News & Election Videos

December 13, 2008

RNC highlights Obama-Blagojevich relationship

The Republican National Committee is launching a Web video tomorrow raising questions about past ties between Obama and Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D-Ill.).

The two-minute video, titled “Questions Remain,” puts pressure on the president-elect to disclose the contacts his transition team has had with Blagojevich. Obama said this week that he will soon be releasing a full list of conversations that members of his staff had with Blagojevich – but he has not yet done so.

At a press conference earlier this week, Obama said he never personally spoke to the governor about his successor in the Senate – but it now appears that his incoming chief of staff Rahm Emanuel had discussed several names with the governor.

While Obama has never been close with the governor, the video points to several instances where they worked together as a matter of political convenience. After Blagojevich won the Democratic nomination for governor in 2002, Obama helped advise his campaign. (Obama supported one of Blagojevich’s opponents in the primary.)

And Obama endorsed Blagojevich when he ran for re-election in 2006 – a time when he was already under investigation over hiring and fundraising scandals. (A Green party candidate took 10 percent of the vote, highlighting Democrats’ dissatisfaction with him.)