SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Rod as Fredo

Friday, Dec 9, 2011

* My Sun-Times column

There’s no real mystery to understanding Rod Blagojevich.

He was, and still is, a failed wannabe gangster.

Not a real gangster who pops caps in people’s behinds. Blagojevich tried to model himself on movie gangsters.

The guy even quoted a character from “The Godfather, Part 11” during a joint session of the Illinois General Assembly.

“This is the business we’ve chosen,” said an angry Hyman Roth to Michael Corleone in that classic film that just about everyone in politics has studied beginning to end.

Blagojevich once said the very same thing during a State of the State address.

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.

Remember his enraged rant when he discovered his job approval rating had sunk to 13 percent?

“I f—ing busted my a– and p-ssed people off and gave your grandmother a free f—ing ride on a bus. OK? I gave your f—ing baby a chance to have health care. I fought every one of those —holes including every special interest out there. … And what do I get for that? Only 13 percent of y’all out there think I’m doing a good job. So f–k all of you!”

When I heard that, I immediately thought of another rant by a failed wannabe movie gangster, Fredo Corleone.

“I’m your older brother, Mike, and I was stepped over!” Fredo screamed at Michael Corleone.

“That’s the way Pop wanted it,” Michael calmly responded.

“It ain’t the way I wanted it!” Fredo shouted back. “I can handle things! I’m smart! Not like everybody says, like dumb. I’m smart and I want respect!”

Fredo’s life ended not long afterward, shot in the back of the head at sundown while fishing with a “family” friend. Blagojevich’s political life ended not long after his rant was recorded, arrested by FBI agents at his home one morning before sunrise.

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.

So, maybe the former governor can console himself with the fact that he’s still alive.

* Then again

Ryan is now serving his sentence of more than six years at a federal prison camp in Terre Haute, Ind., where he lives in dorm-style housing.

But Blagojevich might expect a more harsh situation, at least at first. Inmates sentenced to more than 10 years are generally sent to secured prisons, said Federal Bureau of Prisons spokesman Edmond Ross. [Emphasis added.]

* In other news, Scooter has urged Blagojevich to game the system

Scott Fawell, the former chief of staff of a different convicted governor, George Ryan, is offering a tip on how Rod Blagojevich can cut his lengthy 14-year sentence.

The former governor may be able to make a request with the U.S. Bureau of Prisons to take part in a substance abuse program.

Fawell said that’s what he did before going into prison.

“What you do is say that in between the time you’re sentenced and the time you report, you just couldn’t stop drinking,” Fawell said.

It shaved time off of Fawell’s 78-month sentence he received for corruption that happened while he worked for Ryan. He went through a nine-month program in prison, then got six months off in a halfway house plus one year of credit for doing the program. That’s on top of time off for good behavior.

“I didn’t want to do it at first. I said: ‘I’m going to save a little shred of dignity,’ ” he said. “But it’s the only game in town. It’s the only way you can get time off” in the federal system.

* Related…

* VIDEO: Jackson: I Didn’t Know Blago Had a Brother

* Jesse L. Jackson Jr.: ‘I will be vindicated’

* Robert Blagojevich’s tears for his brother: ‘It’s just grossly unfair’

* Robert Blagojevich feels for his brother

* VIDEO: Gov. Pat Quinn on Rod Blagojevich’s sentence

* VIDEO: David Letterman - Rod Blagojevich Top Ten

* VIDEO: Thomas Glasgow Discusses 14 Year Federal Prison Sentence for Rod Blagojevich

* Editorial: Blago sentence could start a new era

- Posted by Rich Miller        


27 Comments
  1. - lucid brasi - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 6:47 am:

    Fawell still has not developed any character


  2. - Cindy Lou - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 7:17 am:

    I’d think the girls would have a bit more respect for their father if he didn’t lie and play drunk/druggie between now and his depature. The guy has done enough damage to his daughters without trying to get out of his misdeed time by yet again lying and playing the system. Just how does that work ‘uh girls, I’ve decided to cut sometime off my sentence by lying and cheating some more’. Seriously. I can’t think of a much worse Rattling Rod than a drunken Rattling Rod yakking about how he’ll beat his sentence length by being deceitful.


  3. - Pat Collins - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 7:25 am:

    What is worse, that Fawell gamed the system, or bragged about it?


