Blago: Rahm wanted back in Congress in 2010

posted at 3:40 pm on August 31, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Take this with a big grain of salt, if for no other reason than Rod Blagojevich has to remain circumspect about the very machinations he describes in his new memoir.  The impeached and expelled former governor of Illinois uses the revelation that Rahm Emanuel wanted help in keeping his old House seat safe in order to argue that Patrick Fitzgerald got it all wrong in his indictment:

Ousted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich says in a new book that White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel wanted his help in arranging to leave the Obama administration after two years to reclaim his seat in Congress.

Blagojevich writes in “The Governor” that Emanuel spoke with him about whether it was possible to appoint a “placeholder” to the congressional seat Emanuel was giving up so that he could win back the seat in 2010 and continue his efforts to become speaker some day. …

Blagojevich says Emanuel was interested in his own career because he had to give up his congressional seat to work in Obama’s White House. Blagojevich writes that Emanuel dreamed of being speaker of the U.S. House and wanted to know if Blagojevich would work with him to name a successor to “hold” his seat until he wanted it back.

Blagojevich says he told Emanuel he didn’t think he could do that and the House vacancy would have to be filled by special election. But Emanuel reportedly told him “his lawyers thought there was a way.”

Blagojevich writes that he struggled with the idea of appointing Lisa Madigan to the Senate. The prospect “repulsed” him because of bad blood with her father.

But in the end, Blagojevich saw it as a way to entice Michael Madigan to support legislation he wanted, including a long-stalled statewide construction program that he said would create jobs and expand health care access for families.

Blagojevich appointed Roland Burris instead, in large part because of Burris’ large ego.  Blagojevich claims that Burris was the only option with enough ego to fight to keep his seat in the Senate after getting appointed by a soon-to-be removed Governor.  That misses a lot of history, at least in this retelling, such as the repeated changes of story over Burris’ contact with Blagojevich before the appointment that had even Dick Durbin asking Burris to resign.

It sounds a little odd, anyway.  Rahm’s big dream was to be House speaker?  That was more important than being Barack Obama’s chief of staff, where he could act as Obama’s hatchet man?  Perhaps, but I’d guess that Emanuel may have had other goals in mind — such as Blagojevich’s job, eventually — and that Emanuel would not be likely to quit after a year in the West Wing.

Did I say a big grain of salt?  Make that a Lot’s-wife sized grain of salt.  If Rod Blagojevich said, “Good morning,” I’d be tempted to check the window to be sure.


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A Congressional seat is a f*cking valuable thing.

BadgerHawk on August 31, 2009 at 3:43 PM

Blagojevich says Emanuel was interested in his own career because he had to give up his congressional seat to work in Obama’s White House he’s a Democrat.

mankai on August 31, 2009 at 3:44 PM

He has a D after his name. According to the press, only those with Rs lie and mislead. Ergo,Blago is believable.

Sue on August 31, 2009 at 3:46 PM

Maybe there’s a simple explanation.

Emanuel thought there was no chance in Hades than an inexperienced community organizer like Obama would win.

fogw on August 31, 2009 at 3:46 PM

Give it to a Kennedy!

/sarc

rbj on August 31, 2009 at 3:47 PM

In the House, you don’t actually have to do any work to get all the perks. It’s a better private club.

mankai on August 31, 2009 at 3:48 PM

I can believe this.

SouthernGent on August 31, 2009 at 3:49 PM

There is speculation that if anyone leaves first it’ll be Rahm. Not necessarily because of anything bad, just because it’s his nature. I don’t really understand it. Despite some of the administration’s stumbles, Rahm is far more effective as a powerbroker than as a legislator. And God knows he gets all the media attention he wants this way.

Siobhan on August 31, 2009 at 3:49 PM

You know, this has a ring of truth. Just because Blago is crook doesn’t mean he isn’t telling the truth. Speaker of the House is the most powerful post in the government outside of the Presidency. Emanual is ineligable for the latter and not the former.

