Elections in Iran, Illinois? Obama very busy not picking sides

June 19, 2009

If you ever wondered what Illinois and Iran might have in common, here’s one answer: President Obama is most definitely not picking sides in their elections.
So insists the White House.
OBAMA/“Our response … on this has been, from the very beginning, consistent,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told a briefing Thursday when asked about the post-election turmoil in Iran.
“The American people and this government are not going to pick the next leader of Iran,” he said. “That’s something that the Iranians have to do.”
That doesn’t mean they won’t tsk-tsk loudly from the sidelines as the opportunity permits.
The administration has voiced concern about how the election was conducted, but shied away from suggesting any fraud was involved in President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s defeat of challenger Mirhossein Mousavi.
They say they don’t favor either candidate, but insist the challenger’s supporters have a right to continue their protests a week after the vote.
“We have to ensure that we express our views, as I’ve said, about ensuring that people can demonstrate, have their causes and concerns heard,” the White House spokesman said.
Obama’s also steering clear of the U.S. Senate race in Illinois, Gibbs said, even though he met last Friday with Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.
Chicago papers say the Obama administration is pushing her to run for the president’s former U.S. Senate seat in 2010, but the White House begs to differ.
“Let me be explicit,” Gibbs said. “The president is not going to pick a candidate in the Illinois Senate race.”
And the meeting at the White House with Obama, Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and senior adviser Valerie Jarret? Why, Madigan and Obama are just old friends and Obama has “enormous respect for what she accomplished,” Gibbs said.
And oh, by the way …
“I think she’d be a terrific candidate. But we’re not going to get involved in picking that candidate in Illinois.”
For more Reuters political news, click here.

Photo credit: Reuters/Larry Downing (Obama speaks at a fundraiser Thursday night)


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This reminds me of Bush being the first “leader” to congratulate Kibake when he blatantly stole Kenya’s last election.

Posted by Berrick Bojowski | Report as abusive

Obama is not taking sides in Iran because taking sides for Mousavi would undermine him as a puppet candidate for the West.

Actually, by saying Mousavi = Ahmadinejad, he’s helping the former and weakening the latter.

For Illinois, the POTUS would have everything to lose to comment on the issue.

where is the transcript dear president transparecy??????

Posted by thomas | Report as abusive

chamberlains lack of fortitude gave the impression that the brits would not retaliate at the invasion of poland.in fact it was a complete surprise to germany they had hoped that because of support from the duke of winsor and others they would get a way with it.many people in america disagree with the invasion of iraq but they defied the UN, because they were given assurances by ‘politicians’ ,that there would be no vote to sanction this in the UN.do think that if that had any idea that there would be an invasion they would have defied the different mandates.now it is being perceived that obama is in the same mould as jimmy carter,he seems so indecisive against some of these tyrannical leaders and if they think that he has a back bone problem they will turn up the heat.i hope i am wrong but if he does not start to be more assertive and just hope he can sit on the fence and impress people with his platitudes we could be heading to an eventual world war.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

Clearly Obama would like to see Ahmadinejad gone but he can’t say so publicly because if it turns out that he (Ahmadinejad) stays in office then it would hard to deal with him in the future. I think Obama is playing it right by saying that the election was flawed and it is up to the Iranian people to sort it out.

Posted by Eric H | Report as abusive

Unlike some dictatorships that were able to suppress protests (like Moldavia), this one is going to be hard to squash. Students know their power from history, they know how to use technology, and they are fed up with the economic nightmare of Ahmadinejad’s government (as well as earlier governments). Inflation of about 16% (over the past 9 years) and over 4 million people unemployed sets the misery index at unsustainable levels. The so called “Green Revolution” will not just go away.

A message for our Canadian friends, please call the Foreign Office to request opening of the Canadian embassy (in Tehran) doors for the wounded: 1-800-267-8376

if you look at obama,s voting record in the senate ,what are we complaining about,he is “present”is he not?

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive