Missing on Election Day #1: Rod Blagojevich

For some people – political reporters, pundits, rabid citizens who manage to believe after years of evidence to the contrary that the next person we elect will walk on water – today is the day they’ve been waiting for.

For others – me – it’s the day when the phone will stop ringing with the robocalls and I can safely go back to Facebook – well, I’ll wait a couple more days for that one, after the dust settles and people can turn back into their nice selves.

For one special person, I imagine that this is a particularly tough day.

On a slow day, I find myself wondering about what it is like to be Rod Blagojevich in prison, with 17 felonies under his belt, his lush head of hair either turning gray or remaining lustrous brown (reports differ), and his delusions in place (hopes to be out of prison by next year’s birthday).

Not to mention what it’s like being surrounded by his fellow inhabitants and their proven abilities to create mayhem wherever they are. They must make a pack of reporters look like kittens. Plus, Patti isn’t there to drag him out of harm’s way and into a limo.

I especially wonder what Election Day is like for him. Does that grandiose manner of his slip a little when he recalls his former days of political glory, when he could prance around town trying to catch the eyes and shake the hands of any and all citizens who crossed his path?

I witnessed that just once in person, at the bowling alley/restaurant at River East, long before his troubles began. I looked up from our table to see Rod skimming along the wall toward the bathroom. I poked my family to notice. When he came out, eyes sweeping the room for someone whom he could glad-hand, we studied our sliders and he went on by. We could smell the hunger though, for cloying human touch and overblown attention. We went home and took showers.

Today, does any regret come to Rod at all for his overreaching ham-handed grab for power and money? Will he spend today in longing and self-loathing? Or will he spend the day reading Shakespeare to misquote once he’s out, and wondering what’s for dinner?

Certainly, he’s undergoing the most exquisite punishment of all for a politician – he can’t even vote. So, Rod, there you go.

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