COMMENTS: Obama Gave Blagojevich the Silent Treatment

The Illinois political corruption probe was Story of the Day for the third day in a row as the state's former senator, now President-elect, spoke out publicly about the state's indicted governor. Barack Obama waived any presumption of innocence as he called himself "appalled and disappointed" at Rod Blagojevich and publicly called on him to resign. Obama categorically denied that his office was involved "in any dealmaking around my Senate seat." NBC and CBS both led from Chicago while ABC turned to the ailing economy as layoffs get worse and worse.

"Dysfunctional" was the way NBC's Lee Cowan described Chicago's political culture. "It would not be unusual for not only Obama staffers, but Obama himself, to discuss his replacement with the governor," ABC's Jake Tapper pointed out--but it turns out the President-elect never talked about it. CBS' Dean Reynolds saw hints in the federal prosecutor's affidavit against Blagojevich that officials of the Service Employees Union, which supported both governor and senator, could have been "possible conduits" and he pointed to Rahm Emanuel, the incoming White House Chief of Staff, as a "veteran of Chicago politics and past associate of Blagojevich." NBC's Savannah Guthrie talked to "political observers" and concluded that "as good Democrats, Obama and Blagojevich endorsed each other in general election campaigns but sometimes backed others in primaries--and had a tense relationship."

"There is a lot of people giving the governor the silent treatment," NBC's Cowan concluded. "Take Blagojevich's father-in-law Richard Mell, a longtime alderman." He called their family feud "much like the Hatfields and McCoys." Mell is "so at odds with Blagojevich he now rarely speaks to his own daughter Patti," the First Lady of Illinois.


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