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Friday, December 09, 2011

Capitol Fax: Blago as Fredo

To be honest I have a tough time getting into The Godfather franchise, but I know many are huge fans of those films. This is how Rich Miller in his Sun-Times column describes how Fredo Corleone and Blago are similar:
His flashy, expensive clothes, his gigantic posse, his brash swagger all point to the wannabe gangster type. I mean, the man is broke but he still had a driver take him to court every day? That’s gangster if I ever saw it.

The thing is, Blagojevich was never much good at the gangster role.

Sure, he had most of the theatrics down, but aside from firing a bunch of helpless state workers without the proper political connections, he was a failure right down the line.

Blagojevich declared war on House Speaker Michael Madigan when he was still in the Illinois House. By 2007, all hell had broken loose. This was supposed to be his Michael Corleone moment, when he would wipe out all his enemies in one fell swoop.

Instead, the fight lasted two years and ended with a paranoid and deranged Blagojevich caught on FBI wiretaps plotting ways he could leverage Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat to get himself appointed to a Cabinet post, or a cushy job making big bucks or raking in tons of campaign contributions from U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. Madigan’s obvious desire to pursue impeachment charges and Obama’s rise to the nation’s top job had finally collapsed Blagojevich’s insane belief that he was the one destined for the White House, and he didn’t handle it well.
...
Like Fredo, Blagojevich was far too interested in the flashy life to take care of business, though both were convinced they were destined for greatness. Fredo’s botched shortcut up the family tree by helping a rival gangster try to kill his own brother undid him.

Blagojevich’s illegal shortcuts resulted in a 14-year prison sentence and permanent infamy.
I might have seen the scene in the Godfather series where Fredo was murdered but I don't remember the context. I skipped the part of Miller's column where he describes the moments that undid Fredo and Blago alike. Fredo was upset that his father Vito Corleone passed him up and made his brother Michael cheif of their crime family. Blago on the other hand was recorded on an FBI wiretap expressing his displeasure over a 13% approval rating by Illinois voters.

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