Roland Meets Rod Via Bobby who Beat Barack
resident-elect Barack Obama spent yesterday afternoon in Honolulu, going to the zoo with his daughters and visiting his high school campus. And yet, he couldn’t escape the political melodrama unfolding more than 4,000 miles away.
While Obama vacationed, some of the main characters from his political past took turns starring in a bizarre Chicago news conference. First to the lectern was embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who was arrested this month on federal corruption charges, and from whom Obama has worked to distance himself. Blagojevich then introduced Roland Burris, his appointment to fill Obama’s seat in the U.S. Senate. Burris once held a fundraiser at his house for Obama and calls the president-elect “somebody whose career I really helped launch.”
Then, near the end of the news conference, Rep. Bobby L. Rush was beckoned to the front of the room, where he asked the public not to “lynch” Burris because of the charges against Blagojevich. Rush defeated Obama in a 2000 House race and chided him as an “educated fool” before eventually endorsing him for president and asserting that “I helped teach him.”