No Senate Pick for Blago, No Matter What

By Jennifer Parker

Dec 9, 2008 7:02pm

In the affidavit, Illinois Gov. Blagojevich talks about contacts he had with an adviser to President-elect Barack Obama. He also talks about contacts with two advisers based in Washington, DC, including a former congressman.  But it’s clear from all of these conversations that he was not going to get any satisfaction from the Obama team. So, even though we don’t know exactly who he might have spoken with inside the Obama transition team, we do know that emissaries were clearly telling him, ‘You’re not going to get anything from Obama, move on.’ Obama worked for two of Blagojevich’s campaigns, in 2002 and 2006. But these investigations of the Governor have been intensifying since 2006, and since then, the relationship has become far more distant. In fact, at the Democratic Convention this summer, the Obama team blocked Blagojevich from speaking at the convention. Blagojevich still has the formal power to appoint who he wants to Obama’s Illinois senate seat — but it’s not going to happen. Republicans and Democrats I’ve spoken to in Washington, DC and Illinois today assure me that there is no way that Blagojevich is going to be able to pick that senator now. Right now, the state legislators say they’re going to come into session next week and pass a bill calling for a special election in February. It takes a fair amount of money to hold a special election like that, but they could do it. Even if that doesn’t pass, the Illinois secretary of state has the power to certify anybody picked by Gov. Blagojevich. And if that doesn’t happen, the United States senate has the power not to seat anybody picked by the Illinois Governor.  Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill made it clear today that the Senate will not seat any Blagojevich appointee. –George Stephanopoulos

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