Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Will Obama Pardon Jesse Jackson, Jr.?

Well, it seems the time has come for bloggers world-wide and, yes, eventually, even the most respectable newspapers and television networks to start asking the burning question:

"Will President Obama pardon Jessie Jackson, Jr.?"

After all, this is the sort of thing we were all treated to the very instant any one got into trouble during the administration of George W. Bush. Remember how a Scooter Libby pardon was a sure bet? Remember the serious speculation rea pardon for Ted Stevens? Lets see, and then there was Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling,Michael Milken,"Duke" Cunningham and Larry Craig. How about the chatter about a possible presidential pardon for Hall of Fame pitcher Roger Clemens who, at the time, was not even formally charged with anything, much less convicted? Why one would have the general impression that George Bush was the greatest pal a felon could ever have! One would have neverguessed Bush was among the most stingy presidents in history, when it came to granting pardons!

Where on earth has all of the time and energy for this kind of fun gone???

So, here we go: According to the Wall Street Journal, Rep. Jackson is "reportedly" under federal investigation for "allegations that he misused campaign money to decorate his house." Amazingly enough, the investigation is wholly unrelated to a separate investigation regarding former Governor Rod Blagojevich. The WSJ is citing unnamed sources that claim to be "familiar with the matter." Jackson, an Illinois Democrat, has been on medical leave since June 10, while being treated for "bipolar disorder" and intestinal problems (good stuff for a clemency plea). And, although Jackson remains on the November ballot, he has not been seem in public for some time now. According to the New York Times:
... political experts in Chicago said the new investigation seemed unlikely to affect Mr. Jackson’s chances of winning re-election, given his name recognition, the cast of relatively unknown opponents and the deep Democratic leanings of the district.
While we jest, in part, we cannot help but note that the primary difference between Mr. Jackson and Lay, Skilling, Milken, Cuningham, Craig and Clemens is that Jackson is much more intimately related to President Obama, than any of the others were to President Bush. Indeed, we recall this fun passage from Natasha Korecki's book Only In Chicago:
Jackson also spoke of President Obama, according to [attorney Raghu] Nayak. He told Nayak that he and Obama were close and that Obama would be willing to help Jackson. If it came to it, Jackson told Nayak he would leverage his friendship with Obama to get a pardon for Blagojevich, according to Nayak.
See story here.and here.

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