About the appointment by Gov. Rod Blagojevich of Roland Burris to the U.S. Senate, somebody big is lying, big-time. It is either the governor or Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Last week, Reid declared that he would not permit Burris, the African-American elder statesman of Illinois politics, to fill Obama's seat, or even to enter the Senate chamber, though no one had suggested Burris is other than an honorable and able public man.
Reid declared Burris "a tainted appointment," not because of any ethical defect of his, but because of the cloud over the governor who had appointed him.
Saturday, however, the Chicago Sun-Times reported, in a story sourced to the governor's office, that Reid personally phoned Blago on Dec. 3, six days before the scandal broke, to urge him not to name any of three high-profile candidates for the Obama seat.
On the Reid blacklist were, according to the source, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., Rep. Danny Davis and State Senate President Emil Jones.
What do the three have in common? All are black.
Reid reportedly urged Blagojevich to pick either state Veterans Affairs Director Tammy Duckworth or Attorney General Lisa Madigan.
What do these women have in common? Neither is black.
As Prince Riley, a senior consultant to Burris, told Politico, "It's interesting that all those who are viable are white women and the ones who are unacceptable are black men."
It sure is, Prince -- if the story is true.
Confronted by David Gregory on "Meet the Press," Reid called Blago a liar and said he thinks Jackson would make a fine senator. Said Reid:
"This is part of Blagojevich's cloud. He's making all this up. I had a conversation with him. I don't remember what was in the conversation, other than the generalities that I just talked about. I didn't tell him who not to appoint. He's making all this up ..."
However, this brings us back to the contents of a conversation Obama's chief of staff Rahm Emanuel reportedly had with Blago, also before U.S. Attorney Pat Fitzgerald busted the governor for allegedly hawking Obama's seat to the highest bidder.
Valerie Jarrett, Barack's confidante, had by then withdrawn.
Rahm reportedly told Blago he should choose from one of three names: Duckworth, state Comptroller Dan Hynes and U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky. Rahm then reportedly called back to add Lisa Madigan.
All four are white. Conspicuously missing from Rahm's list were all four black candidates: Jackson, Davis, Jones and Burris.
Are Blago or his people all lying? The truth is on Fitzgerald's tapes.
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