Sunday, January 11, 2009

One good reason I can't stand Blagojevich...

His ongoing feud with his own father-in-law, Ald. Dick Mell. The man who helped him get elected only to kick him to the curb when he discovered that he was Governor. A lot of this might have been his new position going to his head almost as if he needed no one else in the world.

I just found this Sun-Times story via Ridge99. It's over a month old and whatever statement he was going to make the press I believe he and his children were interviewed on WMAQ-TV. The article seems to suggest that Patti, Mell's daughter, is fiercely loyal to her husband. If no one else is in his corner, she is. I'm not going to say there's anything wrong with that, but someone should have been able to tell him that something is amiss here, especially his wife. Unfortunately that doesn't appear to be the case.

Here's an excerpt:
It's not clear what Mell could say to explain away his daughter's behavior. She is heard on federal wiretaps participating in backroom calls with her husband on how to leverage his political position into a high-paying job for her, according to the federal complaint filed against Blagojevich.
llinois' divided first family tried to bury the hatchet in December, 2006 after the death of Mell's wife. But it wasn't long before Blagojevich and Mell were at each other's throats once again.

“Right after Margie passed away, they had meetings. They had dinner. There was an absolute commitment to put past differences aside for the good of the family,” said a source familiar with the feud.

“Then, Patti kind of broke the truce. Rod kept having problems and moments with [Mell] and she just went with her husband. After that, Dick didn't get to see the grandchildren. He was very upset. The grandchildren were very important to him.”

The source added, “I don't think he cares a bit about what happens to Rod. But, he cares a lot about his daughter and grandchildren. This is not a time for feeling vindicated. He just feels horribly sad.”
I kind of understand a little bit. Too bad that the children are dragged into this. Of course that's not to say that they're picking a side one way or another because I don't know. I do know that Blagojevich's inability to stay loyal to his father-in-law or at least play it straight with him is probably one facet of his current undoing as the Governor is now facing impeachment and removal from office as well as a criminal trial.

I could add also that it probably could have helped the Governor if not only he had a better relationship with his father-in-law, but also the state General Assembly. It was brought up that he generally wasn't around when the legislature was in session. When he called them into special session, he wasn't around and never set an agenda. He wasn't very accessible and he probably wonders why he finds himself feuding generally with the state House of Reps and House Speaker Michael Madigan.

On Friday, two people chose not to vote for impeachment. I voted no and the other voted present. In fact one justified his vote by saying that he went with his gut instinct and said he had no personal knowledge of the charges against the governor. He also said that it wasn't his job to impeach him. Probably safe to say that he didn't want to jump on the bandwagon. It should also be noted that he was a lame duck as he didn't run for re-election.

Just like another south side Democrat, who voted present although in her case she lost a bid for re-election. In any case she also didn't want to jump on the bandwagon (which is somewhat understandable actually). She also felt that this impeachment process was more personal than anything else. She might be right about that, however, that may not have negated the charges against him by the state House and even the US attorney.

Going back to Blagojevich's in-laws. Or even his wife, what engenders that type of loyalty. You won't only find that with his wife, but surely you'll find that loyalty in other places. When the impeachment moves toward the Senate we'll see how loyal the state Senate will be. All the same what does this say about the Governor, if he doesn't have the ability to follow thru on his promises, have an inability to do good by his loyal supporters, or if he often displays a counterproductive combative streak?

Anyone have any answers?

Here's some raw video I found via the AP YouTube account. It was a couple of days after his arrest. He heads to work that day in the James R. Thompson Center and his kids also go out this exit preceding him. It's got to be very awful for them right now.

How about this very good post from Clout City...
At the risk of sounding like Freud, none of this would have happened had Governor Blagojevich not lost sight of who he was or where he came from or, most importantly, whom he owed for his success. His relentless desire to shake down folks doing business with the state, his hunger to build the mightiest of political machines, his obsession to be the man, the kingmaker, the top pol in Illinois--it all stems from the fact that he would be nothing if not for alderman Richard Mell, and he knows it.
They called it. Just like I called it. Perhaps it's always been known, but no one seemed to have come out and said that Blagojevich was essentially ungrateful to those who helped him get to where he is....was. Stricken and placed in the past tense because of the situation he has found himself in and the possibility that he'll be removed.

Finally, an old post from early last year. I blogged about an article in Chicago Magazine. It basically touches upon the issue of the Governor's relationship with his father-in-law. Look no further than the first page!

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