The Rod Blagojevich scandal has dominated several news cycles, so the Obama team seems to have decided the time is right to distance, distance, distance itself from the corrupt Illinois governor.
The Washington Post managed to score interviews with Obama's old political chums in Chicago, who all testified about how Obama just knew this Blago guy was trouble. "It's like a sixth sense," one told the paper. "[Obama] knew the people that could drag you down and tarnish your image."
Which is why Obama offered everyone in Illinois, even the bloody state comptroller and OMG City Clerk of Chicago, a speaking slot at the convention, but not Blaggy, who pathetically "joked to a crowd at the Illinois State Fair that, yes, he also had been asked to speak — at 4 a.m., in a Denver area men's bathroom."
Also, loser Blagojevich was an hour late to a party in his own honor, and the party was sparsely attended, and Obama barely showed up at all.
How does the WaPo know how many people were at this party, by the way? We're not saying the paper was necessarily fed a story, although it's interesting that it also knows exactly who got offered (but didn't necessarily take) a speaking slot at the convention and is obtained an interview with "Obama's political mentor" at such a sensitive time.
But the president-elect would hardly be alone in trying to publicly get as far away from Blago as possible. As the Times put it,
More people began to speak up Thursday to distance themselves from Mr. Blagojevich, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson.
Jackson put out a written statement denying "that I or a member of my family served as an emissary in Governor Blagojevich’s ‘pay to play’ scheme."
Obama, for his part, was wise to wait: If he had tried to spread the forceful denial line too soon, he would only have looked defensive, like all those other ratty Democratic politicians before him. As always, he plays it cool.