So it turns out that my dear governor was everything everyone thought he would be. One local media person covering the current and hopefully soon to be former governor's long ago Congressional campaign, said that after talking to him, "you wanted to check your wallet and take a shower." Eugene Robinson feels the same way, more or less, that everyone does. Whether any of the charges are really justified will have to wait for trial, as it should. Nonetheless, Robinson, a member of the liberal media, has found a way to imagine Obama into the middle of this mess.
In handling questions about the arrest of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich — for allegedly trying to sell President-elect Barack Obama's former Senate seat to the highest bidder — Obama has gone strictly by the book. His statements have been cautious and precise, careful not to get ahead of the facts or make declarations that might later have to be retracted.
For most politicians, that would be good enough. For Obama, who inspired the nation with a promise of "change we can believe in," it's not.
The scandal involves Obama in only the most tangential way, as far as anyone knows, and actually seems to cast him in a favorable light. But the longer he leaves obvious questions unanswered, the longer the president-elect will have to talk about the seamier side of Illinois politics rather than initiatives such as saving the U.S. auto industry or revamping health care.
By all accounts, Obama is a pretty careful guy. He's about to be inaugurated President of the United States, so he's justifiably careful about the legal implications of what he says. He's probably also knows that whatever he says will receive heavy amount of interpretation. Regardless, he has called upon his staff to reveal any contacts with Blagojevich, and he has asked the governor to resign from office. What more does Robinson want? What would constitute "change" in this circumstance? Robinson answers:
None of this is likely to hurt Obama in any material way or even dim the glow of his victory and upcoming inauguration. But maybe it can be a lesson. Real "change" would be throwing away the playbook and getting all the facts out now, rather than later.
That's pretty silly. And it's an impossibly stupid standard for "change." It's not unlike asking someone participating in a legal battle not to seek legal counsel–why, after all, would he need legal counsel if he's not guilty?