Technology with attitude

Seven Questions For Barack Obama

2

The Politico lists some Balgojevich-related questions that the President-elect should be asked:

1 – “Did you communicate directly or indirectly with Blagojevich about picking your replacement in the U.S. Senate?”….

2 – “Why didn’t you or someone on your team correct your close adviser David Axelrod when he said you had spoken to Blagojevich about picking your replacement?”…

3. “When did you learn the investigation involved Blagojevich’s alleged efforts to ‘sell’ your Senate seat, or of the governor’s impending arrest?”…

4 – “Did you or anyone close to you contact the FBI or U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald about Blagojevich’s alleged efforts to sell your Senate seat to the highest bidder?”…

5 – “Did federal investigators interview you or anyone close to you in the investigation?”…

6 – “When did you and Blagojevich last speak and about what?”…

7 – “Do you regret supporting Blagojevich?”…

Obama holds his first post-Blago-gate press conference today and he could go a long way toward putting this whole thing behind him if he’s up-front and truthful rather than playing the traditional political duck-and-weave game that you usually see in response to a scandal.

In that regard, then, this is not a good sign:

President-elect Barack Obama’s Transition today launched “Open for Questions,” a Digg-style feature allowing citizens to submit questions, and to vote on one another’s questions, bringing favored inquiries to the top of the list.

It was suggested when it launched that the tool would bring uncomfortable questions to the fore, but the results so far are the opposite: Obama’s supporters appear to be using — and abusing — a tool allowing them to “flag” questions as “inappropriate” to remove all questions mentioning Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich from the main pages of Obama’s website.

The Blagojevich questions — many of them polite and reasonable — can be found only by searching words in them, like “Blagojevich,” which produces 35 questions missing from the main page of the site.

“Given the current corruption charges involving Blagojevich, will ‘serious’ campaign finance reform that takes money completely out of politics through publicly funded elections be a priority in the first term?” asked Metteyya of Santa Cruz, California.
“This submission was removed because people believe it is inappropriate,” reads the text underneath it.

Also removed as “inappropriate”:

“In light of the recent corruption scandals (Blagojevich, Rangel, Jefferson, Stevens, etc) that have dominated the political scene,is there any ethics legislation being crafted to actually curb corruption and prevent another wave of nixonian cynicism?”, a question from “lupercal,” of Gainesville.

And: “Is Barack Obama aware of any communications in the last six weeks between Rod Blagojevich or anyone representing Rod Blagojevich and any of Obama’s top aides?”, a question from Phil from Pennsylvania.

Declaring a question “inappropriate” is different from merely voting it down; it’s calling foul on a question, not just disapproving of it.

Apparently, this was done by site users and isn’t something that staff did, but that’s not entirely relevant.

Running away form this story isn’t going to make it go away.

Obama needs to just come clean today.

Otherwise, this is going to be the story for weeks.

Cross-posted at Below The Beltway