Buried in an article by Bob Sector and John McCormick headlined,
by his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright,
is this paragraph:”
On another subject, Obama said he was impressed with the efforts of the U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald, whose office is prosecuting Obama friend and fundraiser Antoin “Tony” Rezko. If elected president, Obama said, he would retain Fitzgerald (emphasis added).
Obama also took a shot at opponent Hillary Clinton:
”He said Chicago doesn’t have the franchise on political corruption. ‘Sen. Clinton comes out of New York,’ he said. ‘There are apparently some issues there as well.’”
Here are Obama’s words on Fitzgerald take from the Chicago Tribune transcript of the meeting:
Tribune: In the question that Bruce [Dold, Tribune editorial page editor] asked about the difficulties of coming up in Chicago and in the Chicago political way. When you were here several months, maybe a year ago, you said either here or I forgot outside or where outside, I think it was right here in the room, that if you were, you know, that you would reappoint or seek to maintain Patrick Fitzgerald as the United States attorney. . . .
Obama: I think I said it here in the boardroom
Tribune: Given the investigations that are going on now, if you’re elected president.
Obama: I still think he’s doing a good job. Yes.
Tribune: Would you keep him? And why would you keep him?
Obama: I think he has been aggressive in putting the city on notice and the state on notice that he takes issues of public corruption seriously.
Tribune: Does that position of wanting to keep the prosecutor in the job, does that, perhaps do you think it threatens or compromise any other political entities here in Chicago.
Obama: I can’t speculate on that . . . I can’t.
Tribune: I can.
Obama: You can, yes. [laughter]
I trust the Chicago Tribune will pin down Clinton when she comes to town.
Republican presidential candidate John McCain promised me that he would keep Fitzgerald in a Union League Club meeting I was invited to attend in February 2007. He told the Tribune, as well.
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The photo of Barack Obama is from his campaign web site.