Now that Barack Obama is moving past the Rod Blagojevich scandal, we can make some assessments as to how Team Obama is liking to handle future political scandals and uncomfortable moments. Politico outlines Obama’s five rules of scandal management:

1 – Be transparent, to an extent

2 – Don’t let the news cycle dictate response

3 – No freelancing by staff members

4 – Aides take hits to protect the boss

5 – Shy away from even justified fights

While Obama’s initial response to the Blagojevich scandal was very light on details, his cautious approach ensured he and his top aides had the time to perfect a more comprehensive response. Thus we end up with the Obama team’s five page report clearing themselves of wrongdoing.

Self-absolution never sits well with cynics, but Obama can now claim he took the matter seriously and handled it reasonably.

Obama ran a very tight campaign. The Blagojevich scandal raised the question of whether the president-elect could run a much larger organization with the same calm, in-control leadership style. I thought this scandal coming right out of the gate might trip Obama up. But a few weeks later, he seems to have slid through the media maelstrom without significant damage.

  • Well said. I liked the 5 rules to responding to a scandal. It seems that Team Obama is pretty confident in its ability to manage any type of crisis. I wrote a blog on the five page report as well and what it demonstrates about the leadership of Obama. Good read!

  • TerenceC

    Alan – This was never a scandal involving Obama or any of his people – they weren’t involved at all, ever – so they had nothing to say except the truth. Blago had his reputation ruined (for good reason if the facts are to be believed), his political career ruined, and he was “outed” as a slime bag – but that’s all that will become of this. Blago will walk away from this – there was no “provable” crime committed. I agree with your 5 points, but they should be reserved for a real scandal, involving real crimes, real wrong doing, real issues. This was a big nothing for the Obama people from the beginning.

  • Greg

    I agree. This didn’t involve Obama any more than the Ayers “scandal” did — it has all been an infantile media distraction.. same old tedious bull. Obama had absolutely nothing to gain and everything to lose in corrupt dealings, and ditto for his staff.

    The real corruption this exposes is that of the media — milking a non-issue for “news” in a kind of reflexive and unprofessional and frankly, lazy way. We have, as a culture, to get beyond that because the average Joe or Joan needs better information during these incredibly tough times. We all need to start demanding of our MSM sources, why are you even discussing this instead of something important?