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AP Goes Ahead and Calls Blagojevich a 'Distraction' for Obama

7:30 PM, Dec 9, 2008 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
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No need to wait for Obama to frame the issue when the Associated Press knows his favorite words already. They are great students of his oratory, after all:

Though Barack Obama isn't accused of anything, the charges against his home-state governor - concerning Obama's own Senate seat no less - are an unwelcome distraction. And the ultimate fallout is unclear.

As Obama works to set up his new administration and deal with a national economic crisis, suddenly he also is spending time and attention trying to distance himself from Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and charges that the governor was trying to sell the now-vacant Senate post.

And, again, just a few paragraphs later, after a vigorous defense of Obama and a rigorous downplaying of his connections to Blago:

Still, at the very least, the episode amounts to a distraction for Obama at an inopportune time just six weeks before he's sworn into office. It also raises the specter of notorious Chicago politics, an image Obama has tried to distance himself from during his career.

The story goes on to castigate mean Republicans who just won't let the issue drop, already. Again, the AP should just drop the grown-up words and write with emoticons. The picture associated with the story even features Obama wearing a frowny face. The pathos!

AP also does Obama a solid by using his statement that he never met with Blagojevich about his Senate replacement while saving David Alxelrod's very different statement for two thirds into the story. Then, this predictable rejoinder from the Obama team:

Obama transition officials say Axelrod misspoke.

We've heard that so many times, the AP could have written that line, too.