Axelrod Speaks About Blagojevich (Sorta)

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At the beginning of a panel discussion at Harvard’s Institute of Politics Thursday night, PBS host Gwen Ifill asked David Axelrod, “When was the last time you had a little chat with the governor of Illinois?”

“Thankfully a long time ago,” Axelrod responded, drawing chuckles from the crowd. He did not elaborate about the specifics.

UPDATE: Politico’s Ben Smith, who is sitting a few feet away, transcribes faster than me. The rest of Axelrod’s comment on this matter follows.

“It’s a painful thing for me coming from Illinois. It’s a really appalling story, and there’s not a whole lot to clean up,” he said in response to a question from moderator Gwen Ifill about whether he wanted to clean up elements of the story. “What’s been said speaks to it. There’s a vacancy the governor apparently — if you believe the complaint from the government — had some ideas about what to do with it.

“We were not involved in that discussion or any discussion of that nature,” he said. “The important thing from my standpoint as a resident of Illinois is that we now move from there and have a process that people can have some confidence in selecting a U.S. senator and move forward and put this episode behind us.”