He vows to stick around. Good for him. His destruction will be all the more spectacular. Blago insists that he is "innocent," and it's possible, I suppose (though it seems unlikely) that he hasn't crossed the line into criminality. But he clear seems to be a fool and a cretin with no business running a major state--quid pro quo or no.

And now that he's clearly survived the first wave, the prospects of damage to Obama appear slim. The holidays will come, and then the inauguration and the stimulus package and a dozen other massive stories. Barring some major new relevation that appears unlikely--and Rahm talking to Blago doesn't count: politicos talk to each other, and Rahm's not stupid enough to incriminate himself with a known creep--this story becomes a local sideshow in 2009. As it should. With two wars, an economic collapse, an auto industry bailout, and all the rest, this story doesn't merit any more bandwidth than it's already gotten. (Same probably goes for Caroline Kennedy, by the way. If Patterson puts her in, fine. Let the people throw her right back out if they don't like it.)

--Michael Crowley