  4. - Way Way Down Here - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 7:28 am:

    ===Not a real gangster who pops caps in people’s behinds.===

    I don’t know why, but that line made me laugh out loud. Rod rapping like Warren Beatty in Bulworth maybe? There’s a picture for ya.


  5. - wordslinger - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 8:04 am:

    I thought Zagel’s use of “immature” and “reckless” were appropriate. Those are pretty devastating words to apply to a 55-year-old man.

    And props to Kass for pointing it out, but I thought Zagel’s smackdown of Blago’s lawyers contention that he came from “nothing” was stirring.

    The lawyer’s back-of-the-hand to Blago’s hardworking, immigrant parents — who somehow got their idiot son in a position to go to Northwestern and law school — was disgusting and well-deserving of a smackdown.


  6. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 8:28 am:

    Scott Fawell … dignity … that was a Hoot! Nothing like Scooter working the system, and nothing LIKE Scooter telling someone to WORK the system. Nice going Scotty, you still don’t get it.

    Rich, the Fredo Corleone is Spot-On! We, on your blog often, ourselves (ok, me …sorry) refer to the Godfather movies, be they by quotes or by characters. Rod as Fredo in this snapshot of Rod could not be a better window to look at Rod as he looks prison time square in the face.

    Fredo is also a tragic character, because his flaws would never let him triumph, like some former governor we know. Rod’s legacy is that of a Wanna-Be.

    It was never about being liked, It was never about being smart. It WAS about who we would want to run the business. Vito Corleone chose Michael, which was “Smaaat”, We chose Rod … We … chose Fredo.


  7. - Stones - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 8:48 am:

    Classic! Fawell telling Blago how to “beat the system”. I guess it’s true that thieves stick together.


  8. - OneMan - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 8:56 am:

    Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangsta

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rL9ihXiFAko

    (Clean version best I can tell)


  9. - Secret Square - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 8:58 am:

    Great column, although the movie title looks like “The Godfather, Part Eleven (11)” instead of “The Godfather, Part II (capital I’s representing Roman numerals)”


  10. - BelleAire - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 9:06 am:

    It is difficult for me to believe the poor, immigrant story since his father worked a decent job and BOTH of his kids attended law school.It’s not your typical immigrant family.
    It’s now 2005 and Blago has already been warned that he is in trouble for making problems for Mell but he still believes that he is the man and can do what he pleases.
    I picture the Mell Family Holiday table back in 2005–Mell tries to reason with Blago and Patty about the issue and they leave mid-meal with a container of left-overs. They cannot believe Big Daddy or understand what he is telling them that there is trouble ahead for both of them if they do not start playing the game.


  11. - You Can't Stop What's Coming - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 9:09 am:

    So, just keep on lying?

    Sounds like Fawell didn’t learn a single thing during his stint.


  12. - publius - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 9:26 am:

    rich. a very insightful column, one of your best,


  13. - walkinfool - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 9:53 am:

    Rich: Impressive week for you, all in.


  14. - Lincoln Parker - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 10:09 am:

    Great analogy Rich. Blago wanted all the power of a Madigan/Daley without actually doing any work.


  15. - MrJM - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 10:09 am:

    As if being Scott Fawell wasn’t reason enough to binge drink…

    – MrJM


  16. - chad - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 10:38 am:

    The Fredo comparison is brutal, but spot-on. As for Scott Fawell, we can all be glad that he has reconfirmed to potential employers his habit to scheme around the rules of a system. Just the kind of guy you need working for you!


  17. - QBRNST - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 11:09 am:

    Given Blago’s deranged behavior pattern…who’s to say going into rehab wouldn’t be an honest move?


  18. - dupage dan - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 11:14 am:

    We…chose Fredo.

    That says it all.

    Great column. It says as much about the power elite in this state and the voters who would put Fredo in the mansion as it does about Fredo, I mean Rod.


  19. - Esquire - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 11:16 am:

    As much as I enjoyed reading this, it could also be argued that Blagojevich could be compared to Tony Montana in Brian De Palma’s version of “Scarface.” He turned on his old mentor and sponsor (Robert Loggia = Dick Mell) and took a woman from him who became his crazy wife (Michelle Pfeiffer = Patti). He destroyed himself when he came to believe the slogan “The World is Yours” and spent his final days in paranoid isolation before being brought down.


