Obama Nominates Daschle, Addresses Blagojevich Charges
By Marcus Gilmer in News on Dec 11, 2008 7:10PM
In a press conference originally scheduled to announce former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle as his nominee as secretary of Health and Human Services - the same position Governor Blagojevich was hoping to buy himself - President-Elect Barack Obama found himself talking less about health care reform and more about Blago. About Daschle, Obama said, "As such he will be responsible not just for implementing our health care plan. He will also be the lead architect of that plan," noting Daschle will also lead the new White House Office of Health Reform; Obama also named Jeanne Lambrew as deputy director the new office.
But the spotlight was on the relationship between Obama and Blago and if the President-Elect, or his staff, knew anything about Blago's attempts to sale Obama's vacant Seante Seat. After stating he was "appalled and disappointed" by the allegations, Obama said:
I have never spoken to the governor on this subject. I am confident that no representatives of mine would have any part of any deals related to this seat. I think the materials released by the U.S. attorney reflect that fact. I've asked my team to gather the facts of any contacts with the governor's office about this vacant seat so that we can share them with you over the next few days.Obama later reiterated his call for Blago to resign, saying, "Let me be absolutely clear, I do not think that the governor, at this point, can effectively serve the people of Illinois."
Noticeably absent? Incoming Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel who has been rumored to have been the man who tipped the fed off regarding Blago's attempts to sale the senate seat.