Forget Blago: Rangel Plagues Obama

Key congressman's probe could hurt Obama's agenda
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Dec 12, 2008 11:12 AM CST
Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., speaks to reporters after a meeting of the House Ways and Means Committee Monday, Sept., 15, 2008, on Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The Blagojevich mess may appear more damaging, but the bigger concern for Barack Obama is the scandal surrounding Charles Rangel, who is under scrutiny for a number of questionable dealings, writes Gerald Seib in the Wall Street Journal. Blago may soon be out of Obama’s hair, but Rangel's status as chair of the House Ways and Means committee could mean bigger political impediments for Obama.

Blagojevich’s antics are “so over the top” that Obama can “simply ask, as he has, that the governor quit and go away.” Meanwhile, much of the new administration's planned legislation must clear Ways and Means. Although Rangel will likely keep his job, “not having a strong chairman is clearly a liability,” says an expert.