Remember how conservatives breathlessly alleged that the FBI supposedly had 21 taped conservations between Rod Blagojevich and Rahm Emanuel? And remember how they crowed for days on end that there had to be something incriminating on all those hours of tape?
Well, turns out they were off by a mere 20 calls:
[T]he Obama team’s review of contacts with Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich will show that Rahm Emanuel had only one phone conversation with Blagojevich.
The contact, described as a “pro-forma” courtesy call, came as Emanuel was named Chief of Staff for Obama. Most of the discussion concerned Emanuel’s Congressional seat (which had previously been held by Blagojevich), with only a “passing reference” to the Senate vacancy, according to these sources. No deal for the Senate vacancy was discussed.
But hey, there’s a consolation prize:
The sources add that the report will show Emanuel also had four phone calls with Blagojevich Chief of Staff John Harris. During those conversations, the Senate seat was discussed. The pros and cons of various candidates were reviewed, and the sources say that Emanuel repeatedly reminded Harris that Blagojevich should focus on the message the pick would send about the governor and his administration.
Sources also confirm that Emanuel made the case for picking Obama confidante Valerie Jarrett during at least one of the conversations. In the course of that conversation, Harris asked if in return for picking Jarrett, “all we get is appreciation, right?” “Right,” Emanuel responded.
Note that this is all in line with what Obama’s been saying from the start:
I have never spoken to the governor on this subject. I’m confident that no representative of mine would have any part of any deals related to this seat.
To recap, Obama said he had no contact with Blagojevich about filling his seat (he didn’t) and he said nobody from his camp made any deals with Blagojevich about filling the seat (they didn’t).
So, in the end, despite all the sound and the fury and the accusations and finger-pointing and all the talk about Chicago politics and Barack Obama being “hopelessly mired” in corruption, this non-scandal resulted in little more than millions upon millions of wasted pixels proving absolutely nothing.
And, in the end, the so-called “Blago-Rahma” scandal looks like the overture to eight long, cold years for Republicans.
Eight if they’re lucky.