Blagojevich: Now What?

Quick thoughts (and questions) on the arrest of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich: -Will anyone want to be named the new Illinois U.S. senator now? ...
by | December 9, 2008

Quick thoughts (and questions) on the arrest of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich:

-Will anyone want to be named the new Illinois U.S. senator now? Isn't the person who is named automatically tainted? Or will Blagojevich not even be the one who now names the senator? And will we find out whether there were specific candidates for the job who were offering Blagojevich something in exchange for being named?

-Obama and Blagojevich both made headlines the last few days by supporting the protesting workers at the Chicago Windows and Doors Plant. Obama has never seemed especially close to Blagojevich to me, but may appear slightly closer to the governor now, as a result of the connection.

-At what point do Republicans shake the culture of corruption label? Many of the recent high-profile politicians to get into trouble in the last few months have been Democrats -- Charlie Rangel, Tim Mahoney, Kwame Kilpatrick and now Blagojevich.

-If Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn becomes governor, do the other Democrats who were planning to run for governor -- people like Attorney General Lisa Madigan -- give him a free pass to the nomination?

-Can the Illinois Republican Party use the news to reinvigorate itself? It's worth remembering that Blagojevich wasn't especially popular in 2006 and didn't have a squeaky clean image, but won reelection easily against a Republican who was perceived as a moderate. The G.O.P.'s dream scenario was for Blagojevich to run again (no term limits in Illinois), limp to victory in a multi-candidate Democratic primary, then be a sitting duck for the general election. That appears virtually impossible now.

Josh Goodman
Josh Goodman  |  Former Staff Writer
mailbox@governing.com

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