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The Damage Rod Blagojevich's Arrest Could Do

This is "a new low," said U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, discussing the arrest on Tuesday. "The conduct would make Lincoln roll over in his grave."

The arrest this morning of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has sparked intense discussion in the political universe over how great a taint his ethical follies will have both on the next Illinois Senator and Barack Obama.

The governor, accused of seeking cash for the political appointment of Obama's Senate replacement, is not a close associate of the President-elect. Indeed, in the affidavit, Blagojevich called Obama a "motherfucker" for wanting him to appoint an official that the governor either did not like or wouldn't receive money from. Local news reports, meanwhile, suggest that it was Obama chief-of-staff Rahm Emanuel who blew the whistle on the governor.

But the fact that Blagojevich put, in essence, a for-sale sign on Obama's Senate seat -- and some of the lengths he went to in order to extract financial benefit from the process -- could create for long-term damage for the Democratic Party and, by extension the President-elect.

This is "a new low," said U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, discussing the arrest on Tuesday. "The conduct would make Lincoln roll over in his grave."

Sam Stein is a Political Reporter at the Huffington Post, based in Washington, D.C.
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