Emanuel’s List For Blago

The Chicago Tribune has these rather eye-opening details on Blago-gate:

Obama said Thursday he had never spoken to Blagojevich about the Senate vacancy and was “confident that no representatives” of his had engaged in any dealmaking over the seat with the governor or his team. He also pledged Thursday that in the “next few days” he would explain what contacts his staff may have had with the governor’s office about the Senate vacancy.

Well, no wonder President-elect Obama in his initial response went from “we” to “I” had no contacts with Blago. It would have been nice had he been immediately forthcoming about his closest advisor and Chief of Staff’s discussions about the empy seat. The conversations are on tape so we will learn precisely what Emanuel said, whether he was horse-trading or simply issuing the “approved list,” and whether he was confronted with any demands that did — or should have — sent him scurrying to the authorities. But the pretense that the transition team was removed from the Senate seat determination is, not surprisingly, gone.

For now, we have many more questions than answers (ranging from who compiled that list to how much Emanual related to the President-elect about Blago’s demands), but sooner rather than later the President-elect will need to provide that full accounting of  his team’s contacts, something he promised this week. There is added urgency to that task now that we know Blago did indeed deal with Obama’s inner circle.