So how is Team Obama handling their first crisis? On the face if it, they seems to be in a good position.
In the wiretaps, Gov. Blogo is heard railing against Team Obama because he would get nothing but appreciation from them, and he wasn’t looking for “thanks” but cold hard cash. ABC’s George ‘Stephy’ Stephanopolous is out front defending Team Obama,
The Illinois governor is just so angry on all of these tapes about the fact that he’s not going to get anything from the Obama team, even resorting to calling him a “mother******” and saying of the president-elect”F*** him.”
From a crisis communications standpoint Team Obama is still in training wheels. It started with Obama’s comment that there had been no communication between he and the governor, contradicting what his top advisory David Axelrod told a local radio station a week or so earlier. Now, his chief of staff Rahm Emanuel has been avoiding the press all week, raising many questions. Here’s Chicago’s top columnist John Kass,
When it comes to being the guy behind the guy, there is no one more conspicuous than Rahm Emanuel.
As chief of staff for President-elect Barack Obama, he’s usually at Obama’s news conferences, standing off to the side, glowering like some fiercely loyal mini-me.
But Emanuel wasn’t there Thursday when Obama faced reporters to answer questions about federal charges against Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D-Dead Meat), accused of trying to sell Obama’s Senate seat to the highest bidder.
Ed Morrisey at Hot Air is speculating (that’s what happens when you go silent) that there are two reasons for the Silence of the Rahm’s. 1.) He was listening and perhaps playing ball with Blagojevich; 2.) He learned of his dirty intentions and tipped off or worked with the feds, who are now asking him to keep quiet. I think option 2 is much more likely. Emanuel is a lot of things, but stupid isn’t one of them. The problem is that even option 2 raises some questions. In a scandal, silence breeds suspicion. Based on what we now know, there are lingering questions. Here’s Ed,
It’s still possible that Emanuel was working with the feds, but why stay silent about it now? They’ve already arrested Blagojevich. Emanuel could now say, “I helped Patrick Fitzgerald when I saw something wrong and worked with them to get him to make explicit statements,” rather than spend this week ducking reporters. The “sources within the investigation” would hardly want to make a cooperating witness look bad, either. Emanuel has been acting like someone advised him to keep quiet to keep from making incriminating public statements, and this may be the reason why.
Or it may not. One thing is for sure, the longer there is the Silence of the Rahm’s, the more suspicion and questions about what he knew and did will be asked. Remember Team Obama, it is rarely the crime that kills, but how you choose to handle it.