Look at this cast: Caroline Kennedy, the Clintons, the absolutely crackers, Blago, and of course, Chuck Schumer, everyone's fave narcissist. Now, how can you not enjoy this?
Which Governor Is Wackier?
By MAUREEN DOWD
January 24, 2009
The New York Times
I love Blago.
I love his beady little eyes. I love his Serbian shock of hair. I love his flaring nostrils. I love the way he jogs through the snow under indictment, like a stork in spandex trying to gallop. I love the way he compares himself in quick order to Pearl Harbor, Oliver Wendell Holmes and a dead cowboy.
I love the hurly-burly way the Illinois governor rammed through his choice for the Senate, compared with the namby-pamby way the New York governor strangled his best choice for the Senate.
So now we have an N.R.A. handmaiden in Bobby Kennedy’s old seat? Kirsten Gillibrand, a k a Tracy Flick, accepting the honor with her Republican pal Al D’Amato beside her on stage? Gross.
After quoting Kipling and Tennyson in previous shameless press conferences, Blago moved on to an old cowboy movie analogy on Friday to explain why he should be allowed to call Rahm Emanuel, Valerie Jarrett and Jesse Jackson Jr. as witnesses at the impeachment trial he’s refusing to attend.
“There was an old saying in the Old West,” he said. “There was a cowboy who was charged with stealing a horse in town. And some of the other cowboys, especially the guy whose horse was stolen, were very unhappy with that guy. And one of the cowboys said, ‘Let’s hang him.’ Then the other cowboys said: ‘Hold on. Before we hang him, let’s first give him a fair trial. Then we’ll hang him.’ Under these rules, I’m not even getting a fair trial. They’re just hanging me.”
Raising his own high bar for chutzpah, he complained to The Associated Press about his arrest, “Dec. 9 to my family, to us, to me, is what Pearl Harbor Day was to the United States.”
Even though he is accused of pressuring The Chicago Tribune — fire members of the editorial board who had criticized him or lose his help in selling the prime asset Wrigley Field — Blago called on The Tribune to write editorials defending his rights.
Mayor Richard Daley pronounced Blago “cuckoo.” Governor Paterson is simply a goofball.
Paterson could have acted a month ago, or even a week ago. There was no reason not to, certainly not his claim that he had to wait for Hillary, ad nauseam, to exit to State. Colorado’s governor named Michael Bennet senator two and a half weeks before Ken Salazar resigned his seat for the Interior Department.
Then the Democrats would have had another Kennedy in the Senate representing New York — Bobby’s niece and a smart, policy-oriented, civic-minded woman to whom the president feels deeply indebted in an era when every state has its hand out.
Instead they have Gillibrand, who voted against the Wall Street — as in New York — bailout bill. And who introduced a bill to balance the federal budget annually, which suggests she would oppose the $825 billion in deficit spending that President Obama proposes to rescue the country, not least New York.
Paterson’s five weeks of dithering let the jealous vindictiveness of the Clintons and friends — still fuming over Caroline’s endorsement of Obama and Teddy’s blocking Hillary from a leading health care role in the Senate — poison the air. With his usual sense of entitlement and aggrievement, Bill Clinton of Arkansas did not want Caroline Kennedy of New York to have the seat that Hillary Clinton of Illinois held.
Paterson wasn’t thinking of New York, only of how an upstate ally who was a woman would bolster his own chances for re-election. We can only hope that an avenging Andrew Cuomo takes him out in a primary.
The 42-year-old Gillibrand, who has been in the House for only two years, is known as opportunistic and sharp- elbowed. Tracy Flick is her nickname among colleagues in the New York delegation, many of whom were M.I.A. at her Albany announcement.
Fellow Democrats were warning Harry Reid on Friday that he was going to have his hands full with the new senator because she’s “a pain.”
Chuck Schumer embraced Gillibrand because at long last he can be the best-known senator from New York, something that would have been impossible with Kennedy.
The governor who began his accidental tenure, thanks to Client 9, by confessing his infidelities and drug use had so little class that he trashed Kennedy while letting her hang out to dry, then let aides trash her even after she dropped out.
Kennedy friends said that, as Caroline was pulling out for family reasons, the governor made a crude attempt to control the spin — a childish “You can’t quit, I’m firing you” power play.
Carolyn McCarthy, who ran for Congress on an antigun platform after her husband was killed and her son wounded by a gunman on the Long Island Rail Road in 1993, said she may challenge the “N.R.A. poster child” in 2010.
She had the best line Friday, wondering about the chuckle-headed governor: “Who’s in control up there?”