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Who turned Blago down?

Posted by Richard on December 10, 2008

Following the news of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's attempt to sell Barack Obama's senate seat, the president-elect announced that he never talked to Blago about his replacement (although he ducked the follow-up about his top aides). David Axelrod fell on his sword and recanted his earlier statement:

David Axelrod, a senior adviser to Mr. Obama, issued a statement late Tuesday saying he had misspoken in comments he made in November that now seemed to contradict Mr. Obama’s assertions that he had no contact with Mr. Blagojevich in the conversations over a replacement.

“I know he’s talked to the governor,” Mr. Axelrod said in an interview with “Fox News Sunday” on Nov. 23. “And there are a whole range of names, many of which have surfaced.”

On Tuesday, Mr. Axelrod said he had been wrong. “They did not then or at any time discuss the subject,” according to his statement.

Rush Limbaugh posed a good question today: If Blagojevich never proposed a senate seat deal, directly or indirectly, to Obama, then why the outburst against Obama? According to the complaint (PDF here), Blago angrily declared that he's not going to give this “motherfucker [the President-elect] his senator. Fuck him. For nothing? Fuck him.”

That sure sounds like someone who wanted a deal and was rebuffed. If it wasn't by Obama himself, it could have been by a high-level advisor. Rahm Emanuel has long-standing ties to Blagojevich, and there's a rumor going around (denied, of course) that he's the reason the feds moved quickly to arrest Blago.

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