Tales from the Trail

The First Draft, Monday, Dec. 22

December 22, 2008

President-elect Barack Obama may release a report Monday detailing the contacts between his staff and scandal-tainted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. 
 
ABC News says Obama is expected to release the report sometime Monday. The Washington Post says it is due out Monday or Tuesday. 
USA-OBAMA/ 
Blagojevich has been charged with trying to sell the Senate seat that was vacated by Obama after his election to the presidency in November. 
 
The governor has power to appoint someone to serve out the remaining years of the term. 
 
Obama’s staff finished the report last week but its release was held up at the request of the U.S. attorney who is investigating Blagojevich.
 
ABC said Sunday the report found that Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel spoke once with Blagojevich and four times with Blagojevich’s chief of staff, John Harris. ABC said the report cleared Emanuel of doing anything or saying anything wrong.
 
The fiery Continental Airlines accident in Denver, with a dramatic escape by passengers and crew, dominated the morning TV news. The icy U.S. weather ran a close second.
 
Temperatures weren’t a problem for the president-elect, who is relaxing in Hawaii for the holidays.
 
President George W. Bush has a holiday-related schedule Monday. He visits a project for the needy in Washington and later meets with wounded troops at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. 
 USA-BLAGOJEVICH/
Caroline Kennedy’s bid to become a senator was back in the news on morning TV. Kennedy is trying to win appointment to the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Hillary Clinton, who is becoming Obama’s secretary of state.
 
New York Gov. David Paterson is considering a number of names, including the daughter of assassinated President John F. Kennedy. 
 
New York’s Republicans objected mightily to her consideration, with Rep. Peter King questioning her lack of political experience.
 
Stock futures were little changed Monday in what was expected to be a light trading week ahead of the Christmas holiday.
 
For more Reuters political coverage, click here.

Photo credit: Reuters/Hugh Gentry (Obama plays golf in Hawaii Sunday); Reuters/Jeff Haynes (Blagojevich at a news conference Dec 19)

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