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Nov. 5 news story reports that Obama was to meet with Blagojevich that day to discuss Senate replacement.

From Katie Granju's comments and Instapundit comes a link to this Nov. 5 news story, reporting that "[Obama]'s meeting with Governor Rod Blagojevich this afternoon in Chicago to discuss" his Senate replacement.

If Obama is telling the truth, then this Nov. 5 story is wrong:

Who will fill Obama's senate seat?: Ill. governor meeting with Obama today

By Carol Sowers

Wednesday, November 05, 2008 at 10:39 a.m.

CHICAGO, ILL. — Now that Barack Obama will be moving to the White House, his seat in the U.S. Senate representing Illinois will have to be filled.

That's one of Obama's first priorities today.

He's meeting with Governor Rod Blagojevich this afternoon in Chicago to discuss it.

Illinois law states that the governor chooses that replacement. . . .

It's likely the governor will make his decision quickly so the new senator will get some seniority before newly-elected senators take office in January.

Part of the timing depends on when Obama officially vacates his senate seat.

UPDATE: In a quick Westlaw review of news stories, I can't find any support for the Nov. 5 news story quoted above. Indeed, on Nov. 5 Blagojevich held a news conference at which he said that he had not yet talked with Obama. Here is the AP version:

Blagojevich said some candidates reached out to him before the election and his administration would seek out others who could be a good choice. He also wants Obama's input.

"That would have obviously a great deal of weight on the decision that I would make," Blagojevich said.

He said he has not yet spoken to Obama, whose timeline for resigning his Senate seat was unclear Wednesday.

If Blagojevich were meeting with Obama a few hours after his news conference on Nov. 5, it would have been odd not to mention it, or at least hint in that direction.

My tentative conclusion is the same as I expressed yesterday (and hinted above): Obama is telling the truth when he says that he has not talked to Blagojevich about his Senate seat, but he is not ruling out staff discussions.

2d UPDATE: Ed Morrissey has more.

3d UPDATE: TV station KHQA has issued this release:

KHQA TV wishes to offer clarification regarding a story that appeared last month on our website ConnectTristates.com. The story, which discussed the appointment of a replacement for President Elect Obama in the U.S. Senate, became the subject of much discussion on talk radio and on blog sites Wednesday.

The story housed in our website archive was on the morning of November 5, 2008. It suggested that a meeting was scheduled later that day between President Elect Obama and Illinois Governor Blagojevich. KHQA has no knowledge that any meeting ever took place. Governor Blagojevich did appear at a news conference in Chicago on that date.

This statement doesn't say why they thought there would be a meeting or whether a meeting was scheduled for that day.

finman:
The interesting story is not that Obama appears to be lying, but rather that our perceptions about reality are wrong. That Obama is always right is an axiom, not a testable hypothesis. Have you still not realized this?
12.10.2008 2:32pm
David Matthews (mail):
And an update on November 8 claims the meeting actually took place:
Link
12.10.2008 2:32pm
Mr. Mandias (mail) (www):
I'm thinking that by tomorrow the statement that Mr. Obama had not met with Mr. Bladafdasfdjasd will no longer be operative. Then won't you look silly?
12.10.2008 2:52pm
anon345 (mail):
I'm betting by tomorrow that there will be a correction to that news story, but Jim won't care. He'll just move on to the next set of innuendo. Undermine, undermine, undermine.
12.10.2008 2:54pm
No Sarcasm Intended (mail):
Anyone seeking to associate Obama with anything that is tainted should be blacklisted, their livelihood should be taken from them and they should be spit upon and thrown to the dogs.

Righteousness itself is at stake. No quarter should be given.
12.10.2008 2:55pm
David Matthews (mail):
"innuendo"

You might want to look up the meaning of that word. Citing news stories is not "innuendo."
12.10.2008 2:57pm
Anderson (mail):
Interesting. We'll have to hear from the Obama camp on this.
12.10.2008 2:58pm
D.A.:
David Matthews,
That update proves nothing. It's the same story as Nov. 5th, only rephrased into the past tense.
12.10.2008 2:59pm
M. Simon (mail) (www):
It was not the same Blagojevich I used to know.
12.10.2008 3:00pm
anon345 (mail):
I like Jim's, maybe or maybe not a pig-f***er, style. "if Obama is telling the truth, then this Nov. 5 story is wrong." Because he really cares about the accuracy of that story and WANTS a correction immediately.
12.10.2008 3:03pm
Alan K. Henderson (mail) (www):
Who will fill Obama's senate seat?

Hey, that could be a game show.
12.10.2008 3:18pm
Al Maviva:
I'm sure that story is a pre-emptive lie planted on the web by Republicans to smear Obama, using their pet prosecutor (who protected everybody but Scooter Libby) Mr. Fitzgerald. Who believes the story anyhow? After all, aren't conservatives the ones always saying that you can't believe what you read in the newspapers? In the Presumptive President's defense, it was a long time ago and he was busy right after the election. Maybe he doesn't remember who he met with about the Senate seat. The story is probably in error or fabricated. Plus, if it is withdrawn or altered, it will prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the meeting never happened.

'Tis true, I don't believe a word of that but I suppose the usual suspects will be (quite predictably) mouthing those talking points on the evening news/scream shows for a while. Anon 345 just got into the act with a slightly menacing premonition - well done, Anon! Bonus points for creepy - and I bet you objected to the nutroots' 8 year effort to undermine Bush, eh? Meanwhile, the Anne Coulters of the world can drop out of Bush Defense Mode and start into Anti-Clinton Conspiracy Fulmination Mode, release 2.0, or alternately Obama Derangement Syndrome, Beta.

Wow, another 4 years of this shrieking partisan insanity? This is going to be great.
12.10.2008 3:19pm
lonetown (mail):
Did you miss the Nov 8 story?

By Alexis Hunt
Saturday, November 08, 2008 at 9:48 p.m.


QUINCY, IL -- Now that Barack Obama will be moving to the White House, his seat in the U.S. Senate representing Illinois will have to be filled.

