I am starting to pay more sober attention to the Illinois corruption issue. How long can I keep laughing? The conversation on CNN last night went something like this among the pro-Obama talking heads: While the president-elect needs a do over on some of his comments (or non-comments) regarding Illinois corruption, all the Blago revelations don’t need to have a negative effect on the future president. After all, both Axelrod and Emanuel have "fallen on their swords," according to CNN, but Rep. Jesse Jackson is holding out his sword while looking for someone (other than his tough-guy self) to fall on it. Yet, Mr. Obama hasn’t said enough on the issue, even CNN admitted. On the other hand, one wag asserted, Truman was a "great president" and look at the corrupt political machine he crawled out of. I sat up for that one. You can hear the wagons circling. I am guessing that some overnight deep thinking will have persuaded the president-elect to give another great speech (see his talk on the Rev. Wright), perhaps at today’s press conference, in which he will throw not only Blago under the bus, but the whole "culture of corruption" in his state, and thereby start taking credit for the inevitable attempt clean-up. It may work. Worth watching and listening to because this will be the first time--coming a little sooner than his folks thought probable--he will be talking to a skeptical and semi-antagonistic press corps. The folks at Politico
have Seven Questions for Mr. Obama, while John Fund has some observations about how quiet Obama was during the campaign about Chicago-Illinois corruption. I like this line from Fund: "What remains to be seen is whether this episode will put an end to what Chicago Tribune political columnist John Kass calls the national media’s ’almost willful’ fantasy that Mr. Obama and Chicago’s political culture have little to do with each other. Mr. Kass notes that the media devoted a lot more time and energy to investigating the inner workings of Sarah Palin’s Wasilla, Alaska, than it has looking at Mr. Obama’s Chicago connections." Ouch.