Four years ago, toward the end of my stint covering the storied town of Cicero for the Chicago Tribune, I first crossed paths with Dan Proft.
He was the campaign manager who helped engineer Larry Dominick’s upset victory over incumbent Ramiro Gonzalez as town president and since then he has served as the town’s spokesman, among other duties.
In basketball, I’ve come to appreciate Dan’s set-shot abilities from 22 feet and beyond, though he really does need to work on his drive to the hoop.
And in the arena of political commentary, he continually finds a fresh take on things, rife with historical context, pop culture references that span the generations and some well-justified cynicism (after all, in the wake of the Jack Ryan-for-U.S. Senate meltdown five years ago, Proft was stuck with Alan Keyes as the Republican nominee/sacrificial lamb against Barack Obama.)
Today’s Proft commentary, as part of his ongoing observations that air on the Don Wade & Roma Morning Show on WLS Radio AM-890, offered a hilarious take on the imminent departure of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
In only a few minutes (see below), Proft weaves in Ted Kennedy driving off a cliff, a swipe at actor Dermot Mulroney, and the phrase “gaggle of middle-aged, man-hating shrews in sensible shoes” into his commentary, “The Circus Won’t Be The Same.”
It is just a matter of days now and yet I still have not reconciled my feelings about Rod Blagojevich’s removal from office.
I feel as I suspect I would if Ted Kennedy drove off a cliff in my brand new car–conflicted.
On the one hand, Blagojevich so richly deserves the fate about to befall him.
On the other hand, every day brings us a new and more entertaining Rod Blagojevich.
One day he is Rod the Poet-Warrior for the people.
The next day he is Rod the Persecuted, the manger boy from the Northwest Side who must endure the false witness of legislative Pharisees in order to provide everlasting free bus rides for seniors.
And the day after that, he is Gal Pal Rod, a simpering eunuch supplicating himself on The View before a gaggle of middle-aged, man-hating shrews in sensible shoes. I wasn’t sure if I was watching the governor of the nation’s fifth largest state or one of those horrifying Dermot Mulroney chick flicks.
But that’s why it is all such great reality television. If you don’t care for Blagojevich’s line of bulljive on a given day, just tune in the following day for a completely new hustle.
Any state can have some boring governor that follows the law, but I ask you, how many get treated to a showman of this caliber?
It is not like Illinois’ other constitutional officers or legislative leaders are interested in robust policy discussions. There will be plenty of time for their tax increases under Governor Pat Quinn.
You see, we are going to get the same bad policies with or without Blagojevich, but when it comes to the political circus he will have left some pretty big clown shoes to fill.