Rahm, Forrest, Rahm
By Marcus Gilmer in News on Sep 25, 2009 2:25PM
That then-U.S. Rep. Rahm Emanuel of the 5th Congressional District of Illinois wanted a hand-picked replacement who could essentially serve as a "seat-warmer" when he was selected as then-President-Elect Obama's Chief of Staff is no surprise. That "seat-warmer" would hold Rahm's seat in Congress until Rahm was done working for Obama and could return to his place on the Hill. And that Rahm had contact with Blagojevich about various replacements - including the infamous "for sale" U.S. Senate seat - is also no surprise. Rahm's admitted they talked shop but also maintained he did nothing wrong. But this morning we're getting more specifics courtesy of an investigation by the Sun-Times who reports that Rahm wanted Cook County Commissioner Forrest Claypool as his "seat-warmer."
Claypool would serve one or two terms and then be considered for a place in Obama's Cabinet, according to sources familiar with Emanuel's proposal. That would give Emanuel the option of returning to Congress, where he could vie to become House speaker...
In the end, Blagojevich did not have the authority to appoint somebody to the congressional seat, as Emanuel had thought.
Of course, we know Cook County Commissioner Mike Quigley eventually took over Rahm's seat and Claypool, rather than run for any office, is retiring. Claypool also denied the plan, telling the Sun-Times he knew nothing of it: "Knowing Rahm, I can't believe that because that's silly. That is insanity. Never happened. Never would. Never discussed. Insanity. False." There's also reports of a Rahm-Blago conversation that was taped that could surface at Blago's trial next year. Check out more from the Sun-Times story here.