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June 18, 2009

The Obama-Giannoulias relationship

With President Obama looking willing to consider endorsing Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan as she mulls a Senate campaign, it’s worth noting this ad that Obama cut for her potential primary rival, Alexi Giannoulias in his 2006 campaign for state Treasurer.

“Alexi Giannoulias, he’s one of the most outstanding young men I could ever hope to meet,” Obama said in the ad.

Giannoulias has said that he considers Obama to be a close friend and political mentor and was a participant at Obama’s pickup basketball games during the presidential primary. (He played professional basketball in Greece.)

Inspired by Obama’s Senate campaign, he ran against the Democratic candidate backed by the party establishment in 2006 and prevailed, with help from Obama’s endorsement.

Giannoulias put out a statement saying that he's not stepping aside for Madigan, but one wonders whether he would change his mind if he received a phone call from his close friend.  Or will he pull a Sestak, and stay in the race no matter what the president says.

(h/t Capitol Fax)