President-Elect Obama’s statement today was strikingly muted:
Well, let me start off. Obviously, like the rest of the people of Illinois, I am saddened and sobered by the news that came out of the U.S. attorney’s office today. But as this is a ongoing investigation involving the governor, I don’t think it will be appropriate for me to comment on the issue at this time…
Q Mr. President-elect, did you have any contact — were you aware of — were you aware at all of what was happening with your Senate seat?
PRESIDENT-ELECT OBAMA: I — hold on, hold on, hold on a second, guys. I’ll just answer this one question.
I had no contact with the governor or his office, and so we were not — I was not aware of what was happening. And as I said, it’s a sad day for Illinois. Beyond that, I don’t think it’s appropriate to comment. Okay?
Q Thank you very much.
Mr. President-Elect, this was your Senate seat he was auctioning off. He was shaking down the Chicago Tribune. He was shaking down children’s hospitals, for God’s sake! A little anger might be justified.
Every other figure in the state is calling for Blagojevich’s resignation. I know we’re all supposed to swoon at Obama’s famous unflappability, but doesn’t this warrant a flash of anger or two?
Why on God’s green earth would it be inappropriate for Obama to comment on the governor of his state being arrested and charged with trying to sell off his Senate seat?
Who told Obama to keep his mouth shut about this? The guy was quoted on FBI wiretaps as saying, “f*** him” in reference to Obama? Why on earth is that “saddening”?
And is this a “sad day,” or an outrageous day?