I think most people familiar with Illinois politics expected that eventually some kind of Chicago landmine was going to go off under President-elect Barack Obama – it’s just that few people expected it might happen before the 20th of January.
Likewise, I think most informed watchers expected that Governor Rod Blagojevich (D-IL), perhaps the most unpopular pol in Illinois history, would follow his predecessor, disgraced ex-governor George Ryan (R-IL) to prison someday, few of us anticipated the depths of the grotesque quality of Blagojevich’s grasping venality that would have made Alderman Tom Keane blush. Ryan at least didn’t talk like a thug when he raked in his small-time bribes (have to wonder if Ryan’s chances for a presidential pardon just improved or gotten worse?).
The real political trouble for Obama can be read here in a post at “The Smoking Gun” regarding today’s indctment:
” ….Blagojevich, 51, and his chief of staff, John Harris, were arrested this morning on political corruption charges. While the affidavit does not specifically name the six prospective Senate candidates discussed by Blagojevic, Harris, and the governor’s aides, it appears that several are easily identified. “Senate Candidate 1” is Jarrett. “Senate Candidate 2” is Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. Emil Jones, an Illinois state legislator, is “Senate Candidate 5.” And “Senate Candidate 6” appears to be J.P. Pritzker, a wealthy Chicago businessman. Additionally, Rahm Emanuel, the incoming White House chief of staff, is referred to in the affidavit as “President-elect Advisor.” (21 pages)”
Aside from Lisa Madigan, Attorney-General of Illinois and daughter of Springfield powerbroker Speaker Michael Madigan, this list is composed of Obama’s Best Friend, Political Godfather, a campaign Mega-Donor and his future White House Chief of Staff. Holy Cats!