Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Official: Obama wants Blagojevich Out


President-elect Barack Obama believes that Gov. Rod Blagojevich should resign, his advisers said on Wednesday. "The President-elect agrees with Lt. Gov. Quinn and many others that under the current circumstances it is difficult for the governor to effectively do his job and serve the people of Illinois," Robert Gibbs, the incoming White House press secretary, said.

On Tuesday, shortly after news of the criminal corruption complaint against Blagojevich broke, Obama said he was "saddened and sobered" by the news. But he stopped short of demanding the governor's resignation or addressing the questions that arose in the wake of Blagojevich's arrest, including how his successor to the Senate will be picked. The Obama transition team has worked to distance itself from Blagojevich, with whom relations were already strained.

Gibbs said that Obama believes the Illinois general assembly should now take control of the issue of picking a new U.S. Senator for Illinois. The assembly is expected to reconvene next week to debate whether to hold a special election to fill the seat. The assembly should "consider the issue and put in place a process to select a new senator that will have the trust and confidence of the people of Illinois," Gibbs said.

I knew that Obama would come back with a stronger stinging of Blagojevich. It is just sinking in that what this governor did is beyond the political pale. Also, this brings on nagging, lingering questions not only on Obama but on the Democratic Party and the reminder about Illinois politics and its corruption.

The sooner this story is moved from the headlines, the better for Obama and the Democrats.

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