Traditionally, an outgoing senator who has been elected or appointed to a higher office is granted great deference by the governor who appoints his successor. If the outgoing senator wants candidate X to be appointed for the remainder of his term of office, the governor usually appoints candidate X.
Not Governor Blagojevich of Illinois though. Obama recommended his successor to Blagojevich -- then Blagojevich tried to shake him down for bribes. Obama refused to be bribed. Blagojevich called Obama a motherfucker for refusing to give Blagojevich a bribe.
Now, here's the thing about Chicago-style politics. You don 't ever, *ever* try to stick up someone who has the goods on you. And you are damned tootin' right that Obama and his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, had the goods on Blagojevich. Speculation is that Blagojevich got narced on by Rahm The Knife because the shakedown attempt pissed Rahm off, thus the arrest of Blagojevich.
Ah yes, Chicago politics. The gift that keeps on giving.
-- Badtux the Cynical Penguin