Just remember that Jose Canseco wrote the most reliable book on steriods in Baseball.

jerryofva on August 31, 2009 at 3:51 PM

Give it to a Kennedy!

/sarc

rbj on August 31, 2009 at 3:47 PM

“What about little Billy?”

Seven Percent Solution on August 31, 2009 at 3:51 PM

It fits.

promachus on August 31, 2009 at 3:52 PM

Did I say a big grain of salt? Make that a Lot’s-wife sized grain of salt.

Too soon.

Patrick Ishmael on August 31, 2009 at 3:52 PM

I’d guess that Emanuel may have had other goals in mind — such as Blagojevich’s job, eventually

I think the ballerina is aiming higher than that. The job he ultimately wants is Barry’s, not Blago’s. How better for him and his Dr. Mengele-type brother to effectuate their statist dreams?

AZCoyote on August 31, 2009 at 3:53 PM

While O’Babble continues his permanent campaign, blathering on interminably about himself, the puppet masters, Emanuel and Axelrod, run the country.

Lenin and Trotsky are laughing in hell.

bradley11 on August 31, 2009 at 3:53 PM

Imagine: this is the first time in history our country has had a Ballerina-In-Chief.

bradley11 on August 31, 2009 at 3:54 PM

Imagine: this is the first time in history our country has had a Ballerina-In-Chief.

bradley11 on August 31, 2009 at 3:54 PM

With his reputation, I am sure that many people in the
White House try to tip-toe around him.

ICBM on August 31, 2009 at 3:56 PM

Gee, whatevever happened to hard-nosed totally non-partisan prosecutor Fitzgerald anyway?

Why, it’s almost as if he can’t find anybody to hound now that the Fascists have taken control of the country.

notagool on August 31, 2009 at 3:57 PM

I find this very believable. Even as Chief of Staff, Rahm is still acting like a partisan Congressman. The White House isn’t leading anything. Everything….from the Porkulus to Cap&Tax to healthcare is originating in Congress. Obama’s job is to be the pretty faced snake-oil salesman and a rubber stamp for the Dems’ legislative agenda. Rahm’s job is to tell Obama what to do and to store up power chips.

Who wants to be a big shot in the WH for 4 or 8 years when you can have a lifetime of power in Congress?

wolfie on August 31, 2009 at 3:57 PM

I imagine there will be many rats jumping ship soon. But, I think Rahm will be going down with the death ship.

faraway on August 31, 2009 at 3:58 PM

faraway— Yep. I think Rahm can kiss those Speaker ambitions goodbye. He’s toast.

wolfie on August 31, 2009 at 4:02 PM

By the time we’re “done” with Rahm Emmanuel the only seat he will occupy will be the toilet seat in his shanty somewhere in Cracktown, IL.

Key West Reader on August 31, 2009 at 4:02 PM

Speaker Emmanuel actually makes Speaker Pelosi look good. I didn’t think that was possible. Fortunately I agree with Wolfie that Rahm can kiss his aspirations down the toilet…how’s that for a mixed metaphor?!

MainelyRight on August 31, 2009 at 4:05 PM

With the GOP being dead and all, it doesn’t make sense.

marklmail on August 31, 2009 at 4:06 PM

The boy’s name Rahm \ra-hm\ is a variant of Ram (Sanskrit, Hebrew), and the meaning of Rahm is “pleasing; supreme”. The boy’s name Emmanuel \e-mma-nuel\ is pronounced ee-MAN-yoo-el. It is of Hebrew origin, and its meaning is “God is with us”. Variant of the Hebrew name Immanuel. Biblical: a name-title applied to the Messiah, Jesus.

Make sense yet?

Key West Reader on August 31, 2009 at 4:09 PM

So, Key West, is Rahm Emmanuel just another way of saying “Dear Leader”?

MainelyRight on August 31, 2009 at 4:10 PM

Burris was apppointed to fill Obama’s seat. Mike Quigley won a special election to take over Rahm’s House seat.