Obama met with Governor Rod Blagojevich earlier this week to discuss it. Illinois law states that the governor chooses that replacement.
12.10.2008 3:19pm
Closet Libertarian (www):
I think the senate seat should go on ebay:

Bid on this incredible $160,000 job. You get free health care and a generous pension after only 5 years.

This of the money you could make selling your votes. Just be sure to keep all the evidence in your Senate office.
12.10.2008 3:23pm
donaldk2 (mail):
Moderator - when are you going to can the troll anon345?
12.10.2008 3:27pm
Johnny Canuck (mail):
so, was alexis hunt lazy- didn't check whether meeting had taken place but made assumption that Carol Sowers Nov 5th report of a meeting to occur must have occurred? Where is the rest of the MSM in reporting the prospective meeting and the aftermath of the meeting?
12.10.2008 3:29pm
Nunzio:
If Obama said yesterday he didn't talk with Blago since the election, then that should probably end it.

Obama is not dumb. It's so easy to prove he did speak with him, that he wouldn't say he didn't unless it was true.
12.10.2008 3:32pm
A.W. (mail) (www):
Jim,

Um, LGF has alot more on this, including a governor's annoucement.

Besides, I would say it would be pretty surprising if they didn't have a discussion. And, bluntly, i would have assumed nothing nefarious happened... until he started denying that it happened. A coverup suggests a crime.

Follow my url to the LGF link.

Btw, thought question. Why is this website sending its stories down the memory hole. its one thing if they CORRECT their stories, but they are not. they are making them disappear.
12.10.2008 3:33pm
Al Maviva:
You're onto something there Canuck. Hunt and Sowers are just local television reporters. If news of this meeting wasn't chronicled in the chronicle that chronicles our times, the NY Times, it really didn't occur. Since Obama denied having a meeting, I think it's safe to call for the firing of Hunt and Sowers - if that is, in fact, their real names - for not confirming whether a meeting actually occured. Personally I'd check the typeface on their stories - I don't think the 12 pitch Times MT typeface used in their stories was even invented in November, 2008... And you see, the fact these stories have now disappeared, *proves* that no meeting ever took place, and in fact makes me question whether they even existed in the first place. Anon345 isn't a troll - he's a Prophet.

Mmmm. Man, that Kool Aid tastes frickin' good.
12.10.2008 3:40pm
Steve P. (mail):
Johnny — I think that's the working theory, yes. Incidentally, if Obama meets with the governor, but nobody reports on it, did it even happen?
12.10.2008 3:41pm
J. Aldridge:
Good luck finding out what BO knew and when.
12.10.2008 3:42pm
AntonK (mail):
Obama Did Discuss Senate Seat with Blagojevich: KHQA Pulls Their Articles
12.10.2008 3:46pm
24AheadDotCom (mail) (www):
Meanwhile, from an Illinois state publication, here's a photo of BHO and Blago "conferring". It might have been an older photo put into their publication just out of puffery, or it might have been from sometime in early November.
12.10.2008 3:46pm
Conrad Bibby (mail):
This whole thing is looking like a huge mess for Obama, even assuming he did nothing wrong. The reason is, as people discussed yesterday, there isn't a HUGE difference between what Blago was doing and what politicians do every day. Blago clearly crossed the line into criminality by holdinjg out for personal lucre, but the basic idea of political horse-trading is something of a time-honored tradition, even if it looks cheap and tawdry to a lot of voters.

Let's say Obama and his people fully intended to have a freewheeling discussion with Blago over the appointment, expecting he may be looking for something in return for appointing Obama's favorite. The "something", however, wouldn't be cash, a job for Blago, or anything else that would shock the conscience of a U.S. attorney. Obama really had no sense of how Blago was trying to turn the matter into an auction worthy of Ebay.

Continuing with this supposition, let's say Obama or his people finally realize that Blago is out of control. So they pull back.

Now Fitzy brings criminal charges against Blago and uses the sale of the Senate apptment as the centerpiece. Blago's defense is probably going to defend on the theory that this was all talk, first of all, and second, that the talk was really of a kind that politicians engage in all the time. "Horse-trading." If you criminalize what he did, which didn't even result in a deal with anyone, where do you draw the line? What do you do with (for a hypothetical example) a promise by Obama to help HRC retire her campaign debt in exchange for her accepting the SoS post?

Any discussions Obama or his people had with Blago and his folks presumably will be of interest to the Blago defense team, just to show that this is what politicians do. This suggests he's going to get sucked into it at some level.

Obama's first choice in all of this would be to climb into a time machine and simply have nothing to do with Blago and his senate appointment. Obviously, that's no longer an option. Plan B may be to come forward with chapter and verse on every meeting and phone call that either he or his representatives had with Blago or his staff, just to show it was all on the up and up. The problem here is twofold. First, those dealings may in fact look sort of seedy, just as Blago's lawyers would suspect, especially for a hope-and-changey post-partisan like BHO. Second, and more important, we live in an age where people like Martha Steward and Libby Scooter are routinely sentenced to prison for getting their facts wrong when dealing with investigators, even if they're not guilty of the crimes under investigation. Obama probably can't, as a practical matter, put everything out there in encyclopedic fashion without creating some potential criminal liability that doesn't otherwise now exist.

I think this all leaves him in a potentially tough spot. He's almost forced to play defense -- a defense not unlike the rope-a-dope. He can't really be that proactive for fear of making a mistake. He's left with giving vague, non-answers to press inquiries and awaiting the inevitable day when prosecutors and Blago's lawyers start taking depositions. When that happens, it's entirely foreseeable that either side, the prosecutors or Blago's attys, will be prepared to portray Obama or his people in a negative light based on their role in the matter.
12.10.2008 3:47pm
donaldk2 (mail):
I would be very much surprised if they had not met, let us imagine, at the victory party. I also figure that no business would have been discussed.

Scene in Mr. Obama's office, December 8 or 9 or 10:

Emanuel: We've been hearing from His Rodship.

Obama: I don't even want to hear about it.

