State & Local Politics

State & Local Politics

My Heart Says Yes, But My Head Says …

In one priceless moment, right before the election, New York Rep. Pete King (R) was getting a flurry of questions about the GOP's shrinking territorial power hurled at him by Chris Matthews, which led to this priceless exchange:

Matthews: God, it's like the old British Empire — they keep losing outposts.
King: Now you put me in the position of the British Empire, of all things.

I think that is how many Democrats feel about Caroline Kennedy. Sure, we’d love to see her in the Senate — she seems very talented and capable — but defending her selection requires standing in the same corner with some discredited political ideas.

A Could-Be Candidate

As soon as her name was mentioned, much of the base immediately rallied — this, they hoped, was an inspired choice. Meanwhile, others, questioning whether her experience (or lack thereof) made her right for the job, scratched their heads.

It was decided that to build up credentials, visits, tours and interviews must be arranged in as disciplined manner as possible to maximize positive exposure. Under the bright lights and ill-prepared by a staff that was supposed to plan for every contingency, however, she faltered and was unable to answer seemingly simple questions.

Burris Already Made Down Payment on His Senate Seat

Don't think that Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) has waived the pay-to-play requirement for appointment to the Senate seat. reports that Burris has already donated more than $15,000 to Blago's campaigns. He's made his down payment already!

Bite the Bullet: Seat Burris

First, a confession. Our firm was the media consultant in 1994 for the gubernatorial campaign of Roland Burris. I didn’t handle the account, but all of us felt that Burris was a decent, honest, competent candidate who would make a good governor.

Nearly 15 years later, no one has questioned his integrity or his qualifications. What has been questioned, and rightly so, is the cynical and ego-driven appointment made by Rod Blagojevich. No question — too cute by half, more about Blago than Burris, a ploy so that the governor could play; unfortunate, to say the least.

Blago Strikes Back

You get the sense that with this maneuver today Blago, who is down to his last two pawns protecting his king, just took Mike Madigan’s rook.

He might not survive this thing, but he isn’t checkmated yet, and his pawns are still dangerous. If I were a Democrat in Illinois, I would be very nervous.

The Burris-Blago-Bobby press conference today was a further embarrassment to the State of Illinois. But it makes for great political theater. Or perhaps theater of the absurd.

Blago's Senate Pick

"Can't you see that's the last act of a desperate man?" Sheriff Bart asked the citizens of Rock Ridge in Mel Brooks's "Blazing Saddles."

"We don't care if it's the first act of Henry V," replied local townsman Howard Johnson.

Such is the situation of embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D), accused of attempting to sell the vacated Senate seat of Barack Obama.

Top Democrats have called for his resignation, and the Illinois legislature has begun impeachment proceedings. Meanwhile, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has vowed not to seat whomever Blagojevich selects.


Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) quoted from the Rudyard Kipling poem “If” at a very short press conference:

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

There is on more big IF.

What if he is proven innocent?

The Fleecing of Illinois

By Dick Morris and Eileen McGann

Is there no end to the arrogance of our elected officials? Having assisted in foisting Rod Blagojevich on the voters of Illinois, the Democrats in Springfield have refused to strip him of the power to appoint a new senator for fear that they might lose a special election, as voters seethe over Blagojevich’s corruption. Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan refused to allow passage of legislation mandating a special election, insisting that Obama’s replacement be chosen by the governor — however corrupt he may be.

In Rod We Trust

A recent Rasmussen poll indicates that 84 percent of the American people believe that Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) should step down. The prestigious MILLS-MIUAYG (Make-It-Up-As-You-Go) Poll reports that the dissenting 16 percent who think he should remain in office represent all the reporters and bloggers who would love nothing more than to be writing about this story for the next month.

Let's face it, worrying about Governor Rod sure beats the heck out of trying to figure out the nuances of how President-elect Obama plans to pay for his healthcare plan.

Arnold is the God that Failed — Is California a Failed State? Do We Still Have Failure? Do We Still Have States?

It is becoming a pitiful end to an auspicious beginning. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Governator, riding in on a white horse like Vishnu, come to awaken a new age.

He loved California as George W. Bush loved Texas; as Jefferson loved Virginia. Or so it seemed. To some eyes he was the Titan conjured in the zodiac pouring water; the Aquarian arrived in the Promised Land. Instead, California found unprecedented drought and endless fire.

In many ways, Arnold was the best representative of America in our California manifestation, born free in the sun and unbeholden, welcoming the millennium’s new beginnings. And in a magnificently beautiful and temperate state just recently, in historical perspective, come into its own, he might have set a standard that would have lived on in mythology for centuries. He could have been California’s Original Man.