Steve Chapman has an interesting take on this; Obama has an opportunity to rise above his homeland by allowing Patrick Fitzgerald to keep his position as US Attorney.
As president, he can exercise the customary prerogative of replacing all U.S. attorneys with his own appointees. During the campaign, he indicated he was willing to leave Fitzgerald in place. But he is bound to come under pressure from politicians back home to name someone less obsessive about official vice.What a switcharoo. Conservatoids used to lambaste Patrick Fitzgerald for pursuing the Plame Link with uncalled for vigor. Now that he is going after (stupid and corrupt) Democrats his position must be preserved.
Until this week, that option might have been appealing, since the resulting controversy would have been of interest only in Chicagoland. But now it has become a matter for national attention. For Obama to cashier Fitzgerald would make him look complicit in corruption.
In truth, the Blagojevich affair gives Obama the perfect excuse to do the right thing, no matter what the cost to his political friends. Then, for a change, the sun will keep shining on Illinois.
Of course not all Conservatives see Obama keeping Fitzgerald on as an act of principal; Rush Limbaugh described it as an act of desperation.
However, what are the odds that the US attorney in Chicago will be replaced by Barack Obama when he is inaugurated? Can you just see the headline now? "Patrick Fitzgerald, he of the Scooter Libby conviction and the indictment of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich today was fired by incoming President Barack Obama and replaced by X." People will say, "Wait a minute, Fitzgerald is fired? Why, after he indicts Blagojevich, a Democrat?" I don't care how tone deaf they are in Obamaville -- and they're not tone deaf -- that's not going to happen. So he might fire 92 US attorneys, but he's not going to fire 93 US attorneys.So you have the specter of Obama either getting rid of Fitzgerald and proving his corruption and connection to the "Chicago Way" or you have Obama keeping Fitzgerald out of fear and political expediency. You can't win for losing with guys like Chapman or Limbaugh dealing the cards.
I'll also parenthetically note that Rush Limbaugh misspoke during this particular rant, implying that Bush had kept all of Clinton's attorneys. Not actually true.