Siegelman saw the chance encounter with Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to the president for public engagement and intergovernmental affairs, as an opportunity. So he reminded her of the need to clean up the corrupt justice system Obama inherited from George W. Bush.
What did Siegelman get for his efforts? An insult.
Ron Brynaert, of Raw Story, covered Siegelman's speech at Netroots Nation, which included an account of his discussion with Jarrett. Reports Brynaert:
Siegelman began his short speech by delivering the news that he ran into Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President for Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, in the lobby of the hotel where the Netroots Nation convention was held.
After exchanging pleasantries, Siegelman told one of Obama's most trusted advisors, "It's time for Dr. Obama to perform surgery on Rove appointed (U.S.) attorneys."
"That ended the discussion," Siegelman said, drawing wry laughter from the crowd.
Did Jarrett have any response at all? Barely, according to Brynaert:
Jarrett basically told Siegelman that it was up to Netroots bloggers and activists to "bring it on," and garner support in order to influence the administration.
Siegelman took the statement seriously and launched a Web site called FireRoveProsecutors.com:
At the website, Siegelman notes that "after 7 months, only a handful of the hundreds of Bush-Rove DOJ appointees have been replaced."
"That's unacceptable," Siegelman continues. "It's time to clean house of all the Bush-Rove appointees in the Justice Department, including all 93 U.S. Attorneys, and ensure justice for all. Please email White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett below: Urge President Obama to do the right thing and Fire Rove's Prosecutors!"
Siegelman's disgust with the Obama administration was apparent in his remarks at Netroots Nation:
He told the audience that "no other president left the other team" in place after assuming office, rhetorically adding "Why not leave Condoleezza Rice, too?"
"The one thing Bush did right was to fire the US attorneys the moment he walked into office," Siegelman added.
Let's take a minute to ponder Jarrett's message. A man who spent nine months in federal prison because of a bogus political prosecution asked for her help in cleaning up the justice system. And she says it's up to bloggers and activists to convince the Obama administration that something needs to be done?
Is the Obama crowd too busy caving on a public option for health care to consider problems in the U.S. Department of Justice?
Jarrett insulted Siegelman and the numerous other victims of the Bush Justice Department--Cyril Wecht, Paul Minor, Wes Teel, John Whitfield . . . the list goes on.
She also insulted all Americans who give a rip about justice. And she insinuated that the Obama administration doesn't have any principles. It merely reacts to whatever interest group raises the most noise.
Pathetic! I smell a one-term presidency coming on--if something doesn't change in a hurry.
I've got news for Ms. Jarrett: Bloggers and activists already have done their part. They have already shown that Don Siegelman and others were victimized by a Justice Department run amok. And there is precious little evidence that the DOJ has improved any under Obama's leadership.
It's people in positions of power, like Ms. Jarrett, who have shown a lack of spine and principles. They have taken a matter of utmost seriousness--that goes to the very foundation of our Constitution--and turned it into a game, something that deserves attention only if "bloggers and activists" squawk loud enough.
Change we can believe in?
What a bunch of baloney.