Friday, July 16, 2010

Blago trial casts doubt on Obama's truthfulness

Obama has clearly not told the whole truth in the past about his involvement in trying to get Jarrett to replace him, and the degree to which he pushed her.

After Obama was elected, his transition staff released a memo two days before Christmas, after he had arrived in Hawaii for vacation. The memo downplayed Obama’s desire for Jarrett to be named by Blago to his seat, and said that his statements on Dec. 11 were true.

“I had no contact with the governor’s office. I did not speak to the governor about these issues. That I know for certain,” Obama said on Dec. 11, 2008.

The Dec. 23 memo from Greg Craig, who went on to become White House Counsel, said that “the President-Elect had no contact or communication with Governor Blagojevich or members of his staff about the Senate seat.”

“In various conversations with transition staff and others, the President-Elect expressed his preference that Valerie Jarrett work with him in the White House,” the Craig memo stated. “He also stated that he would neither stand in her way if she wanted to pursue the Senate seat nor actively seek to have her or any other particular candidate appointed to the vacancy.”

But it seems clear from testimony in the Blago trial that Obama did “actively seek” to have Jarrett put into his Senate seat.