Obama's 'Pull' on Ethics Bill Helped Spark Gov. Case

But past ties also reveal Obama's ascendency through machine politics
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Dec 10, 2008 1:59 AM CST
Barack Obama and Rod Blagojevich in 2005. They shared a chummier relationship as Obama rose in Illinois' political machine.   (AP Photo/James A. Finley, File)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Barack Obama isn't as distant from the scandal surrounding the indicted governor of Illinois as he has let on. The president-elect used his pull in the Illinois senate to get an ethics bill passed that contributed to Gov. Rod Blagojevich's indictment on corruption charges, reports the New York Times. While scrambling to get state contractor contributions before the law took effect, Blagojevich tipped off federal investigators to his ways.

Obama's unusual intervention in the bill injected him in a statewide issue during the heat of his presidential campaign, showing that he never quite escaped the murky world of Illinois politics. Obama's relationship with the governor he twice endorsed had long-since cooled. But it was among the alliances of convenience that helped Obama rise in ways that sometimes appear to contradict his squeaky-clean public image as a progressive reformer.