Nick Ragone is an author, attorney and public relations executive in New York City. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Rutgers University, and is a graduate of the Eagleton Institute of Political Science at Rutgers University (undergraduate) and the Georgetown University Law Center.

He is the author of three books: Essential American Government, Everything American Government, and President's Most Wanted. Nick is a regular contributor to the Fox News Channel and Fox Business, the PIX11 Morning Show, and has a weekly appearance on the popular Raph Bailey Radio Show.  He co-anchored PIX11's five-hour live inauguration coverage with Jim Watkins and Kaity Tong.

Nick is a contributor to Donklephant.com, one of the most influential political blogs on the web, and  has written for US News & World Report, The Star-Ledger, Real Simple Magazine and RealSimple.com.  Nick has been quoted in over two dozen stories on politics, the presidency, and public relations.  In December of 2007, Nick was named one of PR Week's 40 under 40 to watch, and in May of 2008 was featured in "Profiles of Success", a book about public relations. Nick lives in Jersey City, NJ, with his wife and two children, and spends what little free time he has obsessing on the Mets.

Nick can also be found on Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=740817853




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White House has some splaining to do

Ok so I'm writing this from the swim up bar, and it may be the sun/booze speaking, but me thinks Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod could have some splaining to do.

Here are the facts as we know them: Someone from Blago's office and the White House spoke about Obama's Senate seat. Axelrod all but confirmed it, and the 76 page indictment makes it clear, too.

The most likely candidates to have had those conversations (from the White House) are Emanuel and Axelrod. Both are friendly with Governor Hairdo, and are ...um ... familiar with Chicago machine politics. Neither has been known to be squeamish about mixing it up every now and again.

And clearly, Ivan Blago was disappointed that the White House wasn't willing to "play ball" for the Senate seat, a sentiment he expressed in a colorful assortment of expletives deleted.

But the question remains: if the White House knew that Blago was illegally horse-trading for the seat, did they drop the dime on them? I'm not totally clear on what the legal standard is for that situation (maybe super lawyer Alan Gura can clarify), but the political standard is clear: if Emanuel or Axelrod knew that a crime had been committed (a solicitation for a deal for the Senate seat by Blago), then they had a responsibility to call Fitzgerald.

Over the next few days, it will be interesting to learn specifically about Axelrod and Emanuel's role in instigating Fitzgerald's speedy indictment. If they tipped off Fitz -- then good for them. If they didn't -- and knew about a potential crime -- then rut-roh for them.

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