Of course they would not have tried to keep him in the dark.
Mr. Obama is more than smart enough to know how to handle this.
12.10.2008 3:47pm
Kerem Oner (mail):
Face it America. You bought a pig-in-a-poke, and now, to quote a famous reverend, America's chickens are coming home to roost. Congratulations for making the third world banana republic list America.
12.10.2008 3:49pm
commontheme (mail):
I just can't wait for the election to be over so this petty partisanship will cease.
12.10.2008 3:52pm
Johnny Canuck (mail):
Al Maviva: Actually, I assumed it would be the Chicago papers that would all want to cover every possible speculation about who new IL senator might be. Even other Ill press.
12.10.2008 3:53pm
BGates:
Obama's first choice in all of this would be to climb into a time machine and simply have nothing to do with Blago and his senate appointment.
He could do it, too. Of course, he's so selfless, he'd probably just use it to stop the increasingly horrific series of terrorist attacks on American cities after Sept 11, 2001.
...which he must have just done! I love our new leader!
12.10.2008 3:56pm
Sarcastro (www):
People keep saying this is bad for Obama, but no one really says why.

My theory is that Blagojevich is Obama's real father, hence the whole Birth Certificate hiding thing.
12.10.2008 3:59pm
Johnny Canuck (mail):
commontheme:I just can't wait for the election to be over so this petty partisanship will cease.

You don't have long to wait, it will be over in 4, er 8 years.
12.10.2008 4:00pm
AntonK (mail):
The Proof.

'nuff said...
12.10.2008 4:01pm
SaraM:
The link in the post connects to no article. I think, if youhave any integrety, you should update that.
12.10.2008 4:07pm
Rock On:
So AntonK, the proof is... that Blagojevich held a press conference later in the day where he said that he hadn't talked to Obama? Yes, that's some proof.

I would have figured that maybe the nutjob conspiracy theories would stop between the election and inauguration. But, nope, here they are again.
12.10.2008 4:09pm
Abdul Abulbul Amir (mail):

It is hard to imagine that BHO would not nake a suggestion to Blago regarding the appointment. He would have every reason to do so, and no apparent reason not to.
12.10.2008 4:11pm
JerryT (mail):
Wouldn't it be nice if just one of these particular birds came home to rest?
12.10.2008 4:13pm
Joe Bingham (mail):
commontheme,

You think distaste for being lied to is a Republican trait?
12.10.2008 4:18pm
Sarcastro (www):
I have no doubt continued attacks on Obama will totally make the GOP more and more mainstream!

And legitimate criticisms of Obama will be easily accepted when they come after a long line of baseless, frothing speculation! I know I will look all the more trustingly on AntonK's evidence after I heard he already expects (hopes?) for Obama to be impeached.

Viva la resistance!
12.10.2008 4:18pm
Johnny Canuck (mail):
November 6, Chicago sun-times
Saying he had no favorite candidate yet, Blagojevich said he has not spoken to Obama about the matter but would give "a great deal of weight" to the recommendations the president-elect might make.

It would be logical for Obama and the Gov to discuss the matter, maybe they intended to, some media presumed it happened, no one at the time would have any reason to correct reports. Hard to see tho, why the governor would say he has not spoken to Obama if he did.
12.10.2008 4:19pm
ST:
I read the Governor was not even present at the victory party.
12.10.2008 4:21pm
MQuinn:
As mentioned above, the stories alleging that Obama met with Blago have been pulled.

Some above have argued that the deletion of these stories is not evidence that Obama &Blago did not meet, which is true. However, many above are basing their argument that Obama &Blago met on these now-deleted stories, and now that these stories have been deleted, there is no evidence that Obama &Blago met, and thus there is no reason to believe that they met.

AntonK,
The website that you linked to is shockingly dishonest. It proffers as proof of the meeting a press conference at which Blago congratulated Obama. It doesn't even take a close reading of the website to realize that that is no proof at all.
12.10.2008 4:22pm
Johnny Canuck (mail):
Sarcastro: You shouldn't keep giving Obama's permanent opposition your bright ideas. They may accept them for 2012, reducing internet conversation by 90%.
12.10.2008 4:24pm
Johnny Canuck (mail):
MQuinn:However, many above are basing their argument that Obama &Blago met on these now-deleted stories, and now that these stories have been deleted, there is no evidence that Obama &Blago met, and thus there is no reason to believe that they met.

This is where you are so wrong. The deletion of the stories increases the strength of their belief and is itself evidence because it demonstrates Obama's power to cause the media to self-censor.
12.10.2008 4:27pm
Al Maviva:
Have been pulled

Well, not this one, which states
Obama met with Governor Rod Blagojevich earlier this week to discuss it.


That will be pulled pretty soon though, and when it does get pulled we can all insist it never existed and make fun of Jim for working so hard to undermine the Obama presidency based on foul innuendo and baseless right wing lies.
12.10.2008 4:30pm
Sarcastro (www):
Johnny Canuck Even if they could somehow reconnect to the reality based community, they could never resist their addiction to righteous anger.
12.10.2008 4:36pm
Anon21:
It shouldn't really need to be said, but in all likelihood the sudden buzz around KHQA's article(s) caused their executives/producers to go back and talk to the reporter who wrote them and check whether or not the meeting actually occurred, given that no other news outlet reported this alleged meeting. The reporters came back with less-than-convincing evidence that any meeting occurred (say, information from an anonymous source in the governor's office about the possibility of a meeting in the future), and the stories were pulled to preserve the station's reputation (such as it is).

The linking to the governor's press release is preposterously tendentious and completely misleading. I particularly enjoyed LGF's attempt: give the headline, and trust that no one will bother to click on the link and actually read the press release, which clearly deflates any notion of an actual meeting. Indeed, Blagojevich doesn't even indicate in that release that he wants a meeting to occur, or that he has any reason to believe that such a meeting will occur. I suppose it's a pretty safe assumption on Charles Johnson's part that his regular readers won't bother to even do a cursory check of his version of events, but it really works less well when people without a vested interest in believing the worst about Obama read the post.
12.10.2008 4:42pm
Calderon:

Some above have argued that the deletion of these stories is not evidence that Obama &Blago did not meet, which is true. However, many above are basing their argument that Obama &Blago met on these now-deleted stories, and now that these stories have been deleted, there is no evidence that Obama &Blago met, and thus there is no reason to believe that they met.


