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The Week in Review Reviewed

First, I occasionally appear on Chicago Tonight: Week in Review and this blog is paid for by NBC, so apparent conflicts of interest abound. But I think last Friday night’s show needs a few clarifications – particularly some statements made by veteran political reporter Mike Flannery.

1. Flannery asserted that Barack Obama’s momentum could be reversed if there is a last-minute surprise, like what happened in Spain in 2004 when terrorists bombed a Madrid rail station. The media narrative at the time was that the bombing shifted the election results, but that theory – spun aggressively by the Bush administration – has largely been debunked.

2. Flannery stated that one of Obama’s biggest campaign mistakes was the “bitter” comments made to San Francisco fundraisers. He should have known, Flannery said, “that Republicans would have somebody in there with a microphone.” Of course, Obama was caught on tape not by a Republican but by a Huffington Post citizen journalist named Mayhill Flower – who was and is an Obama supporter.

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Citizen Kate Totally Ready To Lead

Help keep her on the trail for more great moments like the Barack Obama butterhead and John Edwards telling her that a great leader is “someone who is honest and very open” and that “America wants to feel like they can trust their president.”

Damn Good Job

“Even the people at Channel 32 felt bad enough to round his vote total up to 2% during the final 10 minutes of the newscast,” a Division Street reader writes. “The final tally was 1.3%. Based on the number of people who submitted, at least in the online poll, that equals THREE people. His actual vote total was close to his percentage.”


KENT BROCKMAN: “Now, here are some results from our phone-in poll: 95% of the people believe Homer Simpson is guilty. Of course, this is just a television poll which is not legally binding . . . unless proposition 304 passes. And we all pray that it will.”

Terminal Politics

“The Daley administration is forging ahead with planning for a new western terminal at O’Hare Airport – though it doesn’t yet have the money to design or build it and is not sure exactly how it will be used,” the Sun-Times reports in “City Seeks Ideas For New O’Hare Terminal.”

“City Hall has issued a ‘request for qualifications’ that asks design firms to plan for a range of possibilities for the new terminal.”

Here are some of the early front-runners:

* Millennium Park West. Frank Gehry will team up with Helmut Jahn to create a tribute to urban planning.

* Obama’s Midwest White House. Tony Rezko will be asked to buy the rest of neighboring Bensenville to seal the deal.

* The International Olympic Committee Terminal. Serving only members of the International Olympic Committee.

* The Legacy Airlines Museum. Preserving United and American in amber for posterity.

* Clout Terminal. No gates for planes, just McDonald’s and Connie’s outlets.

* O’Harrah’s. Loosest slots in the Midwest.

Obama Country

Barack Obama is moving the Democratic National Committee to Chicago and essentially absorbing it into his campaign, Politico reports.

Could that give the GOP more ammunition to attack Obama for his Machine ties?

Well, consider:

“The move to Obama’s headquarters puts the Windy City squarely at the center of American politics for the first time since it was the scene of a Democratic Party meltdown at the 1968 convention,” Politico says. “Then and now, it’s a city whose central political feature– top-down machine control – is one legacy Obama has taken from his allies in the reigning Daley family.”

In a strategic sense, it seems like a smart move, though not everyone is happy about it.

“Barack Obama’s move to merge key elements of the Democratic National Committee into his own campaign’s Chicago headquarters appears aimed at the goal of a centralized and united Democratic Party.

“The shift of the DNC’s political and field organizing operations to Chicago will consolidate the Democratic presidential campaign apparatus more than in either of the last two cycles, when staffers at DNC headquarters overlapped – and occasionally competed – with aides to Al Gore and John Kerry . . . it also left no doubt about where the new center of power lies: On the 11th floor of an undistinguished office tower on Michigan Avenue.”

The move also gives the Obama campaign a chance to merge its organizing efforts into Howard Dean’s 50-state strategy – a strategy once mocked by Rahm Emanuel, who nonetheless was credited in some corners of the media with using it to recapture Congress in 2006.

A bigger irony, though, is that there apparently is one state not cooperating in the strategy: Illinois.


Because the chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party is Michael Madigan, and as we all know, his agenda is his own.


On the other hand, with Obama taking closer control of the DNC than John Kerry did, his campaign – despite its rhetoric – may reel in Dean’s 50-state strategy and make sure resources go where they want them to go. After all, Obama is Dean on the outside and Emanuel on the inside.

The Madigan Memo

Mike Madigan kickstarts the Impeach Blago movement with an extraordinary memo.

* The original AP exclusive.

* Rich Miller has extensive coverage at Capitol Fax.

* I’ve got a few things to say myself over at the Beachwood.

* There’s always this.

* And here’s actual memo, edited ever so slightly for spelling and an occasional formatting glitch:

Talking Points on Beginning Impeachment Proceedings Against Governor Blagojevich

* Today, I call on the Illinois House to begin impeachment proceedings against Governor Rod Blagojevich. Let me be clear that I am not calling for the governor’s immediate impeachment. I am instead asking that the House fulfill its constitutional responsibility to investigate possible wrongdoing by the governor to determine if there are grounds for impeachment.

* There are three bases for which the House should consider impeaching Blagojevich:

1. The ongoing federal criminal investigations of his administration, including his role as Public Official A, have significantly impaired his ability to do his job as governor. With Ali Ata’s guilty plea, the governor has been directly implicated in a bribes-for-jobs scheme -the latest revelation of malfeasance in the governor’s office. The conviction of Tony Rezko on 16 or 24 federal corruption counts related to Blagojevich administration activities also suggests something is seriously amiss. Using common sense, and the totality of what has been learned so far about these investigations, prudence demands that lawmakers act. Already, six
individuals associated with his administration have pled or been found guilty of federal criminal charges in connection with their roles in corrupt activities. Criminal activity in the Blagoievich administration is no longer theoretical -it is proven.

Blagojevich is clearly not an innocent victim of circumstances. Legislators have a responsibility to do what is in the best interests of the state and not depend on the federal government to save us. One thing we learned from the George Ryan case is that we should excise a tumor when it is first discovered; not leave it in the body to continue to spread and do further harm.

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The [Tuesday] Papers

“[S]ources said Zell has rejected the state’s proposed terms because it relies on a novel and untested financing plan: the sale of individual seats at Wrigley as if they were condominiums.”

Which would make Cubs fans feel right at home.

* “The [Chicago City] Council’s Human Relations Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing today on a resolution ‘opposing any U.S. attack on Iran,'” Steve Huntley writes this morning. “The full Council could vote on it on Wednesday. The results are a foregone conclusion. Today’s hearing features among its witnesses the anti-war figure Scott Ritter and John Mearsheimer, a University of Chicago professor known for seeing ‘Israel lobby’ machinations behind U.S. foreign policy.”

So that’s why the city council doesn’t have time to hold hearings on the various scandals emanating from City Hall; it’s too busy overseeing America’s foreign policy!

* And unspinning Sneed on Puerto Rico.

All in The [Tuesday] Papers at The Beachwood Reporter.