Chicago Sun-Times's 'The Rise and Fall of Rod Blagojevich' Ignores Obama's Role
Posted on the Chicago Sun-Times's Web site today is "The rise and fall of Rod Blagojevich," written by Carol Marin, the newspaper's political columnist. Illinois's former Democratic governor is heading to the Federal pen this week, and Marin writes "he had surrounded himself with con men and creeps." She names a few, most notably convicted influence peddler Tony Rezko. She ignores a man who had a substantial role in elevating Blagojevich to the governor's office, Barack Obama.
In a 2008 New Yorker accounting, Ryan Lizza wrote:
Rahm Emanuel, a congressman from Chicago and a friend of Obama’s, told me that he, Obama, David Wilhelm, who was Blagojevich’s campaign co-chair, and another Blagojevich aide were the top strategists of Blagojevich’s victory. He and Obama “participated in a small group that met weekly when Rod was running for governor,” Emanuel said. “We basically laid out the general election, Barack and I and these two.”
In June, 2002, Obama told interviewer Jeff Berkowitz:
…right now, my main focus is to make sure that we elect Rod Blagojevich as Governor, we—
Jeff Berkowitz: You working hard for Rod?
Barack Obama: You betcha.
Jeff Berkowitz: Hot Rod?
Barack Obama: That’s exactly right.
Even after Blagojevich's corruption was widely known and Federal investigations underway, Obama insisted that Blago was the right guy for the job. In August, 2006, then-Senator Obama explained to a crowd: "We've got a governor in Rod Blagojevich who has delivered consistently on behalf of the people of Illinois and for that reason I am proud to stand behind him."
Yet somehow Marin comments on the rise of Blagojevich without mentioning Barack Obama's key involvement in helping him win the the governor's mansion and then stay there. In much of the mainstream media, the game plan this election year is to protect Obama as much as possible.