(Must not make Stalin show trial reference; must not make Stalin show trial reference; must not make Stalin show trial reference)
12.10.2008 4:43pm
cgb:
I simply cannot believe that Obama would issue the "no contact" statement if he had met with Blago. He's smart enough to know that would be extremely damaging. I would not be at all surprised if someone on Obama's staff has . . . but that's perfectly consistent with Obama's statement.
12.10.2008 4:46pm
Stuey:
So the only evidence that they met are retracted stories, and speculation that they must have dicussed it.

It's not like either of them had anything else to do this past month but discuss this. I mean just because the tape recordings of the Governor never once mention meeting with Obama to discuss this, that does not mean anything! This is the Governor, after all, whom Obama barred from adressing at the Democratic National Convention and did not invite to his Grant Park victory. Nonethless, the very next day they are going to rush into each others arms to discuss this, because they have nothing else going on. Right?
12.10.2008 4:53pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
cgb
You may be right, except that O is an organization. What his people do is important. To say he didn't do it in such a way as to imply it didn't happen is both dishonest and likely to bite him.
12.10.2008 4:55pm
Lior:
SaraM: the news stories were removed by KHCA after links to them started circulating in the blogosphere. The links were live when originally posted to this blog.
12.10.2008 4:55pm
Anonperson (mail):
It completely amazes me that LGF would offer as proof of a meeting a press release about a press conference. Even more amazing is that none of the commenters even noticed that the press release didn't say that Blago discussed the appointment with Obama, but rather discussed it at a press conference.
12.10.2008 4:56pm
MJH21 (mail):
I'm probably not breaking any new ground here, but it seems improbable that the President Elect - who had apparently told some people that he wanted a particular person to get his Senate seat - would not have either talked to or met with the governor who was going to make that pick. There is nothing untoward about that, in fact, I'd be surprised -- though not shocked -- if they hadn't called or met to talk about it. It is however, inconceivable to me that senior people on Obama's weren't in discussions with Blago about the upcoming decision he was going to make. Again, nothing untoward about that, but it seems almost impossible to me that Obama's statement that he was "not aware of what was happening" with Blago and the senate seat could be true.

Even if Obama were given the benefit of the "we were not, I was not aware of what was happening" slip of the tongue, the second part almost cannot possibly be true: that Obama was kept in the dark about Blago wanting favors of some kind in exchange for the seat. It's also completely inconsistent with Blago's transcript saying "they're not willing to give me anything except appreciation. Fuck them.'" He couldn't have known that but for contact with someone senior in Team Obama.

I don't know -- and strongly suspect otherwise -- that anyone associated with Obama did anything untoward with Blago. But the President-elect was under the best possible view of his statement -- being very slippery, if not simply lying when he says he "was not aware" of what was going on.
12.10.2008 5:07pm
Elliot123 (mail):

"I did not have discussion with that governor. Mr. Blagojevich."
12.10.2008 5:13pm
MQuinn:
Calderon,

You have an interesting view of the world, I must say. I am merely pointing out that the only reason to believe that Obama and Blago met was this news article, which has now been removed. Thus, the sensible thing to do is to be skeptical of those that nonetheless suggest that the meeting took place. Yet, you refuse to take the sensible route. Instead, you accuse me of being unrealistic via a childish taunt. It seems to me that your hatred of Obama has not been justified by the evidence and thus you are lashing out.
12.10.2008 5:15pm
anon345 (mail):
Maybe I wasn't the only one to call the station and ask them straight up if the reports were accurate.
12.10.2008 5:17pm
anon345 (mail):
If I was the only one, then shame on everyone who was trying to use this as "proof". It took less than 90 seconds from google to hanging up the phone at the end of the voice mail.
12.10.2008 5:19pm
flyerhawk:
So the scandal is whether Obama goofed when he said that he didn't meet with Blago. Not that he was involved in any crimes. Not that he was involved in any unethical.

It's all about whether he can be caught in a LIE!!!!!! Let's get him!
12.10.2008 5:21pm
MJH21 (mail):
Flyerhawk,

It is about whether he lied. And if he did: Why?
12.10.2008 5:24pm
lonetown (mail):
MQuin,
The most powerful man in the world (elect) would not discuss his replacement.

Its incomprehensible.

You'd have to be a nitwit to believe it.
12.10.2008 5:25pm
Anon21:
It's also completely inconsistent with Blago's transcript saying "they're not willing to give me anything except appreciation. Fuck them.'" He couldn't have known that but for contact with someone senior in Team Obama.

No, it certainly is not inconsistent. All it says is that Blagojevich wasn't delusional enough to think he could shake the President-Elect down. He was raging against that reality in private, with his trusted advisers.

As to how likely it is that Obama met with Blagojevich--you have to remember, Obama is really fucking busy. Not only is he sorting out who he wants to name to various important posts, and how his governing agenda is going to take shape, he's also getting brought up to speed on lots of classified information, and to top it off he's been active in the negotiations over the Big Three bailout. And he's going to make time to talk about this safe Senate seat, which is definitely, 100% going to a liberal Democrat who will be a reliable vote for his agenda, and who will be up for re-election in two years anyway? I mean, he certainly could have, but I doubt it was anywhere in his top 100 priorities; if the meeting had occurred, it would essentially have been a courtesy. Neither a post-election meeting between Obama and Blagojevich nor the absence of such a meeting would surprise me in the slightest. Given that Obama has denied that such a meeting took place, and in absence of any credible evidence that such a meeting did take place, I'm comfortable concluding that there was no meeting.
12.10.2008 5:28pm
StanK:
MJH21: Your argument and charge of lying rests on the fact that Obama would have been truthful, if he would have inserted that he did not have personal awareness. Uncharitable interpretation, indeed.
12.10.2008 5:28pm
MJH21 (mail):
StanK,

No. I said he is either being slippery when saying he "was not aware" or that lying about it. If he had said: "I have not discussed this matter with him" - then no story. But saying he "was not aware" that Blago was asking for tit-for-tat invites scrutiny because it is not believable.
12.10.2008 5:34pm
StanK:
And the basis you have for saying that what he meant was, he was not aware that Blago was asking for tit for tat, is what? Why not beleive that he was saying that he was not aware that the Governor was hatching a criminal scheme, as detailed in the indictment.
12.10.2008 5:43pm
cgb:
One last thing.

