Well, well, well. It didn’t take long for Barack Obama to throw his former political ally Rod Blagojevich under the bus. Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs announced just a few minutes ago that Obama wants Blagojevich to resign as governor of Illinois:
President-elect Barack Obama is calling for Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich to resign. Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs says the president-elect agrees with other prominent politicians that “under the current circumstances, it is difficult for the governor to effectively do his job and serve the people of Illinois.”
Blagojevich was arrested Tuesday, accused of scheming to enrich himself by selling Obama’s vacant Senate seat. The governor has authority to appoint the replacement. He denies any wrongdoing.
Obama had tried to avoid commenting on Blagojevich’s options yesterday, preferring to remain aloof and let the process work itself out. Within 24 hours, Obama apparently changed his mind. Why? Perhaps David Axelrod’s remarks from last month unnerved the President-elect, and he decided that he had to get significant distance from Blagojevich.
I’ll credit Obama with doing the right thing, however he arrived at that conclusion. It would have been easy for him to just keep repeating the mantra about allowing the process to conclude.
Will Blagojevich resign? I doubt it. The man revealed in those transcripts has enough chutzpah to ride out the public condemnation, and nowhere else to go anyway.