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12.01.2008 0

Obama Needs to be Openor be Pried Open

  • On: 12/15/2008 10:46:17
  • In: Government Transparency
  • By Alex Rosenwald

    President-elect Obama is getting press that he would prefer remain silent, and may yet prove to hinder the effectiveness of his administration’s first year in office, and perhaps his entire first term.

    For instance, a report out of a local Chicago Fox affiliate says Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel had conversations with Gov. Rod Blagovich on “multiple occasions” about the vacant Obama Senate seat. This appears to have contradicted everything the Obama transition team has said to downplay any connection between the President-elect and the Governor.

    Additionally, as ALG News reported last week, Obama’s own senior advisor, David Axelrod, on November 23rd during a Fox News interview, said that the President-elect had spoken with the Illinois governor regarding the vacant Senate seat, adding that “there are a whole range of names, many of which have surfaced.” Once this news surfaced, Mr. Axelrod and stated that he had “misspoken” in the comments to Fox News.

    And even Obama has walked into his own swamp of contradictions.

    For example, in an interview with “Public Affairs” Host, Jeff Berkowitz in June 2002, Obama sounded like quite the cheerleader for “Hot Rod”, who was running for Governor in 2002:

    “State Senator Barack Obama (D-Chicago): …right now, my main focus is to make sure that we elect Rod Blagojevich as Governor we…

    Jeff Berkowitz: You working hard for Rod?

    Barack Obama: You betcha.

    Jeff Berkowitz: Hot Rod?

    Barack Obama: That’s exactly right. You know, I think that having a Democratic Governor will make a big difference. I think that I am working hard to get a Democratic [state] senate and Emil Jones President, replacing [Republican Senate President] Pate Phillip and once all that clears out in November, then I think we’ll be able to make some good decisions about the [U.S.] Senate Race.

    Jeff Berkowitz: So, you want to see a Democratic State Senate, a Democratic State House, a Democratic Governor—

    Barack Obama: I am a Democrat.

    Jeff Berkowitz Is that balanced? And I thought we wanted a fair and balanced approach to things.

    Barack Obama: I am a Democrat.

    Jeff Berkowitz: Card-carrying Democrat?

    Barack Obama: Card-carrying Democrat. I really believe that the core Democratic philosophy is one that is—you know—really helps working people, and hopefully you know, we’ll be able to make sure that we carry out a mandate in this next election in November [2002].”

    Indeed, this puts the 44th President on the wrong track for his administration. The man who was voted in to clean up government has a big mess he might not able to mop up. Most people, Americans in particular, don’t appreciate fishy politicians. Unfortunately for Mr. Obama, this smells quite fishy.

    With all these contradictions and Mr. Obama’s apparent lack of complete transparency, US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald needs to turn his investigation on Mr. Axelrod, Mr. Emanuel, and, perhaps, the President-elect himself.  This may prove to undermine the efficiency of the administration, but that is no reason to forgo a thorough investigation.

    Obama needs to choose—be open or be pried open.

    Alex Rosenwald is a contributing editor of ALG News Bureau.

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