If Obama's staff had discussions with Blago RE the replacement Senator, it behooves Obama to make that clear. Making it clear will not be very damaging (unless the contacts were inappropriate). But dragging out the disclosure just makes it seem like something he wants to hide.

Of course, if it's really true that Blago has had "no contact" at all with both Obama and his staff (which I doubt is the case), then this whole thing is very, very foolish.
12.10.2008 5:46pm
MQuinn:
lonetown,

MQuin,
The most powerful man in the world (elect) would not discuss his replacement.

Its incomprehensible.

You'd have to be a nitwit to believe it.

Given the very broad manner in which you stated your proposition, I agree. However, you have failed to consider the facts of this case. Obama has systematically excluded Blago from his life. Blago was the only democratic governor not invited to speak at the democratic convention, and Obama declined Blago's request to speak at Obama's acceptance speech on November 4th. There are many other examples. It appears that Obama -- and the rest of Illinois, for that matter -- understood that Blago was bad news. Thus, it is likely that Obama wisely chose to cut Blago out of his life. There is even a strong chance that Obama was aware of the investigation into Blago's affairs, given the reports that Emmanuel was the whistle blower. Thus, there are many, many reasons why Obama would not personally discuss this appointment w/ Blago.

Also, lonetown, it blows me away that you would base your belief that Obama is corrupt upon the wild speculation that one is a "nitwit" if one believes that Blago and Obama didn't discuss this appointment. Wow. That is a slender reed on which to rest such a powerful allegation.
12.10.2008 5:51pm
SaraM:
"SaraM: the news stories were removed by KHCA after links to them started circulating in the blogosphere. The links were live when originally posted to this blog."

I still think that calls for a correction or update to this post, if the poster has any integrity.
12.10.2008 5:58pm
SaraM:
"If Obama's staff had discussions with Blago RE the replacement Senator, it behooves Obama to make that clear. Making it clear will not be very damaging (unless the contacts were inappropriate). But dragging out the disclosure just makes it seem like something he wants to hide."

Why? The prosecuter does not want them disclosing everything. Indeed, to do so could impede the investigation - a criminal act.
12.10.2008 6:02pm
Calderon:

You have an interesting view of the world, I must say. I am merely pointing out that the only reason to believe that Obama and Blago met was this news article, which has now been removed. Thus, the sensible thing to do is to be skeptical of those that nonetheless suggest that the meeting took place. Yet, you refuse to take the sensible route. Instead, you accuse me of being unrealistic via a childish taunt. It seems to me that your hatred of Obama has not been justified by the evidence and thus you are lashing out.


I don't hate Obama at all; I just hate bad and illogical arguments. Saying that because these news article were removed (with no explanation of why) and so we should pretend that they never existed and that their reporting must automatically be untrue fits that bill.

As far as other evidence, Axelrod said they had met, and only reversed himself after the Blago was indicted. Jim Lindgren in another post explained circumstantial evidence that pointed to a meeting between Obama (or Obama's staff) and Rod in early November. There may very well be good and convincing reasons for why the paper was wrong or why Axelrod was wrong in November or for Prof. Lindgren's timeline to have a different explanation, but I haven't seen them yet.
12.10.2008 6:05pm
newsreader:
I still think that calls for a correction or update to this post, if the poster has any integrity.


KHQA Clarification:
KHQA TV wishes to offer clarification regarding a story that appeared last month on our website ConnectTristates.com. The story, which discussed the appointment of a replacement for President Elect Obama'in the U.S. Senate, became the subject of much discussion on talk radio and on blog sites Wednesday.

The story housed in our website archive was on the morning of November 5, 2008. It suggested that a meeting was scheduled later that day between President Elect Obama and Illinois Governor Blagojevich. KHQA has no knowledge that any meeting ever took place. Governor Blagojevich did appear at a news conference in Chicago on that date.


(Emphasis added.)
12.10.2008 6:06pm
Uh_Clem (mail):
Hook. Line. Sinker.

That is all.
12.10.2008 6:06pm
Nick056:
It'll be interesting to see how this develops. But since no matter what happens, Obama's not about to be implicated in wrong-doing, attempts to catch him in a lie won't come off very well. the Clinton comparisons in particular are odious, given that Clinton was at least, you know, implicated in scandals.
12.10.2008 6:15pm
cgb:

If I was the only one, then shame on everyone who was trying to use this as "proof". It took less than 90 seconds from google to hanging up the phone at the end of the voice mail.


@ anon345: Now, now, it's a time-honored tradition on the internet to post first and ask questions later.

Shame, shame? This is a blog. Blogs post about things they see, often in support of a viewpoint. Are you really shaming the whole internet blogosphere, or simply the anti-Obama part of it?

Partisan hypocrisy is on full display here.
12.10.2008 6:18pm
Angus:
I see that now we no longer wait until someone gets inaugurated to start the politics of personal destruction against them.
12.10.2008 6:26pm
LM (mail):
MJH21:

It is about whether he lied. And if he did: Why?

(And if he didn't...?) How many times do I have to ask you, why did he lie?
12.10.2008 6:30pm
IL Resident (mail):
I have posted this before, but it hasn't sunk in for some of you who don't have any familiarity with Illinois politics--Blago and Obama aren't friends.
12.10.2008 6:30pm
anon345 (mail):
Nope, shame on Jim, might be a pig-f****r, Lindgren who posted first and then did research. He only posted it to stir the pot, since the implication of an incorrect story by KTHA are trivial, but the implication of Obama misspeaking or lying is much greater. He really wanted that to be true and saw no downside to basically throwing BS at the Conspiracy audience hoping it might stick. How stupid did he think Obama is? Did he think that after Axelrod had already issued a denial of his Nov. 23 statement that Obama was going to be caught in denying a face-to-face meeting that verifiably happened. The contempt that shows for Obama and his audience is enormous.
12.10.2008 6:31pm
MQuinn:
Calderon,

Saying that because these news article were removed (with no explanation of why) and so we should pretend that they never existed and that their reporting must automatically be untrue fits that bill.

