I don’t think I could write about anything other than the Rod Blagojevich situation today. I feel like I’ve been walking around with my mouth hanging open all day. I don’t have much to add to the analysis. So I’ve decided to run the “best of” what I’ve seen and heard today.
1) The best “Illinois governor” fact: 50% of the 8 most recent Illinois governors have not been indicted. (That’s the “glass half full” way of looking at it.)
2) The best adage of the day (speaking of Blago’s attempt to strong-arm the Tribune into firing editorial staff who wrote unfavorably of him): “Never pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel.” (Ed Graham.)
3) The best prank: Someone selling Obama’s former Senate seat on eBay.
4) The best Patrick Fitzgerald line: “Abe Lincoln would be rolling over in his grave.”
5) Best Patti Blagojevich line caught on the wire tap (yelling instructions in the background as Rod is on the phone talking about giving the Tribune financing for the Cubs sale in return for them firing the editorial staff): “Hold up that f****** Cubs sh**.” Nice, Patti. You don’t come off looking too great in this thing either.
6) Best Chicago Tribune column of the day: Eric Zorn http://blogs.chicagotribune.com/news_columnists_ezorn/2008/12/staggering-allegations-even-by-illinois-standards.html
7) Second-best Chicago Tribune column of the day (okay, I’m not following my own format, but it’s my blog, so I can do what I want): http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/chi-kass-blago-extradec09,0,6988635.column
8) Best name for the scandal: “Roddergate” (from Eric Zorn’s follow-up to the above column.)
9) Best visual image: Rod answering the phone at 6 in the morning, and saying in response to the FBI agent telling him the Feds were there to take him into custody: “Is this a joke?”
10) Best side benefit of this whole scandal: I think it greatly reduces George Ryan’s chances of getting a presidential pardon (although he just lost his title of Most Corrupt Governor in Illinois History. George who?)
11) Best impersonation of Elliot Ness: Patrick Fitzgerald. (Actually, he may be Elliot reincarnated.)
I don’t take pleasure in anyone’s downfall (although I have to admit that I do get a certain level of satisfaction when the bad guys get caught.) As many people do, I feel terribly sorry for the governor’s daughters, who are old enough to know what’s going on and to feel the shame of seeing their father publicly humiliated. I believe that more people will be drawn into the scandal as the people involved are identified, and that will cause more hurt and humiliation for innocent family members.
Mostly, I just hope that with Blagojevich brought down, it will be the beginning of the end of corruption in Illinois.
Hey, a girl can dream.