus, I’m sure there was some of the whole “Democrats don’t squeal
on fellow Democrats.” philosophy that has been around IL for ages.
I know that may come as a stunner to those of you who believed Obama was “post
- Why did Obama deny speaking with Blagojevich way back in early November during
his first major press conference as President-Elect?
Honestly, I don’t believe it was because Obama felt worried about exposing the
encounter or were worried about illegalities. I believe Team Obama was in
“serious consideration” mode at the time about paying off Blagojevich for
Jarrett. I think Obama was FAR more worried about it coming out that he had an
interest in making his personal friend become a U.S. Senator and being hit with
a “cronyism” argument from Republicans.
Okay. That’s my story. If anyone feels like I’m wrong on my theory, feel
free to tear it apart, but please at least state WHY you’re doing so and
try to provide an alternative scenario that matches Fitzgerald’s timeline, as
well as political reality in Illinois.