  20. - Bill F - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 12:48 pm:

    I know it was you, Rod. You broke my heart.


  21. - Roadiepig - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 1:18 pm:

    Rich - wanted to add my kudos to everyone’ else’s above. He seems to believe in the “roles” he plays (what the rest of us would call “living our life”), and Fredo is who he ended up as in real life. Oswego Willie - great last paragraph.


  22. - Wensicia - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 1:46 pm:

    ==but I thought Zagel’s smackdown of Blago’s lawyers contention that he came from “nothing” was stirring.==

    “Nothing” is what he is now and will be long after he finishes his prison time. A pitiful heritage for his immigrant family.

    BTW - I don’t think they offer rehab for sociopaths.


  23. - Rich Miller - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 1:52 pm:

    ===A pitiful heritage for his immigrant family.===

    That’s also a heartbreaking part of this. I think of his mom taking a second job scrubbing floors so he could go to law school.

    What a waste. He could be in his third term right now if he hadn’t been such a jag. So much talent down the drain.


  24. - Robert - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 2:03 pm:

    Great analogy and funny article, Rich! Dick Mell = Don Corleone? Played the game but didn’t go over the line like Blago?


  25. - D.P. Gumby - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 2:51 pm:

    It seems he never really had any understanding of the job or of governing. In which case, what made him think that he could make money as governor of Illinois? Seems that there is no rational thought process, no understanding of history or politics.


  26. - Frank - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 2:57 pm:

    Every time he combed his hair, he said a Hail Mary


  27. - Happy Returns - Friday, Dec 9, 11 @ 3:50 pm:

    “Great column, although the movie title looks like “The Godfather, Part Eleven (11)” instead of “The Godfather, Part II (capital I’s representing Roman numerals)””

    Yeah - Godfather’s 11 is where all the Corleone’s get back together for one more multi-million $$ caper/heist, and it’s a delightful romp.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* US judge orders hiring monitor at IDOT
* Underdog endorsements
* Birth control, millionaires and the minimum wage
* Good morning!
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............


Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

          
        * Samsung Galaxy Note 4 teased with Android 5.0 Lollipop
        * Pandora Now Offers Audience Data To Musicians
        * Fantastical for iPhone and iPad Go iOS 8-Only With Widgets, Extensions, and More
        * Excited for Android TV? Try it unofficially on the OUYA
        * Minuum keyboard update: better language switching, more languages
        * Camels, sleds, and fishing boats: 7 wacky Google Street View vehicles
        * Groupon Goes After Yelp And Google With Millions Of Individual Business Pages

        * How to Tap Your Network and See Everything That Happens On It
        * Go Camping For a Week to Learn Your Body's Natural Sleep Cycle
        * Microsoft Stops Surface Pro 2 Tablet Sales From Its Online Store
        * Avi-on Wireless Light Switch Offers A 100ft Range And 3yr Battery (video)
        * UK Launch of Google Nexus 6 Delayed (Rumor)
        * In Palo Alto, Even the Hummus Guy Has an E-Commerce Startup
        * Draw a Perfect Circle with a Speed Square

        * 23 potential MLB free agents as SkyMall items
        * World Series Game 1: Notes and discussion
        * The e-gus off-season plan
        * Reading Room: A wild card of a World Series
        * Following same path as '59 White Sox, KC eyes title
        * larry's Offseason Plan
        * Abreu wins Sporting News' AL Rookie of the Year honors


        Main Menu
        Home
        Illinois
        YouTube
        Pundit rankings
        Obama
        Subscriber Content
        Durbin
        Burris
        Blagojevich Trial
        Advertising
        Updated Posts
        Polls