I R A Darth Aggie on August 31, 2009 at 4:14 PM

Wait. Take what we already know about how Emmanuel views himself — smart, tough, knows the game inside the game — and the truth about Blagovich — gullible nitwit with limitless ego — and then ask yourself why Emmanuel would ask Blagovich anything.

It’s absurd on its face.

Jaibones on August 31, 2009 at 4:16 PM

That makes two books I know I won’t be reading.

fourdeucer on August 31, 2009 at 4:18 PM

OT:
Contrary to some rumors, Joe Biden was not buried with TK. We found him at the Little League World Series final yesterday. He stayed so long that the commentators even said it was unusual for someone like the VP to stay after the game for pictures with the winners. It wasn’t like he had anything else to do.

d1carter on August 31, 2009 at 4:18 PM

I find this believable only in that Rahm would want to eventually return to the House. But need Blago’s help? Not likely. A former member who spent his off-time as CoS, he can win a seat w/o Blago.

LastRick on August 31, 2009 at 4:19 PM

Contrary to some rumors, Joe Biden was not buried with TK. We found him at the Little League World Series final yesterday.
d1carter on August 31, 2009 at 4:18 PM

Good for Joe. It’s the first decent thing he’s ever done.

faraway on August 31, 2009 at 4:23 PM

It wasn’t like he had anything else to do.

d1carter on August 31, 2009 at 4:18 PM

LOL

priceless!

cmsinaz on August 31, 2009 at 4:26 PM

I’m sure obama will appoint Rahm as Czar of Congress.

TN Mom on August 31, 2009 at 4:27 PM

I have actually read several times that Rahm wants to be Speaker of the House. He plans to go back into the House when he is done at the WH. Also, Burris was appointed to the Senate…so he wouldn’t have replaced Rahm.

ramrants on August 31, 2009 at 4:31 PM

Wait. Take what we already know about how Emmanuel views himself — smart, tough, knows the game inside the game — and the truth about Blagovich — gullible nitwit with limitless ego — and then ask yourself why Emmanuel would ask Blagovich anything.

It’s absurd on its face.

Jaibones on August 31, 2009 at 4:16 PM

totally agree, I can see Rahm wanting to return, but with Blago’s help?

cmsinaz on August 31, 2009 at 4:31 PM

Olympia snowe
this is off topic but it has to be posted here. She is going to cave and side with the libs on healthcare. Burn her phones at her offices. Pick a zip code or a town in Maine, call her office saying you represent a group of seniors and let her know she’s out if she votes with the libs. Better yet, take a page out of alinskys rules for radicals and say your moderate democrats against the bill. Stop her now before she caves! Call now!!

texaninfidel on August 31, 2009 at 4:32 PM

Anyone else think that a House run by Speaker Emmanuel would look a lot like the US run by President Camacho?

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on August 31, 2009 at 4:38 PM

If we had term limits, we wouldn’t be spending so much time debating who has the strategic 20 year plan to seize control of anything….8 years for the house, 12 for the Senate, then get your A@@’s back into the private sector contributing to our economy.

tatersalad on August 31, 2009 at 5:00 PM

Blago: Rahm wanted back in Congress in 2010

Corrupt Chicago politics, never cease to amaze me.

byteshredder on August 31, 2009 at 5:03 PM

Blago: The Jose Canseco of Chicago Politics…

phreshone on August 31, 2009 at 5:39 PM

Ahhh… well considering that Mark Kirk is going to be the Senator from IL in 2010, I wouldn’t worry too much about that whole Senate thing…. And I do take Blago seriously. I’d admire him and his wife in a sort of anti-hero way because they willingly pointed out their desire to loot the state of Illinois. :)

Illinidiva on August 31, 2009 at 6:18 PM

well I have said it was a HUGE mistake for TOTUS to take Rahm out of COngress and Orszag out nof CBO

had he left those two in place he would be rolling his entire agenda through right now with no static on the math and no shxt from the Blue Dogs who Rahm got elected!

ginaswo on August 31, 2009 at 7:52 PM

Maybe he wants to be president some day. Holy crap!

Kissmygrits on September 1, 2009 at 9:53 AM