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The State Of The Blago

By Amy Hart in News on Jan 19, 2006 12:50PM


Governor Blagojevich delivered his State of the State address to the legislature yesterday, and depending on what you read, it was either an eloquent speech, or a sad attempt to con voters.

Chicagoist’s take? It was both.

Blago’s speech focused on the need to improve healthcare, expand public works construction, make college more affordable, ban assault weapons, and create jobs. Of course, he didn’t detail how these projects would be funded, and we’re thinking keno probably isn’t going to be a financial miracle worker.

Blago did mention that since taking office he has taken steps to clean up the state government, but he neglected to mention that his administration is the target of a federal corruption investigation. And declaring oneself to be less corrupt than George Ryan isn’t really setting the bar too high.

One of the highlights of the speech was when Blago discussed the need to address social issues in the face of cynicism:

Some in Washington, and many of the skeptics here in Illinois, may disagree with our priorities. But ask them this: What child’s education would they cut? What working family would they raise taxes on? What child do they say should go without health care? What senior citizen do they believe should be left out in the cold?

Leadership is about real choices. It’s about real-life decisions that affect people’s lives. This isn’t a game – it’s real life. And I am proud of the causes we’ve taken on, of the progress we’ve made, and the people we’ve helped.

Help them get access to health care. Help them afford their medicine. Help them go to pre-school. Help them earn a decent wage. Help them collect more child support. Help them go to college. Help them get ahead.

It’s a bit Obamaesque—Blago’s version of “I am my brother’s keeper.”

The campaign speech in disguise received the obligatory negative feedback from the governor’s political opponents even before it was delivered, with Republican gubernatorial frontrunner Judy Baar Topinka saying Blago is in “la-la land.”

But it doesn’t really matter what the politicians thought. What did you think of Blago’s speech?

Photo courtesy of NBC 5