Pareene over at Gawker outlines six reasons why the scandal hurts Obama.
Remember when the Democrats took back the congress in 2006? They were aided by a million high-profile scandals involving weird sex crimes and plain vanilla corruption by Republicans. Well, the 2010 midterms are right around the corner (SIGH), and guess what House Gop head John Boehner is pushing? The Democratic Culture of Corruption!
In 2006, both the Abramoff and Mark Foley scandals erupted less than two months before the election. As a result, 42% of voters cited “corruption as ethics” as an extremely important issue, making it the electorate’s top concern. But, there’s clearly a decay factor.
The 2010 midterms aren’t exactly around the corner; elections are nearly two years away. Blagojevich’s trial shouldn’t stretch out that long, and Jefferson has already faded from the spotlight after his failed re-election bid. Also, the first midterm election after a president is first elected to the White House generally acts as a referendum on the new leader: see 1994 or 2002.
Hey, guess who’s tied up in all this mess? Convicted felon Tony Rezko, who once sold Obama some land, and donated money to Obama’s pre-presidential campaigns. So Rezko donated to Blagojevich in exchange for jobs for his friends and associates. Blagojevich’s wife was Rezko’s real-estate agent too, of course.
Rezko didn’t harm Obama during the campaign, and neither did Bill Ayers or Jeremiah Wright. Playing the association game won’t work now.
The last time a Democrat was in the White House, hundreds of pointless, vague scandals were relentlessly pursued and investigated by Republicans, congress, prosecutors, and the media. Even when one went nowhere, three more were waiting in the wings. Is this Whitewater? Both the media and congress are a little more friendly with Obama than they were with Clinton back in 1992, but this is the sort of thing that starts off a million slightly related investigations into everyone Obama’s ever known. A bad omen. Time for Travelgate II!
How do you determine a strong similarity between Whitewater and Blagojevich? For one, the Clintons were directly involved with Whitewater, while Fitzgerald explicitly stated that the complaint made no allegations about Obama. For another, Clinton had left behind a string of scandals before even taking the oath of office, which laid the foundation for such relentless pursuit.
Obama held Blagojevich at arm’s length for the entire campaign – there is enough separation between the two to prevent any blemishes on the president-elect’s character. If anything, the scandal widens the schism between the two, as the tapes show the governor repeatedly referring to Obama using profanity.