President-elect Barack Obama is refusing to answer any questions about the internal review he has ordered into Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's alleged efforts to sell his former Senate seat, saying he will do so when the examination is finished.
Obama's staff has declined to respond to even basic questions, like who is conducting the probe, how long it will take, what issues are being explored and whether they are working with federal investigators. Obama has promised transparency throughout his service and to divulge contacts his staff has had with Blagojevich's office in the coming days. But his staff has locked down on inquiries in the meantime.
The Obama transition team's refusal to talk has contributed to a maelstrom around Obama's incoming White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, a Chicago congressman likely to have been in contact with the governor, who was arrested this week in a corruption scandal.
First, friendly pressure on the compliant media to cover up facts.
Then, some spin.
Finally, hold out as long as you can -- for voters to forget, reporters to move on to other stories, and for you to get as many cronies as possible into positions of power in government and media.
That's how you run a political machine. That's how they ran Chicago, and it's how they're going to run Washington, D.C.
Welcome to the third world, USA.