Well, I'd say that KHQA's retraction of this story pretty much eliminates your argument.

As far as other evidence, Axelrod said they had met, and only reversed himself after the Blago was indicted. Jim Lindgren in another post explained circumstantial evidence that pointed to a meeting between Obama (or Obama's staff) and Rod in early November. There may very well be good and convincing reasons for why the paper was wrong or why Axelrod was wrong in November or for Prof. Lindgren's timeline to have a different explanation, but I haven't seen them yet.

The key word in your passage is circumstantial. You have pointed to wildly circumstantial evidence and concluded that Obama is guilty of corruption. This is particularly troublesome in light of the fact that Lingren's timeline is nothing more than assumption upon assumption upon assumption, and that even Lingren has stated his belief that Obama didn't meet with Blago.

The fact remains that the only piece of actual evidence that directly points to a meeting between Obama and Blago is the now-retracted news story. Thus, my initial point remains -- when faced with a lack of evidence in favor of a very heavy, powerful allegation, you nonetheless continue to believe the allegation. In other words, given a choice between a simple explanation -- Obama and Blago didn't meet -- and a complex explanation -- Obama and Blago met and now both Blago and Obama are covering it up -- you have opted for the complex explanation despite a lack of evidence to support it. You simply have no reason to hold the belief that you hold.
12.10.2008 6:35pm
LM (mail):
Sarcastro:

Johnny Canuck Even if they could somehow reconnect to the reality based community, they could never resist their addiction to righteous anger.

But it's the addiction to righteous anger that cuts the cord to reality. That's the beauty of deterministic narratives. They're as self-fueling as they're self-validating.
12.10.2008 6:40pm
Left_Wing_Lock:
So to summarize, we either have to believe that politicians are lying or that the main stream media simply makes things up. Wow! That is a really tough call.
12.10.2008 6:52pm
Wiser:
Silliness abounds while Obama's approval goes up.

Obama said on Dec 9, "I had no contact with the Governor or his office and so we were not, I was not aware of what was happening." The literal meaning of that statement is that he never had contact with the Governor in his life, and he has no awareness, whatsoever, about anything.

Everyone makes statements like this every day. But I am sure he was lying. He is an islamofacist terrorist, after all.
12.10.2008 7:11pm
Michael B (mail):
Chicago Tribune reporter Dan Mihalopoulos, Dec 8, the day prior to Blagojevich's arrest:

"Following a 90-minute audition meeting today with Gov. Rod Blagojevich, Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. said he was confident in the process the governor is using to make his choice for a Senate successor to President-elect Barack Obama."

[...]

""I am convinced that the governor has a very thoughtful process that he has put in place and is wrestling and weighing a number of issues in this enormous decision that he has to make," Jackson said. "Today, I leave confident that the governor has put in place processes and that his interview process for this position is thoughtful.""

Pro Publica, Dec. 10:

"Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s lawyer, James Montgomery Sr., said today he thinks the Chicago congressman is "Senate Candidate 5" cited in the criminal complaint against Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Montgomery said this assumption is based on a reading of the affidavit and a conversation with federal authorities.

"The FBI allegedly recorded Blagojevich as saying that an "emissary" for Candidate 5 offered to raise a million dollars for the governor in exchange for Barack Obama's Senate seat. "We were approached 'pay to play,'" the governor allegedly said. Blagojevich has the sole power to appoint Obama's successor, and Jackson was heavily lobbying for the position.

"Jackson (D-IL) held a news conference in Washington this afternoon and insisted he did not try to cut a pay-to-play deal with Blagojevich."

---------------------

"... Blago and Obama aren't friends." IL Resident

Jake Tapper:

"Mr. Obama has a relationship with Mr. Blagojevich, having not only endorsed Blagojevich in 2002 and 2006, but having served as a top adviser to the Illinois governor in his first 2002 run for the state house."
12.10.2008 7:14pm
Michael B (mail):
"But it's the addiction to righteous anger that cuts the cord to reality. That's the beauty of deterministic narratives. They're as self-fueling as they're self-validating." LM

In fact, to the contrary. To probe, to be curious, to be open-minded, etc. is not to be "deterministic".
12.10.2008 7:19pm
Sarcastro (www):
Sweet Jeebus! An endorsement AND a post as "top advisor!" This is more than friends! It's like they were lovers, sharing secret intimacies we can only dream of!

You know, I hear they were also from the same state! This really suspicious! Lets not wait for Fitzgerald to do anything, lets just start impeachemnt now!
12.10.2008 7:22pm
Sarcastro (www):
Michael B's redefinition of "To probe, to be curious, to be open-minded" as "to try in the court of right wing opinion" is pretty useful, if a bit rhetorically ungainly.
12.10.2008 7:23pm
Nick056:
The fact that Obama's going to skate away from another Chicago big without being implicated in wrong-doing must burn people who believe as an article of faith that there has got to be a there there. I mean: Ayers! Rezko! Blago! Financial transactions, endorsements, board-sittings! Don't tell me there's nothing wrong there!

For myself, I'll entertain, until shown otherwise, the doubtless foolhardy delusion that Oama has avoided implication in wrong doing not out of genius but out of a general policy of not violating the public trust.
12.10.2008 7:38pm
Michael B (mail):
A vapid sneer, Sarcastro, nothing more.
12.10.2008 7:40pm
Sarcastro (www):
[Michael B probing when you have data is one thing. Groping and speculating in the dark is nothing more than self indulgence]
12.10.2008 7:45pm
newsreader:
Case Not Closed

Ruth Mizell, the widow of former Rep. Wilmer Mizell and a volunteer for two of George H.W. Bush's campaigns, idled in her chair for a little while longer. She was frustrated that the people she'd told about this story kept blowing her off.

