Posted by: Dark Defender | December 10, 2008

Blago-Rama

The One shines his light on Blago.

The One shines his light on Blago.

 

I read this and felt the need to post it.  This is the best run down of the politics and behind the scenes maneuvering Ive seen yet for the Blago scandal.  His list of political effects in particular I thought was spot on:

1. The underbelly of the Obama political operation, with all its Chicago tints and taints, is now fair game for reporters looking for a story.

2. Obama will not control a news cycle for a while — maybe until Christmas.

3. David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel (and Valerie Jarrett and Andy Stern, and especially Senate Candidate 5) will cringe with every BlackBerry vibration as Blagojevich and his chief of staff are pressed to name names by a no-BS prosecutor.

4. The culture of corruption has put its home on the market and is well into the process of moving to the other side of the aisle.

5. The most open and transparent transition in American history just by necessity got more closed and opaque.

6. Obama’s still-cautious political enemies have what they need to advance the story: a contradiction(and one involving no less an eminence than Axelrod).

In particular I think #1 has the potential to haunt The One.  The bribery scandal reminds me for some reason of Vince Foster’s suicide.  You rememberVince Foster don’t you?

He was a partner with Hillary at the Rose Law Firm back in Arkansas and came with the Clinton’s to Washington in 1992.  Sadly he couldn’t handle it and after bungling the vetting of a series of appointments, he ended up killing himself shortly after irregularities at the Clinton White House Travel Office became public.  In the aftermath of his suicide Hillary personally went through his office before the police, kicking off File gate.  Foster was also deeply involved in White Water and other Arkansas scandals that followed Clinton to Washington.

Whew ok.  So after that long ass explanation what is the point? 

I think Foster and Blago are similar in that really they are stories of personal failings and incompetence.  Clinton and Obama aren’t really the center of the scandal, certainly in the Blago case there is no indication Obama has personally done anything wrong (though his staff well have to see).  Yet I think this is going to stick at least to some extent to Obama, how much will depend on how he deals with it, but I think it will stick. 

Why? Because its an important interesting story, it tells a story people are desperate to know:  Who is Barack Obama? Having gone through the longest yet least informative election campaign to date, we are left with a President elect that no one can honestly say has a well developed plan for the country (beyond “Change”).  Blago however lets us get a glimpse of The One’s roots, it lets us see who he has been his friends and enemies in his career so far, it lets us see the political machine he came up through to achieve his current position.

Its possible the tale we learn from this story will be very positive for Obama, maybe we will learn how he kept himself clean of corruption while working for a corrupt political machine. 

Maybe not. 

Perhaps, it will support the narrative we’ve already seen formed by Obama’s life.  The story of the ambitious man who paled around with a former terrorist (are you ever really a former terrorist?) for political advantage and sat silently in the pews for years while the man who married him and baptised his children spewed out racist bile week after week from the pulpit.

Were going to have to buckle up and see what the story turns out to be, but I think we will actually get to learn something about our new President’s history.  The media, perhaps feeling guilty and wanting to reclaim some of their lost credibility has finally decided The One’s past is no longer off limits.  A couple of months ago, six months ago, a year or two years ago ikewould have been better but hey better late than never.  We will have to wait and see if this new non-fawning media lasts but for now, go them!

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