Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Marin on Blagojevich: “Don’t be Cruel” to The King

Carol Marin, Chicago Tonight panel hostess [Monday and Wednesday evenings], NBC-5 News Correspondent and Chicago Sun-Times Columnist has a nice little ditty, today, on Elvis, I mean Governor Rod Blagojevich [See here]. The column really does capture the nature of the man who became the first Democratic Governor in Illinois in more than a quarter of a century—and is a man who might consider himself ahead of Senator Barack Obama as Illinois’ favorite son for Vice-President or even President of our United States in 2008.

After all, Rod is a Governor, as had been George Bush, Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, and the only non-Governors to become President since JFK did it as a Senator in 1960 were either VPs or former VPs: George Herbert Walker Bush, Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon and LBJ. So, with Cheney and Gore probably not in the running for President, Rod, thinks he has a shot.

Rod is, in a sense, Bill Clinton, but without the understanding of, interest in and articulateness in public policy that our former President, Mr. Bill had and has. Like President Clinton, in terms of charm, glibness and being personable, Gov. Blagojevich is a 10. Rod could, as they used to say, sell ice to an Eskimo in winter [I am hoping that phrasing will still pass our PC censors]. Marin, in discussinng Rod's visit to her newspaper's plant for his meeting with the Sun-Times Editorial Board's, seemed to describe someone who has the traits of a child discovering toys at Christmas:

The governor, in these situations, becomes larger than life. Like a man who's had one too many Starbucks, he energetically began giving Scofield [the Governor's lead campaign spokesman and a registered lobbyist in Illinois] a quick tour of the Sun-Times' photo gallery that lines our walls, asking those of us standing in the hallway, "Where's the Elvis picture? Isn't it down this way?"

Marin is quite balanced in today’s column, touching on some of Rod’s weakness, e.g., his pension raids, his failure to consider how his new programs will be financed and the swirl of federal, state and county public corruption investigations all around him. She might have asked why, if All Kids health insurance and pre-school were such good programs, Rod did not introduce them sooner than a few months before his re-election campaign was shifting into high gear. But, I will give her that omission.

A more serious rules violation is that, Carol Marin, for what is probably the twentieth consecutive time that she has had the opportunity to do so, neglects to identify Judy Baar Topinka’s major competitors in the Republican Primary for Governor: Jim Oberweis, Rod Gidwitz and State Sen. Bill Brady, while of course identifying Jude as the front-runner. But to complain about the liberal mainstream media for doing this type of thing is a bit like complaining about dogs who bark. I mean-- it is what they do. And, as I said, it is a nicely written piece. Indeed, I wish I could write so well. And, so do my readers.
Jeff Berkowitz, Show Host/Producer of "Public Affairs," and Executive Legal Recruiter doing legal search can be reached at