"I can't stand to watch Obama," Mizell said. "He looks so deceitful. I feel like it's witchcraft going all over everybody, that he's witchcrafting everybody. He doesn't say anything. He uses a lot of good words."



(Mojo added.)
(Black mojo.)
12.10.2008 8:01pm
Wiser:
Indeed, groping in the dark is wonderfully self-indugent.

But ILRes is right, no one has been political freinds with the Governor, for at least a year and a half. He joked, when the Obama seat came open, that finally people were talking to him again.
12.10.2008 8:12pm
Sarcastro (www):
Democrats knew Blago was guilty. Wanted him gone.

Story breaks. Dems not surprised. Dems happy he is gone.

Republicans celebrate and bash the Dems for hypocrisy because they are defending Blago.

Dems look on in stunned silence because nobody defends him.

Government transcripts validate Obama's side and show he wasn't involved.

Republicans celebrate the downfall of Obama because he's obviously guilty.

Dems look on in stunned silence.

Republicans celebrate that dems are freaking out because their messiah is done for and they can't handle it.

Dems look on in stunned silence.
[Source]
12.10.2008 8:40pm
Michael B (mail):
Sarcastro, you re-confirmed my prior description; vapid is as vapid does.

Absolute bare minimum, it sure doesn't appear Obama worked any of his changey magic stuff while serving as a state senator, or while supporting Blagojevich in 2002 and serving as an advisor to Blago during that campaign, or while supporting him in 2006 either. Seems the status quo, not "change," was the order of the day. (I do doubt Obama will be personally or directly implicated. Besides, the AP and MSNBC are already informing the world that Obama can still walk on water and is innocent - and if we can't trust the AP and MSNBC, who can we trust?)

And, it was only a matter of time, the Dick Durbin link (hilarious).
12.10.2008 9:26pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
The radio station has no knowledge of a meeting subsequent to finding out one was schedule.
Dandy.
Did the radio station ask? Having no knowledge of a meeting is pretty thin. It would be better to affirm no meeting took place. But they didn't do that. Could have asked, I suppose, but by this time, asking enough people in enough places to be sure you weren't being fed a line of BS might have seemed like a good deal too much work.
12.10.2008 9:39pm
Cheaper Trolls, Ltd:
Dems look on in stunned silence.
     ...
Dems look on in stunned silence.
     ...
Dems look on in stunned silence.


That absolutely proves that Obama's voodoo has turned them all into zombies.

 

 

©2008 Cheaper Trolls™
12.10.2008 10:19pm
Eli Rabett (www):
Vinegar Bend Mizell's widow. Hoot
12.10.2008 11:31pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
rock on:

So AntonK, the proof is... that Blagojevich held a press conference later in the day where he said that he hadn't talked to Obama? Yes, that's some proof.


Exactly. Audio of that press conference is here. At 4:03 Blago is heard saying "I have not spoken to him."

anonperson:

It completely amazes me that LGF would offer as proof of a meeting a press release about a press conference. Even more amazing is that none of the commenters even noticed that the press release didn't say that Blago discussed the appointment with Obama, but rather discussed it at a press conference.


mquinn:

The website that you linked to is shockingly dishonest. It proffers as proof of the meeting a press conference at which Blago congratulated Obama. It doesn't even take a close reading of the website to realize that that is no proof at all.


Exactly. Multiple righty bloggers (example, example, example, example, example) are being "shockingly dishonest" in exactly the way that you describe (with regard to this press release). Are they going to run corrections? Don't hold your breath.

This sort of thing happens all the time. This example is just particularly timely and clear. I find it really hard to decide if this behavior is driven by dishonesty or stupidity. Probably both. And of course these are the same people who are constantly slapping themselves on the back for allegedly being more accurate than the evil emm-ess-emm. What a joke.
12.10.2008 11:53pm
Christopher Cooke (mail):
This is a very fun story.

Will the radio station's retraction of the story that formed the basis for the original blogging matter to those who want to believe that Obama met with Blago, and then lied about it? No. They want to be able to say "I told you so" to those who voted for Obama. Don't let the facts get in the way. Have fun, this is the internet, after all, where irresponsibility regarding the truth is the norm.
12.11.2008 12:06am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
I should have also mentioned anon21, who I think was the first to make this important point:

The linking to the governor's press release is preposterously tendentious and completely misleading. I particularly enjoyed LGF's attempt: give the headline, and trust that no one will bother to click on the link and actually read the press release, which clearly deflates any notion of an actual meeting.
12.11.2008 12:15am
MartyA:
I did a quick scan but did not see the subject: who was Illinois governor when Obama got the nod to run for Senate and who would had to have been paid to get Obama the nomination? Illionis corruption did not begin with Blago; who paid Obama's ante? Damn, not having an honest media is really a bitch!
12.11.2008 12:23am
PC:
Prof. Lindgren, I understand that being a hack doesn't effect your job, but really, stop. Would you like to revisit the ACORN issues? You are pimping memes that can be tracked and will fail.

Attack the people in power on what they do, not on what conspiracy theories you can whip up.
12.11.2008 12:41am
nicehonesty:
Pay no attention to that meeting between Obama and Blagojevich at the National Governors Association behind the curtain!
12.11.2008 12:43am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
cooke:

Will the radio station's retraction of the story that formed the basis for the original blogging matter to those who want to believe that Obama met with Blago, and then lied about it? No.


They won't just ignore the retraction. It's worse than that. As johnny explained:

The deletion of the stories increases the strength of their belief and is itself evidence because it demonstrates Obama's power to cause the media to self-censor.


The folks at LGF are eager to prove that johnny is right. So they post stuff like this:

KHQA has now issued "a clarification:"

In other news, Oceania is now at war with Eastasia and has always been.


