Arrest Will Ripple Beyond Illinois Politics

Will Blagojevich still appoint Obama replacement?
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 9, 2008 1:40 PM CST
In this Nov. 5, 2008, file photo Gov. Rod Blagojevich discusses his plans for filling President-elect Barack Obama's Senate seat.    (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Rod Blagojevich’s arrest will reverberate well beyond Illinois, Chris Cillizza writes in the Washington Post. Most immediately, it drastically reshapes the race to fill Barack Obama’s Senate seat, which the Illinois governor still has power to fill. If he even makes a pick, it’ll have to be a caretaker with unimpeachable ethics; Dick Durbin, Illinois’ other Democratic senator, wants a special election instead.

It’s possible Blagojevich will step down, but he had said he intended to run for reelection, despite approval ratings in the teens. Nationally, his arrest plays right into the narrative House Minority Leader John Boehner has been preparing—that Democrats have a culture of corruption. Blagojevich spent time in the House, and can now be used as a cudgel against anyone he had ties with.