Monday, December 15, 2008

Personal Aside: It’s Rahm’s Scatalogical Talking Style That’ll Do Him In…Now Quinn Wants to Appoint? A “Temporary Senator?” Huh?...Who Let “Honest Ab” In?...What’s This Nixon-Frost Stuff?...Obama Moving into Blair Smells Like Emanuel…What’s This....

Personal Aside: It’s Rahm’s Scatalogical Talking Style That’ll Do Him In…Now Quinn Wants to Appoint? A “Temporary Senator?” Huh?...Who Let “Honest Ab” In?...What’s This Nixon-Frost Stuff?...Obama Moving into Blair Smells Like Emanuel…What’s This About Simon-Douglas? Who’s Obama Forgetting?...All These and Thoughts While Shaving.

The “F” Word Multiplied.

There’s nothing wrong with Rahm Emanuel having talked multiple times with Gov. Blagojevich concerning the Senate vacancy…but what will do him in will be the ugly, officious and scatalogical tone of the conversation. Typical Rahm, when I knew him, he was staccato-ing the “f” word. Didn’t turn me off but a book written about him by a sycophant in the Washington bureau of the “Tribune” last year made a point of saying that this word is still being peppered throughout his conversation—and that he explained it by saying that at home with his family everybody talks like that (sic). That’s the same Rahm whom I knew well 20 years ago when he wanted to get on the radio and kept calling me, “Tommmmeeee! How do I get on?”

What is likely to kill him as Obama’s chief of staff is exactly what I telegraphed as soon as he was appointed. I wrote that his style…belligerent, arrogant in the extreme, short-tempered, explosive, profane, obscene…is likely to do him in, in a job that often requires the utmost of tact. Hence I think that you’ll find when the tape transcripts come out that Obama will decide that Emanuel keep his congressional seat and scrub Rahm’s being chief of staff. Throwing anybody under the bus who becomes an embarrassment is easy for the Messiah. In this case, he’d be right. One of the things that severed Richard Nixon from much of his following were the tapes that showed the low-level of his language which conveyed a subliminal disappointment to his allies. They had had a higher level of appreciation for Nixon than that whose private conversations were unknown up to that point.

While no one who ever met Emanuel has a high level of appreciation for his language skills, disclosure of that kind of talk to the nation is going to cause Barack Obama…who is noteworthy for throwing anyone under the bus who direly affects himself…to decide that Emanuel would be far more valuable in the House and as a private, backstairs confidant rather than the top staffer. And Obama will be right.

NOW He Wants to Appoint?

In the beginning, Pat Quinn who has the most sanctimonious eyeballs in the state…rolling up to heaven for sustenance and back to earth to demonstrate his purity…wanted to have a general election for the U. S. Senate. Now, when he assured of becoming governor, he wants to appoint a Senator. That figures. Probably wants to appoint himself? Nope—he ‘s heard from the Daley machine that there’s a real danger…if they have an election…that a Republican will win: NAMELY REP. MARK KIRK. He’s not my favorite but it’s interesting about Quinn who’s been on my show countless times.

Yesterday he was on “Meet the Press” trying to weasel his way through …saying maybe the state should have a “temporary senator” to vote on key stuff before an election is held. Wants it both ways. A temporary senator is unconstitutional, Pat. Hope he doesn’t plan to govern this way. I tell you: Put your hand on your wallet when this pre--canonized saint appears…another friend of Axelrod. He’s as bad as the others but has one great virtue: he has figured out how to get the most out of a campaign with the fewest dollars expended…including the smartest-very smartest-utilization of free media I have ever seen, having been rivaled only by the late Roman Pucinski.

Honest Ab.

An earlier version of Pat Quinn is now appearing regularly in news conferences calling for (a) the impeachment of, or (b) the resignation of, or (c) both. That would be Abner Mika aka Honest Ab. On Fox News yesterday he was billed as Obama’s personal ethics chief. Obama better watch Honest Ab. He’s originally from Hyde Park and touted himself as a great foe of the machine but played ball with them later-on—this, after he was defeated, fittingly, by the tottering, near senile last surviving Spanish American war veteran in the Congress, Barrett O’Hara…so old that he headed an investigatory committee as lieutenant governor following the Eastland disaster in the Chicago river.

Ab moved to Hyde Park North…Evanston…and got himself acquainted. He waited until thousands of the denizens from Hyde Park trailed in his wake to populate his district. Ab got elected to the House, served a few terms but was defeated. Then he wanted to go to the Supreme Court and almost made it, being named district judge and then appellate judge by Jimmy Carter. Then after Reagan, he quit and came home as a certifiable whitened sepulcher…returning to Washington to serve as Bill Clinton’s ethics czar. Yes, that’s right: Bill Clinton’s ethics czar in the era of Whitewater probes et al. I can understand Ab doing nothing about the fellatio going on upstairs in the little adjunct to the Oval Office because Ab is not crazy. He just knows when to spot unethical events and when not to. It was a common knowledge ala Betty Curry (Clinton’s secretary with whom worked years earlier in the White House). Ab would have to have been blind and deaf not to know what was going on. He was the ideal watchdog who, tossed a bone, didn’t bark.

