'Mr. Rezko and Mr. Obama'
First, here's a good primer
from the Chicago Sun-Times on Obama's Rezko problem. Second, Reader No. 1 asks me, as a former Illinois Statehouse reporter, what's my take on the Rezko affair in general.
Though not knowing the details of the Rezko case, my immediate reaction is that not much has changed in Illinois since 1996 when I co-authored 'Illinois for Sale: Do Campaign Contributions Buy Influence?'
(It's really a compilation of investigative pieces by my old SJ-R colleagues and yours truly, edited into a book by my former editor -- and available to you for a mere $1.19. Act now! Note: In retrospect, the word 'influence' in the title seems so innocent. It should have read 'pols.') Third, Obama's involvement sure was 'boneheaded.' For Christ's sake, he even toured the damn house with Rezko before buying it. Fourth, I doubt it has any short-term impact on Obama, who isn't the central target of the probe and trial. Gov. Blagojevich is 'Public Official A,' making it possible that two straight Illinois governors might be taken down by the feds. But long-term (i.e., post-nomination), it will hurt Obama the same way that the lobbyists story has dinged McCain's reputation and the same way Whitewater followed the Clintons around like a skunk. ...
... As for today's primaries
, I'd have to agree that if Hillary wins one of the two big states (Texas or Ohio), she has a somewhat legitimate claim for staying in the race, though I'd dearly love to see her knocked out today. ... Love this quote from our Mayor For Life: “This whole thing about change and hope - I’m trying to figure out what ‘change’ means.” We are too, mayor! ...