I always thought that Gov. Rod Blagojevich was inclined to base his choice for the U.S. Senate seat abandoned by Barack Obama on who would make the most reliable ally to watch his back when the time came that he was indicted by a federal grand jury.
Could it be that U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald rushed a criminal complaint against Blagojevich on the allegations that become public Tuesday, just to ensure that Blagojevich would NOT be able to create himself a political ally?
I MUST CONFESS that the thought did run through my mind, even though Fitzgerald himself insists he’s not playing politics with his activities as the federal prosecutor for northern Illinois.
The reality is that there is no way Blagojevich is going to be able to pick a replacement for Obama. At least not one who will have any credibility on the Washington political scene.
Fitzgerald’s actions, which he said were done to ensure that Blagojevich could not take any actions now that would cause irrevocable harm in the future, guarantee that Illinois will be short one senator for the upcoming months. It also ensures that Gov. Milorod will feel ever more lonely as his gubernatorial term continues through its scheduled end in January 2011.
While there is speculation about trying to impeach Blagojevich, or trying to push through some measure that would give the General Assembly the authority to pick a replacement senator, either move would take time.
AND TIME IS not something Illinoisans particularly have. We’d be better off if Obama could be replaced sooner, rather than later (although Blagojevich’s talk of referring to the appointment as a “Christmas present” for some politico, particularly if that particular official would have been Jewish, was always crass).
So now we get to see the latest show that makes Chicago politics (and its little sister in Springfield) so unique, bordering on vulgar. Will Blagojevich try to make an appointment anyway, just to tick off his critics?
Or is he going to focus his time and attention on fighting off the people who are trying to get him to step aside/resign?