Reid's report cracking open this supposed chasm didn't include uncomfortable facts that Obama's supporters would rather not see circulated. Obama not only supported Blagojevich for governor in 2002, when he was still a state senator, he took credit for advising him to victory. He went on television saying electing his friend "Hot Rod" was a priority. He endorsed him for re-election in 2006 -- at the beginning of 2005.
Reid also dragged in a right-leaning Chicago Tribune columnist to make a case for Obama's distance: "John Kass says Mr. Obama has worked hard to position himself above the machine culture of Chicago politics." He quoted Kass saying: "I don't think he gets tainted by what happened today." But here's what Kass proclaimed in a column a few days later: "The national media outlets were desperate to portray him as someone about to transcend our politics. But in Chicago he was just a smooth guy on the way up, looking the other way." ?The Blagojevich Senate-for-sale scandal demonstrates how feverishly the media continue to portray Obama not as a Chicago machine manipulator, but as the black inheritor of the Abraham Lincoln legacy. Obama's been energetically linked to Lincoln far more than to any Chicago politician who's currently living and serving in office. Obama chose for himself a political career in the grubby precincts of the south side of Chicago, not some log cabin outside Springfield, but reporters seem more interested in building a grand and historic legend of a "new kind of politics," not a real-life politician's colossal ambitions to be president before he turned 50.
Anyone in politics knows it would be extremely normal, acceptable and even necessary for the governor and the [resident-elect (or their aides) to have a chat about who would fill this Senate seat. But the media have invested so much TV time and barrels of ink in putting the most idealistic sheen they can on Obama's New Politics that to find him anywhere within miles of corruption is too much for them to bear.
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