Why Is Emanuel Showing Blagojevich 'Gratitude'?

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), January 12, 2009 | Go to article overview

Why Is Emanuel Showing Blagojevich 'Gratitude'?


Byline: Chuck Goudie

Gov. Rod Blagojevich isnt all bad, according to the incoming chief of staff for President-elect Barack Obama.

Blagojevich may have become the scourge of the cosmos since being arrested Dec. 9 on corruption charges, but Rahm Emanuel apparently still finds Blago has some redeeming values.

Longtime Blago buddy Emanuel wrote some kind words in a letter to the governor that arrived just a few days ago. Emanuels letter states "Dear Governor Blagojevich: I am writing to resign my position as United States Representative from the Fifth Congressional District of Illinois, effective January 2, 2009."

Obamas new chief of staff had to notify Blagojevich of his resignation from Congress so the governor could schedule a special election to fill the seat.

Emanuel didnt have to write anything else in the resignation letter, but he did. And what he wrote to Rod, considering the governors predicament, is curious.

"As sons of immigrants to this country," Emanuel stated to the governor, "you and I have a deep appreciation for the opportunities America provides to those who are willing to work hard and sacrifice for their children."

Emanuel wrote those inspiring, praiseworthy words well after Mr. Blagojevich was rousted from bed by the FBI and charged with crimes that could land him in jail for 30 years, and have humiliated all of us.

It is astounding that Mr. Emanuel would want to publicly pair his own "deep appreciation for the opportunities America provides" with Gov. Blagojevich, who is accused of being a corrupt opportunist and taking advantage of his public trust, which is as anti-American as you can get.

Work hard and sacrifice? According to the federal criminal charges and last weeks impeachment festivities in Springfield, Rod did work hard for himself. And he did sacrifice his family, his supporters and himself. But I dont think thats what Mr. Emanuel was referring to.

Considering the weeks of suspicion that Emanuel had a behind-the-scenes role in the bidding for Barack Obamas Senate seat, wouldnt you think he would avoid any further perception of being connected to Rod?

But no. The letter concludes with a send-off to an old friend. "With gratitude and best wishes," writes Obamas right-hand man. "Sincerely, Rahm Emanuel, Member of Congress."

Gratitude for what, a one-way ticket to Washington? Best wishes for a friendly roommate in the penitentiary?

If such niceties didnt make the governor feel warm and toasty enough, then a few days later Rod must have been just hot and tingly.

On Jan. 6 the "Certificate of Election for Six-Year Term" was entered into the record on behalf of Dick Durbin.

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