        Archives
        October 2014
        September 2014
        August 2014
        July 2014
        June 2014
        May 2014
        April 2014
        March 2014
        February 2014
        January 2014
        December 2013
        November 2013
        October 2013
        September 2013
        August 2013
        July 2013
        June 2013
        May 2013
        April 2013
        March 2013
        February 2013
        January 2013
        December 2012
        November 2012
        October 2012
        September 2012
        August 2012
        July 2012
        June 2012
        May 2012
        April 2012
        March 2012
        February 2012
        January 2012
        December 2011
        November 2011
        October 2011
        September 2011
        August 2011
        July 2011
        June 2011
        May 2011
        April 2011
        March 2011
        February 2011
        January 2011
        December 2010
        November 2010
        October 2010
        September 2010
        August 2010
        July 2010
        June 2010
        May 2010
        April 2010
        March 2010
        February 2010
        January 2010
        December 2009
        November 2009
        October 2009
        September 2009
        August 2009
        July 2009
        June 2009
        May 2009
        April 2009
        March 2009
        February 2009
        January 2009
        December 2008
        November 2008
        October 2008
        September 2008
        August 2008
        July 2008
        June 2008
        May 2008
        April 2008
        March 2008
        February 2008
        January 2008
        December 2007
        November 2007
        October 2007
        September 2007
        August 2007
        July 2007
        June 2007
        May 2007
        April 2007
        March 2007
        February 2007
        January 2007
        December 2006
        November 2006
        October 2006
        September 2006
        August 2006
        July 2006
        June 2006
        May 2006
        April 2006
        March 2006
        February 2006
        January 2006
        December 2005
        April 2005
        March 2005
        February 2005
        January 2005
        December 2004
        November 2004
        October 2004

        Blog*Spot Archives
        November 2005
        October 2005
        September 2005
        August 2005
        July 2005
        June 2005
        May 2005

        Syndication

        RSS Feed 2.0
        Comments RSS 2.0
        WordPress

        Loading


        * Attorneys due in court for Quinn hiring lawsuit.....
        * Haine calls on Gov. Quinn to deny clemency to c.....
        * Attorneys due in court for Quinn hiring lawsuit.....
        * Attorneys due in court for Quinn hiring lawsuit.....
        * Attorneys expected in court for lawsuit over hi.....
        * Today in Politics..


        * Vice President Joe Biden to return to Illinois
        * Indiana man was violent long before 7 killings
        * Vice President Joe Biden to campaign in Illinois
        * NY man gets 130 years in prison for 2 killings
        * Self, Weber expected at Wayne McClain funeral
        * Durbin, Oberweis to meet in 1st US Senate debate
        * Attorneys due in court for Quinn hiring lawsuit
        * Vice President Joe Biden to campaign in Illinois
        * Man convicted in officer's killings paroled
        * No trick: Across US, Halloween bumped for football

        * Rep. Raymond Poe to undergo stem cell transplant
        * Bill Clinton campaigns for Quinn, Durbin
        * Quinn, Rauner spar over jobs, taxes
        * Election 2014: Learn about all the candidates
        * What to watch for in third governor debate tonight
        * U of I sees turning point as election nears
        * Chicago Sun-Times endorses Rauner for governor
        * Sun-Times, Belleville, Champaign, Peoria newspapers endorse Rauner for governor
        * Bill Clinton to address workers at pro-Quinn rally
        * Body camera use concerns Illinois police officers

        * Abbott beats Wall Street estimates
        * Boeing beats estimates, raises forecast
        * Social Security checks to get only a little bigger again
        * Social Security checks to bigger — but only a little
        * What's next for Tribune, Sun-Times in burb paper deal


        * Sparse crowd at CPS HQ before Board of Ed vote on Hancock school
        * Indiana officials identify fourth body found after arrest of suspected serial killer
        * Jail guard smuggled weed in sandwiches, feds say
        * Father Bob Botthof, teacher who became priest after losing wife, dies at 85
        * Back to the past with mayor’s move
        * Court officials suggest ISIS wannabe could be released from jail on bond
        * Tentative deal at U of I hospital averts threatened nurses’ strike, union says
        * Unemployment rates fall in 31 states, including Illinois
        * 3 Daley scandals cost Chicago taxpayers over $6 million
        * Dr. Lawrence Solomon: Renowned dermatologist, book collector loved a mystery


        * After days of talking to police, suspected serial killer refuses to speak to judge
        * Police: Motorist charged after trying to strike police with vehicle
        * 2 under observation at hospitals after falling ill during flights from Liberia to O'Hare
        * Chicago Public Schools enrollment drops again
        * Waukegan schools remain closed Wednesday
        * 12 New Trier students sent to peer jury in sexting case
        * Fire fighters battle blaze in Logan Square
        * Downers Grove blaze sends firefighter to hospital
        * Woman killed in Park Manor car crash
        * Two injured in Warrenville car crash


