A nuance being lost in the national coverage of the Rod Blagojevich arrest is the state of knowledge in Illinois. Prior to Tuesday's hand-cuffing of the Illinois governor, it was known with virtual certainty that he was soon to be indicted. Considering this, it is gob-smacking stupid that Obama's transition team was having any contact with the Blago administration beyond something in writing.
This is not Monday morning quarterbacking. I was stunned when I first heard about the contacts.
If Obama had a preference for his replacement, he simply could have written a letter to Blagojevich and released it to the public. Period. Any contacts beyond that amount to a negotiation. And Obama should have known better to negotiate with a man about to be indicted. It also should have dawned on Obama's camp that he was about to take control of the Justice Department and that a key witness in the Blagojevich Operation Board Games investigation (Tony Rezko) was also a close friend of the President-Elect's. A further entanglement is an Operation Board Games subpoena on the joint house-land sale Obama and Rezko undertook.
If Obama can't sniff trouble in the above circumstances, we are in big trouble when he sizes up foreign adversaries.