Fair enough but who thought of him as the pillar of rectitude at Lisa’s press conference? Probably Ab himself who muscled his way in. That way he landed a juicy feature story in the “Trib” about himself as the wise old Jewish patriarch. The writer who was probably about 22 years old didn’t understand that truly Ab was the piano player on the bordello’s first floor trying to distract those from finding out what was going on on the second.


What’s this “Nixon-Frost” film that lefty critics are so ga-ga about? Are we that short of scandals…Blago…the Wall Street meltdown…last week’s Bernie Madoff hedge fund Ponzi scheme…that we have to dig up a 1972 break-in at the Watergate? Not only that—re-do a TV interview (which I watched originally) with actors simulating the q and a? The reason is, of course, that Hollywood liberals love wallowing in Watergate. The Clinton Whitewater thing is distasteful because the protagonist is a sullied liberal hero…the Kennedy years besotted with indecision ala Bay of Pigs and horrifying sexual excess is disturbing to their lefty psyches. So we have to go to old Nixon again—for a reenactment. Everything else has failed the lefty tastes: the “W” movie bombed. When you can’t make a buck with another Michael Moore extravaganza or a make-believe “documentary” on the president, you have to dig up Watergate—even if you have to re-shoot the old David Frost interview.

Obama into Blair?

There are some political moves that just smells of hyper-expedient pushy-ness. One is the sudden idea from the Obama forces that their Messiah should move into Blair House so as to be just around the corner from the White House when January 20 comes. In that way, the media would have two virtual presidents at one time…one on the way out, the other on the way in. You know where that idea came from? Guess. He’s mum now: pursuing the Silence of the Rahm as the feds study 300 hours of audio tape with Blago.


It would behoove our incoming Messiah to be more bipartisan, now especially since he must court Republicans in House and Senate to get anything done. When he held a recent news conference on Blago, he pointed out that Illinois has had a number of honest politicians…but he could only think of two semi-contemporaries (besides the inevitable Abraham Lincoln to whom he wants to be compared). They were former senators Paul Douglas and Paul Simon. Douglas was indeed a good man who showed great political independence throughout his life…particularly with his insistence that we could—if we strove hard enough—win the Vietnam War.

He was also the coiner of the immortal phrase “to be a liberal one need not be a wastrel.” The second, sanctimonious Paul Simon, was a showboat who never really accomplished anything in the Senate save getting his name in the papers…who criticized Chuck Percy for running for the presidency in his first term but then who himself ran for the presidency in his first term…and occupied the far-left wing of the Democratic party. A 24 carat phony and progenitor of Dickie Durbin. But neither Douglas nor Simon ever fought with Daley or interfered with the early Combine. Douglas made peace with them and Simon negotiated successfully with them.

Strange that the Messiah couldn’t remember the name Fitzgerald—as in Peter…who refused to follow the dictates of the Combine (ala Daley- Thompson-Ryan-Edgar-Hastert-Topinka)…who was penalized for it by being denied support by his own party’s chairman, Tugboat Annie Topinka…and who best of all named and fought for the appointment of Patrick Fitzgerald (no relation) as U.S. Attorney when it was against the dicta of the Bush administration’s Karl Rove who warned him that he could only name an Illinoisan. Fitzgerald, Mr. Obama, isn’t a too tough name to remember—is it? Guess it just got stuck in your throat. Of course it wouldn’t occur to the supine local media to prompt him on it, would it? Not when people like Mike Flannery are so-so in love with 44.

Maybe it does because somebody named Fitzgerald might just bring down a portion of the Obama house of cards starting with Rahm.

Thoughts While Shaving.

When…oh when…is that awful graffiti that passes for cartooning on the building standing on the corner of the Kennedy expressway near Ashland—sponsored by Bank of America…going to be removed? It was put up for the Chicago marathon: bad art then, worse now. A gross decline from the days when LaSalle Bank used to put up great highway art on the same spot…

These days I wear on my lapel a small pin with a Latin inscription from Psalms 146:13 reading NOLITE CONFIDERE IN PRINCIPIBUS. Translated: “Place not your trust in Princes.” Social conservatives err when they stake too much on the political process to change the culture. Politicians…all of them…are bottom-feeders, really: they react to the pressures that come from above to them. The culture will only be changed from the media which must be reformed. Change the media and pressure will be exerted on the bottom-feeders who will change society’s morals…

If I were to start my family-building again, I’d stress to my kids: get involved in the media. I tell every young person I see: get involved in public policy formation but DON’T run for office. It’s corruptive. The only way to run for office is to do what a Minnesota governor told me when I worked for him as a young man—and when I was thinking of running for Congress in Minnesota. “Don’t run until and unless you have made at least $20 million in the private sector”—as he had. Financial independence, he said, means all the difference in candidacies…

Money-raising in politics for a poor man is corruptive and the only way to keep one’s soul intact as a candidate is to make a pile before you run. Take a look at the people going to jail: unethical money-raising caused it. And NO, Cindi Canary’s goofy reforms won’t do it. The temptation will still be there for people of modest means to cheat and strike evil bargains to get financed. Laws won’t work and have not worked (witness McCain-

Feingold). Being financially independent—meaning wealthy in the extreme—before you run is all-important. Sorry but that’s the way it is. Politics is no game for a poor man or one of modest means.

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