Rob and Rod: A Family Tragedy

Few see the fallen governor through sympathetic eyes

The Blagojevich brothers appeared before a federal judge on Tuesday to face charges of fraud and racketeering. 

The brothers, born 16 months apart, have always done stuff together, so their joint court appearance wasn't much of a stretch.

The whole thing was a media circus at the Dirksen Federal Building, and among those in the crowded courtroom was Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich, and her's is a slightly different take on the drama.

"They were their parents' only children, the objects of their parents' dreams, the reason for their parents' sacrifices," Schmich wrote in her column Wednesday, wondering what the blue collar, immigrant couple who raised the boys would think of this messy chapter. 

Former Gov. Blagojevich often referred to his parents while in office or on the campaign trail.

"There are times when I wonder what my father used to think when he stood in front of that blast furnace at the steel mill," he said on the day he was first sworn in as Illinois' governor. "I imagine he dreamed a lot of things for his family and for his children. But I'm not sure he ever imagined this."

Schmich points out that Radisav "Rad" Blagojevich and his wife, Mila, -- a steelworker and CTA fare collector -- likely never imagined their sons would be standing before a federal judge facing criminal charges, either.

In the many and varied stories and reports that have been written in the wake of Rod Blagojevich's arrest, few have touched on the "family tragedy" the Tribune columnist explores.

Call him what you will -- and, oh, you and others will -- it's good to remember that Rod Blagojevich is a father, a husband and a brother.  It's also good to know that his parents don't have to witness this public dress down. 

Unless ... do you think reality TV is a hit in heaven? 

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