Our Man Blagojevich
Wednesday/June/03 2009 Filed in: Entertainment / Media
You've Come a Long Way, Blago.
In 1999, during the Kosovo War, Rev. Jesse Jackson and a delegation that included then-US Congressman Rod Blagojevich negotiated the release of three American hostages with then-Serbian/Yugoslavian President Slobodan Milosevic.
Success in these high-stakes wartime negotiations thrust Blagojevich onto the world stage and was the bedrock of a promising future for the Illinois congressman.
Having married into a powerful political family also seemed to have put Blagojevich in Illinois' catbird seat. Even his JFK-esque hairdo suggested that this man was going somewhere.
In 2002, he was successful in his bid to become Governor of the Union's 5th largest state, at a time when a Governorship was the most reliable path to the White House.
From Hero to Zero.
We don't need to rehash the trouble that Blago has run into in the meantime. As we all now know, he could end up being the fourth Illinois Governor in the last 50 years to do hard-time and the second Illinois Governor in a row to go to the Big House.
But as we've all seen, over and over again, the story of how Blago found himself in trouble is far less bizarre than the story of what he's done to get out of it.
He has, by his own efforts, created his own reality show that has played out on Good Morning America, the Rachel Maddow Show, the Late Show with David Letterman and just about every other show on television.
Let's face it, Blago is bigger than Omarossa ever was.
Somewhat of a national hero ten years ago, Blago is now a national joke of his own design.
After being denied the opportunity to participate in NBC's summer-filler reality show , I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here, (a show title that pretty much encapsulates his legal defense) his wife Patti -- former First Lady of the state and daughter of Chicago City Alderman Dick Mell -- filled in for him.
For the good people of Illinois, it's hard to tell which is worse: watching Patti speed-chewing tarantulas or the utter humiliation of seeing her, in the midst of the oddly-assorted cast of Z-list celebrities, trying to earn enough money to feed and clothe her children as legal fees drain the family bank account.
What Lesson Do We Learn From This?
It's all too easy to pile on Blago and Patti, and we've all had a good time making them the punchline. But Apocalypzia asks the question, regardless of the merits of this investigation or the particular personalities involved, what is it that we can learn from all this?
How is it that we can so easily elect the undeserving and the unprincipled to high office?
And what makes us so eager to make media darlings of those among us who should receive the very least attention?