Reid Pressured Blago on Senate Pick

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 3, 2009 3:37 PM CST
President-elect Barack Obama leaves with some shaved ice at the Koko Marina Shopping Center in Hawaii Kai, Hawaii.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Harry Reid called Rod Blagojevich after the election, but before the governor’s arrest, to discourage him from appointing unelectable candidates to Barack Obama’s Senate seat, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. The Senate majority leader sought to put the kibosh on Reps. Jesse Jackson Jr. and Danny Davis, along with State Senate President Emil Jones. Reid suggested state AG Lisa Madigan or Illinois' veterans affairs chief Tammy Duckworth.

A spokesman for Reid downplayed the contact, saying it was de rigueur. “Of course Sen. Reid spoke to the governor of Illinois—just as he spoke to the governors of New York and Colorado.” Blagojevich was also contacted by the chief of the Senate Democrats' political arm and by Rahm Emanuel. Reid was apparently worried about losing the Illinois Senate seat in the 2010 election.