June 29, 2009

CHRIS STIREWALT: Sanford can’t save Democrats on ethics woes.

Obama is a pragmatic politician, and while it took good-government promises to win office as a reformer, winning his next term demands playing the game the Washington way. That includes signing bills rewritten by lobbyists in the dead of night.

Ask Sen. Chris Dodd how that can come back to haunt you.

Dodd is drowning under bad polls in Connecticut because of his insertion of the AIG bonus amendment, a sweetheart mortgage, boatloads of cash from the mortgage companies he was supposed to be regulating, and dubious real estate deals.

And even Dodd looks like a solid citizen compared with Rod Blagojevich’s man in Washington, Sen. Roland Burris. On the House side, Rep. Charlie Rangel has been under investigation for 10 months for tax issues and other alleged misconduct. But that didn’t stop him and many of his Congressional Black Caucus colleagues from going on a Citigroup-funded getaway to St. Maarten last fall.

And everyone on Capitol Hill is still waiting to see what happens to Reps. John Murtha, Peter Visclosky and Jim Moran — the top recipients of donations from a lobbying firm since busted by the FBI in a pay-to-play investigation.

Indeed.