8/31/2009

Blagojevich's deal with Rahm Emanuel?

Make of this what you want:

CHICAGO -- Ousted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich says in a new book that White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel wanted his help in arranging to leave the Obama administration after two years to reclaim his seat in Congress.

Mr. Blagojevich writes in "The Governor" that Mr. Emanuel spoke with him about whether it was possible to appoint a "placeholder" to the congressional seat Mr. Emanuel was giving up so that he could win back the seat in 2010 and continue his efforts to become speaker some day.

"As we have done for many months, we will continue to decline comment," Emanuel spokeswoman Sarah Feinberg said in an email Monday.

Mr. Blagojevich also admits that he wanted something in exchange for appointing President Barack Obama's replacement in the Senate, but it wasn't the deal described in federal corruption charges against him.

The Chicago Democrat says that the night before his arrest in December, he had launched a plan to appoint Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to the Senate seat because he hoped to cut a deal on pet projects with her father, powerful Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.

That plan was ruined by his arrest. Mr. Blagojevich writes that he eventually appointed Roland Burris, in part because of Mr. Burris's famously big ego. No one else but Mr. Burris would accept the appointment and fight to be seated under the circumstances, Mr. Blagojevich says. . . .

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