CHICAGO, the Blagojevich Bungalow, March 14, 2012—The photo above is the one of the most famous doors in history, at least for today. Today, it will be more famous than the entry to the White House Rose Garden and Number 10 Downing Street.
In about three hours (5:02PM CST) disgraced and convicted former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich (D) will give his farewell speech to the nation. He is scheduled to report to a federal prison in Colorado tomorrow.
I was not going to cover the Rod Blagojevich farewell press conference today. Once convicted and sentenced, political criminals should be relegated to the ignominy of oblivion. Tossed on the trash heap if history and forever forgotten.
I set out early, so I could get there at noon. I wanted to see how many media entities and people were going to waste five hours waiting; pens, cameras, and videos in hand, to catch his every word or famous quote.
Waiting for the convicted felon to say farewell.
The media trucks and vans were lined up for a block in each direction. It was already turning into a media spectacle. Their feed towers and satellite dishes were sticking up through the bare tree branches.
The streets in front and on the side of the corner bungalow were starting to look like a tourist attraction, sans refreshment stands. People were sitting on lawn chairs or walking by and waiting to get a glimpse of something.
An activist of my acquaintance, Ziff Sistrunk, was gathering petitions for a gubernatorial or presidential pardon for Rod Blagojevich. “Our goal is to get one million signatures by November 1st for the governor who helped so many, especially in the Black community.”
Mr. Sistrunk said an online petition group should be set up in the next seven days. He is also organizing a pen pal group to write Rod Blagojevich in prison. He does not feel that Mr. Blagojevich should “stand by himself”.
I questioned several of the media people why we were even there. It created quite a few laughs. One television reporter hit the nail on the head. “We are just a cynical bunch of people.”
I will be returning later this afternoon to witness Rod Blagojevich’s farewell address. Cynic that I am.
Peter V. Bella is a retired Chicago Police Officer, freelance writer and photographer, cook, and raconteur. He likes to be the sharp stick that pokes, prods, and annoys. His opinions are his and his alone.
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