The Real Blagojevich Story


It will come years from now. Long after the family home, seen here, is gone. A few years after the former Governor’s prison sentence has begun. One of the Blagojevich daughters will be running down the soccer field, glance over at the sidelines and just for a split second imagine that her Dad is watching too.

No one can really plumb the depths of another’s heart. So judging whether Rod Blagojevich really believes he did something wrong is perhaps better left to amateur psychologists or fools. Blagojevich was convicted. Definitively. Prosecutors can take a victory lap. The parsing of the process on how that happened can chatter on. Blame can be tossed. And the collective shame of an electorate who twice put him in power can raise its head for a moment. And then quickly retreat into the protective community conversation on the weather or parades of questions like “How about them Cubs? Them White Sox?”

But in a few years there will be a prom. And a Blagojevich daughter, dressed and ready and beautiful will just for a second search the room for her Dad. And he’ll be gone.

Ten miles due south of the yellow brick East Ravenswood home where the two Blagojevich kids spent the first years of their lives, there will be another round of picture taking for the prom going on. And there will be no Dad in that room either.

And of course what’s happening in that fatherless room on the South or West side of Chicago, or of any city or town anywhere, won’t be news.

There will be no screaming headlines proclaiming “THE WORLD IS NOT FAIR!”

But if you looked hard at that circle of picture taking surrounding that nameless young woman, ravishingly beautiful in her new prom dress, perhaps you’d see traces of connections back to the Blagojevich daughter. In Patti Blagojevich’s living room you’d see surrounding her prom queen daughter . . . .

A Mother of absolute steel. Raised in the neighborhoods of politics and summer festivals and alleys and neighborhoods and tough enough to come out swinging at any fight imaginable. You’d see her sister. Deborah Mell. Also in the family business of politics. As principled as the day is long. But more than anything, the cool Aunt to those girls. The one who fills in the colors of the girl’s high times and laughing parties. Mom taking care of every day. An Aunt who can be like a trampoline of dreams.

And standing quietly behind his two daughters, you’d see the rock of the neighborhood, the Blagojevich girl’s grandfather, Alderman Richard Mell. As quietly proud of what he helped hold together here in this room of picture taking and girls giggling —no, he’s even more proud of what’s happening in this room—then of anything he did to leave his Ward better than when he found it.

As the picture taking session ends and the car pulls up to whisk the young Blagojevich daughter off to new worlds of her own grown up dreams and trials, she’ll have a moment of recognition of all the other people filling that room, lots of them who she didn’t even know 5 or 6 years ago when her Dad had to go away.

Her Dad. She’ll miss him. A brief second in her swirling exit outside to her awaiting chariot parked under the green trees of June on a Chicago street. She’ll think, she’ll remember, because this is how she was brought up, she’ll remember; my Dad loves me.

One Response to “The Real Blagojevich Story”

  1. Ted schneider Says:

    The sad thing is that it appears that most politicians do not seem to take their loved ones into account when they make poor decisions and lately there seems to be an epidemic of politicians making poor choices.

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