As an Illinois resident, I find it interesting to watch two different types of coverage of Blagogate, local and national. Local coverage on Chicago television stations focuses on a wider range of angles than national coverage on the cable news networks, which seems more focused on whether President-elect Barack Obama had any knowledge of Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s plan to award Obama’s former U.S. Senate seat to the highest bidder. It’s almost as if the national newspeople are only concerned with potentially finding some dirty Obama laundry.

As an out-of-work reporter, I certainly understand where the national newsies are coming from with their focus on the Obama angle of this scandal. But speaking strictly as an interested citizen whose home state got screwed by its governor (again), I wish all the commentators would stop insinuating that Blagogate somehow makes Obama dirty just because he is from Chicago. It isn’t as if Obama has a track record of shady behavior. Besides, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, a very thorough investigator, said Tuesday that no allegations of wrongdoing have been made against Obama, and I can’t recall any instance of Fitzgerald being offbase about anything like this in the past.

David Gergen, who served as a White House adviser to four presidents (Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton) and possesses a keen political mind, seems to believe this too.

“He was an honest man who came out of a corrupt system,” Gergen said Wednesday on Anderson Cooper 360.

I understand we live in a cynical society that tends to tear people down rather than build them up. But in the case of Obama, I hope we can continue to believe in him, for even though our country needs a lot more than hope right now, it is important to be able to hope and believe our next president is trustworthy and capable of righting the good ship America.

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