In a fascinating piece about the relationship--actually the lack of one--between Obama and Blago, the WaPo's Eli Saslow reminds us of this uncomfortable association: "Blagojevich appointed one of Obama's closest confidants, Eric Whitaker, as director of the Illinois Department of Public Health." I'm not insinuating there was anything untoward about the way Whitaker got his job. But, given the way Blago appeared to hand them out, Obama probably wants as few Illinois state appointees as possible in his inner circle these days, if only for the sake of appearances.

Having said that, the piece mostly highlights how icy the relations between Obama and Blago were. After reading it, you really do think Blago had to be delusional to think Obama would bargain with him. It also expands on the rivalry theme Jason teased out a few days ago.

Noam Scheiber