And this:

censorship at its finest


How predictable.
12.11.2008 12:54am
MQuinn:
Am I the only one that is disappointed about Lindgren making an (at best dubious) post on this whole Obama business but turning comments off?????
12.11.2008 1:15am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
No.
12.11.2008 1:22am
Brian K (mail):
Am I the only one that is disappointed about Lindgren making an (at best dubious) post on this whole Obama business but turning comments off?????

i guess he got tired of people complaining about his hackitude. no one likes to hear how ridiculous their own arguments (and i use this term incredibly loosely) are.
12.11.2008 1:23am
JustSomeGuy:
Really? Turning of comments? That's a little silly. In fact, this whole thing is. Is it possible someone in Obama's nationwide entourage had some contact with Blago? Yes. Did Obama or anyone close to him? No. Is there a snowball's chance in he** that Obama himself was somehow involved? No. Does the fact that Obama went to the Gov's convention and worked the line that Blago was standing on do anything to change that? Are you kidding me? You couldn't even find a photo where they were actually touching or even making eye contact.

Please can we skip this nonsense? Can we remember that we're in the midst of several national crises? Can we at least be serious for a moment?

At the end of the day, this is just...pitiful.
12.11.2008 1:24am
JustSomeGuy:
Sorry, my mistake. There is hand contact.
I got the many arms of the many people on the receiving line confused.
12.11.2008 1:29am
Brian K (mail):
Apparently, "contact" does not include a private meeting with governors in Philadelphia, or a public shaking of hands in front of the cameras.

does anyone else notice the cognitive dissonance between statements such as lindgren's and what was stated in regards to the abramoff scandal?
12.11.2008 1:30am
Guest12345:
You couldn't even find a photo where they were actually touching or even making eye contact.


Exactly whose hand do you think it is coming out of Blago's sleeve?
12.11.2008 1:37am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
nicehonesty:

Pay no attention to that meeting between Obama and Blagojevich at the National Governors Association behind the curtain!


If I shake your hand in a receiving line, is it appropriate to claim that you and I had a "meeting?"
12.11.2008 1:48am
JustSomeGuy:
Guest12345: again (see 1:29), I accidentally confused Blago's right arm with that of the person immediately to the left of him, who had probably also just "had a meeting" with BHO.

Ya know, one thing I do appreciate that Jim does here is identify what he's actually saying: it's possible a staffer knew, Obama probably didn't. It would be nice if some of the commenters did the same. What are you actually suggesting happened? (And some transparent, innuendo-laden "i'm not sure, but i think we should find out" will have about as much traction now as it did w/ respect to ayers and wright.) We can hand out tinfoil hats for those who actually think that the president-elect was involved in this mess.

As for the public stmts, let's remember that BHO's got 3 big wildcards in play: (1) an ongoing investigation into a democratic governor, (2) a massive staff of people with whom he is tangentially connected, and (3) a more massive sprawling group of folks who would like to pretend they're in group #2. I imagine his team is just figuring out what went on, as well, and I imagine that they're loath to do anything public, particularly given thing #1.

Finally, I for one would like as soon as possible for the president elect to move past this and get back to the real problems facing the nation. I can understand, though, that some of you might not.
12.11.2008 2:00am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
brian k:

does anyone else notice the cognitive dissonance


What I notice is that Lindgren seems eager (e.g., here) to suggest that Obama is dishonest, even in the absence of evidence that Obama is dishonest. But when it came time to help Byron York help McCain spread blatant misinformation about Troopergate, Lindgren had no trouble doing that, and never lifted a finger to correct the misinformation, despite being reminded it about several times (like here, here, here and here). Those threads were all closed soon after those reminders were posted.

I think it makes sense to take this into account when deciding whether or not to take his statements seriously.

And speaking of elastic attitudes about truth-telling, good luck finding complaints at VC (by Lindgren et al) in connection with any of these highly creative statements:

- we found the weapons of mass destruction
- he wouldn't let them in
- a wiretap requires a court order

IOKIYAR.
12.11.2008 2:15am
Grover Gardner (mail):
Jim, don't you have some papers to grade?
12.11.2008 2:17am
PC:
Jim, don't you have some papers to grade?

I'm still curious about Prof. Lindgren's research into the ACORN conspiracy.
12.11.2008 2:27am
LM (mail):
Michael B,

In fact, to the contrary. To probe, to be curious, to be open-minded, etc. is not to be "deterministic".

What Sarcastro said. But here's the long-winded version:

Extremists are targeting Obama with the same kind of self-fulfilling, circular narratives they used on Clinton and Bush. Evil and dishonesty are presumed, so the reaction to every allegation of wrongdoing is pro-forma. When somebody says he has a smoking gun from Obama's latest atrocity, it doesn't matter how far-fetched the evidence is, the response will be "Of course Obama did it -- he's evil." And when Obama denies any part in the alleged misconduct, however consistent his denial is with the evidence, you can set your watch to the chorus of "Of course Obama would say that -- he's a pathological liar."

That's determinism, and you don't have to look far to find plenty of it in these threads.
12.11.2008 3:04am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
pc:

I'm still curious about Prof. Lindgren's research into the ACORN conspiracy.


Me too. Especially since McCain said this:

ACORN … is now on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy.


The DOJ is still in the hands of a GOP administration, so I figured for sure we'd see some indictments by now. What the heck are they waiting for? Hopefully they are not going to sit on their hands and let ACORN get away with "destroying the fabric of democracy."
12.11.2008 3:14am
Michael B (mail):
LM,

Then respond to what someone else said. I referred to asking question, etc.; you refer to "extremists," "evil," and "circular reasoning," etc.

Asking questions, probing, etc. is precisely what Patrick Fitzgerald has been doing and is continuing to do.

It's as if I said 1 + 1 = 2, then you launch into a question about some obscure mathematical proof.

The investigation continues and Fitzgerald will continue to probe and ask question.
12.11.2008 1:22pm
nicehonesty:
jukeboxspam:
If I shake your hand in a receiving line, is it appropriate to claim that you and I had a "meeting?"


Take it up with the evil right-wing Associated Press (via the equally evil right-wing Huffington Post) I guess:
Blagojevich says he wants to use the meeting with Obama to discuss how the federal government can help address state budget shortfalls.
12.11.2008 2:16pm

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