        * 13th Dist. Candidates Talk NAFTA, Ebola During Springfield Debate
        * Attorneys Due In Court For Quinn Hiring Lawsuit
        * Business Report: Former Restaurant Near Statehouse Up For Auction; Downtown Springfield Inc. Update
        * Small Campaign Contributions Amount To Chump Change
        * Civic Fed: Lawmakers Once Again Taking Illinois Down Bad Budget Path
        * Cheddar's Leaves Springfield WUIS-SJR Business Report
        * Area Cub Scouts Burned In Explosion
        * Notes On The Final Governor Debate
        * Task Force Hopes To Help Turn Students Into Good Citizens
        * Digging up the history of a Civil War camp on Chicago's South Side


        * Our Opinion: Choice for Illinois comptroller comes down to experience
        * Rep. Raymond Poe to undergo stem cell transplant
        * Bill Clinton campaigns for Quinn, Durbin
        * Joanna McQuillan Weeks: Cheese balls deserve more respect
        * Our Opinion: White, Madigan for another term
        * Quinn, Rauner spar over jobs, taxes
        * Our Opinion: Say yes to Magro’s project
        * John Schick: Letter confirmed aggression toward bicyclists
        * Election 2014: Learn about all the candidates
        * U of I sees turning point as election nears


        * Daily Digest 10/22/14
        * Beardstown closer to E911 agreement
        * Victims' rights advocates promote upcoming ballot question
        * Who's That Illini? Pride of Peoria still contributing
        * Gang of car thieves leads police pursuit through metro-east
        * Daily business briefing: Johnson and Johnson to test Ebola vaccine
        * Three A-J football players face expulsion for alleged bullying
        * Ed Kelly 10/22/2014
        * 3 dead in another violent day in St. Louis
        * Thieves hit the fields to swipe farmer's soybeans


        * Bartlett traffic gets glowing review despite residents' complaints
        * 'Girlfriend' crack makes Obama voting all laughs
        * Judge reviews mental state of stabbing suspect
        * Asian carp DNA found in Green Bay's Fox River
        * Lawsuit: Mom, daughter assaulted by clowns with sex toys at haunted house

        * Patrick Cannon defense strategy rare but n...
        * Feds fine Jesse Jackson Jr.'s campaign com...
        * Ex-Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. faces sen...
        * Representative Jan Schakowsky Sends Letter...
        * Rep. candidate pushes to uphold marriage b...
        * Reps. Schakowsky and Waxman Introduce Bill...
        * Statement by Representative Jan Schakowsky...
        * U.S. House Passes Resolution Condemning An...
        * FAA Rejects Call For New O'Hare Noise Stud...
        * Representatives Quigley, Duckworth, Schako...

        * Durbin, Oberweis to meet in 1st US Senate ......
        * Durbin, Oberweis to meet in 1st US Senate ......
        * Durbin, Oberweis to meet in 1st US Senate ......
        * Durbin, Oberweis to meet in 1st US Senate ......
        * Durbin, Oberweis to meet in 1st US Senate ......

        * Online Marketplace for Sex Led Indiana Ser......
        * Alleged Serial Killer Used Online Advertis......
        * Ill. wants US help to clean up West Chicag......

        * Cook County Voting Machine Miscasts Candidate's Vote
        * Our College Guidance Will Just take You To The Leading
        * Robling: Time to Defeat Dick Durbin
        * Illinois Watchdog Radio - Live on IR
        * Clinton hails Durbin and Quinn as "the future"
        * University of Chicago Endowment Reaches $7.5 billion
        * Ryan T. Anderson and the Future of Marriage [video]
        * Oberweis Releases New Testimonial Video
        * Former Labor President Backs Schilling
        * Sun-Times defends itself and its reporter in Rauner/Quinn controversy


        * New TV Ad: Endorsed
        * Governor Quinn Statement on Positive Economic News - Illinois Led the Midwest in Job Creation in September and Had Second Best Growth in Nation; Unemployment Rate Has Dropped More Than Any Other State in the Last Year
        * Rauner Campaign Statement on Final Debate
        * What They’re Saying About Pat Quinn
        * What They’re Saying About Bruce Rauner




            Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller