Sunday, September 24, 2006

Decoding Blago's check talk

More than 3,000 people watched at least one of two YouTube videos of Rod Blagojevich's childlike adventure with the truth the other day when asked by reporters to explain the $1,500 check to his seven-year-old daughter.

For those who might have been confused by some of Blago's answers, here's what I think they meant:

Why does he continually say that Mike Ascaridis "is like a godfather to my children."
This is vintage slick Rod. A "godfather" might be expected to give larger gifts to his children. Since Mike Ascaridis is not Amy's godfather, Rod is trying to muddy things up in the public's mind by saying "like a godfather," knowing that some people will think he's really the godfather.

Why did Rod suddenly say the check may have been for his other daughter's baptism?
I suspect the Blagojevich camp is kicking itself right about now because it could have made up a more believeable lie from the start. Had they noticed the check was written in early August, the same time as their youngest daughter Annie's baptism, they could have said the check was for Amy's birthday AND Annie's baptism. Even though the check was written to Amy Blagojevich, they might have muddied it up enough to cause some in the public to actually buy it. However, the Blagojevich camp said emphatically to the Tribune when the story broke that the check was for Amy's birthday and college fund. And there's this original disclosure that further rebuts the baptism story.

I suspect there has been discussion in Blagojevich's inner circle about floating the baptism answer out there anyway and somebody shot it down because it completely contradicts the first answer. But Blagojevich, cornered by the media, decided to dangle it out there anyway. Of course this is all public relations. The real game is over at the U.S. Attorney's office where they know a lot more about the check than any of us.

Why doesn't Rod just tell the truth?
Because there's nothing in the truth that will sound good to the public or it would have been fronted by now. For example, if Mike Ascaridis had given Amy other large birthday checks, Blago's people would have made them public right away.

Why did Rod blurt out that he told Lon Monk to find Beverly Ascaridis a job?
On this question, Rod is completely exposed because he knows Beverly Ascaradis already talked to the feds about the check and presumably about the circumstances surrounding her employment. His instinct probably would be to say he knew nothing about her job but the feds may already know otherwise. Thus, on this point, he has to come at least partly clean.

What is the biggest unanswered question?
Whether there are more checks written to Amy Blagojevich. Also, there's the question of where the $1,500 ended up.

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