Thursday, August 04, 2005

Senator Obama on Roberts, Fitzgerald and Daley

Jeff Berkowitz: Senator, can we get a comment on [Supreme Court Nominee] John Roberts? Could you support John Roberts?

Senator Barack Obama: I think he is a very smart, well qualified individual. Now, we’ve got to see whether he’s got the heart and the sense of proportion and perspective that insures that when he goes on the [Supreme] Court for two, three decades that he is going to look out for all people and not just some people.

Berkowitz: Will that information come from documents or the hearings?

Senator Obama: I think both and that’s why we hope that it’s a well fleshed out hearing but I continue to maintain an open mind.

[Ed. Note: This is reading tea leaves, indeed-- but the above sounds slightly more positive than the statements Senator Obama made a few weeks ago about nominee Roberts—See here, here and here, and is somewhat similar to the straddle position Berkowitz predicted, within hours of the Roberts nomination, that would characterize presidential candidates Hillary, Biden and Edwards, and still possible VP candidate Obama's positions [See last five paragraphs here].
Another Reporter: Will the President re-appoint U. S. Attorney [Patrick] Fitzgerald? Can you foresee any scenario under which he would not do that?

Senator Barack Obama: I would be surprised if he did not [re-appoint Patrick Fitzgerald].
And they say Berkowitz is aggressive? Perhaps he is, at times. But, Fran Spielman [Chicago Sun-Times City Hall Reporter], below, is relentless, with sharp elbows—and she doesn’t have to be in a studio or at City Hall to ply her craft. She can do it on the corner of Randolph and Wacker--they ought to put her voiceprint in the cement there, or better yet, at City Hall.
Fran Spielman: And, do you plan to support Mayor Daley for re-election or does any of this corruption give you pause?

Senator Barack Obama: Well, I think that what’s happened in some of the reports that I’ve seen in your newspaper, Fran-- I think give me huge pause. I think that taxpayers deserve a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay. They expect that people who are hired are hired because of their qualifications and not because of their contacts. I think the investigation is going to proceed and my hope and expectation would be that across the board and not just in the City, but in the state and at the federal level that we create a culture where taxpayers can respect the work that politicians do—since I am one of them.

Spielman: So, may you not endorse- uh- support Mayor Daley for re-election?

Senator Obama: We don’t even know if the Mayor is running again. I think that is pre-mature.

Spielman: But you said you have pause about his leadership, you just said--

Senator Obama: That is not what I said.

Spielman: You said it gives you pause. What is your thought about re- uh- endorsing him, then?

Senator Obama: Don’t put words in my mouth, Fran.

Spielman: What is— [Group Question-Answer Session concludes]
Informal Question-Answer Session between the Press and Senator Barack Obama; The session took place this morning-- immediately following the Press Conference held by Senators Dick Durbin and Barack Obama [Democrats, IL] and Mayor Richard M. Daley to announce federal funding to improve Wacker Drive and to discuss the recently passed Federal Transportation Bill, and what they believe it means for Chicago and the rest of Illinois.

The Press Conference and Q&A occurred on the SW corner of Wacker and Randolph. Senator Durbin moderated the Conference and Obama, Daley and he were flanked at the Press Conference by various high level City of Chicago employees, as well as by Cong. Danny Davis [D- Chicago, 7th CD]—introduced by Senator Durbin as “Many know him as the voice of the 7th CD, some think it is the Voice of God,” State Rep. Ken Dunkin [D-Chicago], Chicago Ald. Burt Natarus, IDOT Secretary Tim Martin and Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Chairman and U. S. Equities Realty Chairman Robert Wislow, with Cong. Davis, IDOT Secretary Martin and Chairman Wislow joining Senators Durbin and Obama and Mayor Daley in making remarks.
Jeff Berkowitz, Host and Producer of Public Affairs and an Executive Recruiter doing Legal Search, can be reached at