First, the most predictable and unfortunate response, from the man himself, via his attorney, and via Politico.
The attorney for Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich said the governor will be vindicated and has no plans to resign.
"He didn't do anything wrong," attorney Sheldon Sorosky told reporters after Blagojevich appeared in court on Tuesday. "A lot of this is just politics."
Blagojevich should be in the office on Wednesday, Sorosky added.
So, reporters asked, he doesn’t intend to resign?
"Not that I know of, no," said Sorosky, who added that the governor was "surprised" by the day's events, but his spirits are “good.”
It seems that Democrats never resign when caught seemingly red-handed. I can't remember the last who did. It's always, "I'll be vindicated" and a legal fight, clinging to that delicious power for dear life.
On the upside for the Democratic Party, Senate majority leader Harry Reid has said that he won't seat a Blagojevich appointee. That's a good first step in distancing the Party from the man.
I think it's time Obama calls for the man to resign. That would signal to skeptics like me that he is serious about a change in politics. It's safe enough for Obama to do. It's not like he has any other office to chase. It's one thing for him to have come out, as anyone would, to say that he has no ties to Blagojevich's alleged actions. It's another entirely to say that it isn't condoned, it isn't to be swept under the rug. It is to be called out and confronted, opposed and smashed. Anything short of a call for resignation by Obama is weak. You've almost certainly heard his initial statement, here via ABC News:
"Obviously like the rest of the people of Illinois I am saddened and sobered by the news that came out of the US attorney's office today," said President-elect Obama this afternoon in Chicago, speaking of the criminal complaint against Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich for corruption. "But as this is a ongoing investigation involving the governor I don't think it would be appropriate for me to comment on the issue at this time."
Asked what contact he'd had with the governor's office about his replacement in the Senate, President-elect Obama today said "I had no contact with the governor or his office and so we were not, I was not aware of what was happening."
Distance yourself, make no statement on the content. That's pretty typical, and not much in the realm of change. I think a definitive statement of condemnation is not only appropriate, it's necessary.