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   Blagojevich's corruption: a warning for Democrats

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News Date

12/11/2008 10:40 pm

Author

Media

Los Angeles Times

Category

News

Database Record

Entered 12/11/2008, Updated 12/11/2008

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LA Times. "Blagojevich's dramatic downfall is the first big Democratic scandal story of the Obama era. Granted, Obama has yet to set foot in the Oval Office (though right now he's probably wishing his transition headquarters wasn't in Chicago). But there was no way for Obama to completely avoid comment on a scandal involving the Democratic governor of his home state -- especially when Blagojevich's downfall was integrally related to his illegal efforts to profit from Obama's success. That's not to say that the Blagojevich scandal will hurt Obama. Based on the documents released so far, Obama's looking better than ever. In fact, it was Blagojevich's inability to corrupt the Obama camp that drove the doomed and frustrated governor to a new obscenities-per-minute record. Blagojevich saw his gubernatorial right to appoint Obama's Senate successor as an opportunity that was "[expletive] golden": A Senate seat is "a [expletive] valuable thing," he explained to an advisor. And he was willing to appoint someone he imagined Obama might favor, but only if he got something lucrative in return. "I'm just not giving [the Senate seat] up for [expletive] nothing." Yet Obama, to Blagojevich's astonishment, expected him to do just that." "Given the context, Obama should consider it something of an honor to be called an unprintable name by Blagojevich. All the same, Blagojevich's downfall should be a cautionary tale for Democrats still basking in the reflected glory of Obama's win. It's a reminder that even at this magic moment of victory and party unity -- even as the Clinton lions are lying down with the Obama lambs, and as Democratic dreams of vast infrastructure investments and a renewed commitment to international diplomacy are coming true -- powerful Democrats aren't immune to human weaknesses. Idiocy and greed aren't just for Republicans. For every Larry Craig, there's an Eliot Spitzer; for every Ted Stevens, there's a Rod Blagojevich."


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