Welcome to the Senate Republican Press Search.

View Article Details

Print

Morning Spin for Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Chicago Tribune

Tuesday, September 12, 2017  |  Editorial  |  Editorial Board

Disgraced former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich emerged back in the public spotlight Monday in a pair of interviews. They were his first chats with reporters since heading into a Colorado prison after being impeached and removed from office, then convicted of political corruption charges.

The Chicago magazine piece (go here to read the whole thing) provided a trove of Blagojevich tidbits. Here are 10 things we learned:

*Quinn rejected: There weren’t a lot of laugh out loud moments in the piece, but one stood out. Patti Blagojevich also was interviewed, and she relayed a story about appearing at an abortion rights event and walking in at the same time as former Gov. Pat Quinn. He’s the guy who replaced Blagojevich after he was removed from office. Quinn apparently went in for an embrace, and was denied. “I was like, ‘Ecch!’ ” the magazine quoted Illinois’ former first lady as saying.

*Shattered dreams: Blagojevich describes a recurring dream. He’s a defendant in a federal courtroom scene, and he’d tell himself “Don’t worry, this isn’t real” and that it was only a dream. Of course, his trial was real. “Have you ever had dreams like this where you tell yourself within the dream that you are only dreaming?” he says.

*Close quarters, but still lonely: He describes his early days in prison as living in “extremely close quarters” with “a lot of noise — bad sounds and bad smells.” Still, when asked if he’s lonely: “Well, of course, yeah. Years of loneliness and affliction, yearning for home, missing my family. But I’m OK.”

*Nickname: Everyone’s got a nickname in prison. Blagojevich’s? Gov.

*Age: Blagojevich will be 68 if he’s released as scheduled in May 2024.

*Polo, anyone?: Blagojevich tells the story of his family’s first visit two months into his sentence. A fellow inmate, nicknamed Boo, offered a “finishing touch” — one of the cologne samples he’d collected out of magazines. No word on whether the ex-gov took him up on the offer, and if so, what scent he chose.

*Finding God: Many an inmate has talked about becoming closer to God while locked up, and Blagojevich is no different. “The lessons from the Bible and scripture have been very helpful to me. It’s strengthened my strength. It’s also strengthened my resolve.”

*How much you bench?: Lifting weights is a staple of prison movies, and Blagojevich offered his story. The former governor was at the bench press and got the stare down from some muscleheads. He turned to humor: “So I said, ‘I’ll never have arms as big as former governor Schwarzenegger’s, but I do believe my arms are finally bigger than former governor (Sarah) Palin’s.’ ”

*How do I look?: He is still concerned about his portrayal in the media. On two occasions, Blagojevich jokes about how his answer to a question might generate a headline. Once, when he’s asked about a political return, he replies: “The headline will be ‘Blago Predicts Comeback.’ ”

*Night owl: According to the article, Blagojevich reads late at night, keeping what he called “Winston Churchill hours.” The legendary World War II-era leader was known for late-night work.

 

What's on tap

*Mayor Rahm Emanuel is in Israel.

*Gov. Bruce Rauner is on a trade mission to Japan and China.

*Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle will preside over the board's consent calendar in the morning. In the afternoon, she will appear at Provident Hospital of Cook County to talk about the health effects of sugar consumption and the future of the soda pop tax.

*The City Council Committee on Human Relations will meet.

*Richard J. Monocchio, executive director of the Housing Authority of Cook County, will speak to the City Club

 

From the notebook

*Hardiman reports cash: Tio Hardiman, who is making a second consecutive bid for the Democratic nomination for governor, filed his first receipt of money for his latest campaign — a $5,000 contribution from himself.

The contribution was reported to the State Board of Elections last week. Hardiman, an anti-violence activist, got 28 percent of the vote in unsuccessfully challenging then-Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn in the 2014 primary. 

Hardiman has picked Patricia Avery of Champaign as his running mate. She is the president and CEO of the Champaign County NAACP. (Rick Pearson)

*Quick spin: Michael Rendina, senior adviser to Mayor Emanuel, is leaving City Hall. Rendina, a veteran Illinois political operative who once was Emanuel's chief City Hall lobbyist, had succeeded David Spielfogel.

 

What we're writing

*Bloomberg to spend "whatever it takes" to re-elect Cook County soda tax backers.

*Key Rauner education aide latest to leave administration.

*City: Immigration rules could lead to other strings from Trump to get federal money.

*Dem gov hopeful Drury picks former campaign manager, 26, as running mate.

*Another water department employee disciplined amid email scandal.

*Zoning change for former Double Door property advances.

*Sen. Martinez back after being stranded by Irma: "I don't know if they'll ever recover."

*Michelle Obama's former chief of staff Tina Tchen returns to Chicago.

 

What we're reading

*Investigation of woman found dead in hotel freezer turns to Facebook video, viewed by millions.

*A huge leak about Apple's "iPhone X" comes days before its big debut.

*Nordstrom is opening concept store that has no inventory.

 

Follow the money

*Friends of Michael J. Madigan reported $117,650 in contributions. 

*Track Illinois campaign contributions in real time here and here

 

Beyond Chicago

*About 6 million people without power after Irma.

*What Democrats are jockeying for 2020?

*White House responds to Bannon's "60 Minutes" interview.

*U.S. weakens North Korea proposal.