If Blago Were Your Dad

Columnist looks at the sadness of the sometimes silly saga

Children can generally illicit compassion and understanding from even the hardest of humans, so it's not surprising that Gov. Rod Blagojevich invoked his two daughters several times in recent interviews on national television.

"I'll fight to the very end, first and foremost, and most importantly," Blagojevich said on "Larry King Live" Monday night, "because my children need to know that their father is not the person that some of these people are trying to say that I am."

Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich on Wednesday examined another difficult side of the governor's predicament. What are Blagojevich and his wife telling their young children in light of the ongoing scandal they find themselves surrounded by.

"Among the many loopy, calculating things he has said in his defense, his remarks about his daughters ring true," Schmich wrote," "a father's attempt to shield his children—and himself from his children's shame."

In the days following the governor's arrest at his Ravenswood home, television cameras captured Patti Blagojevich ushering her daughters, ages 5 and 12, into an SUV as they headed off to school. On occasion, the governor walked the three of them out to the alley, kissing them goodbye.

While the cameras remain a month and a half later, the family has since managed to shield the girls from the media, but they're still going to school and still remain vulnerable to media coverage.

What's worse, as Schmich points out, is the element of sadness that comes with their father's disgrace.

"Did you ever feel ashamed of your mother or father?" the writer asks in her Wednesday column. Not just embarrassed, but truly, deeply ashamed by "a parent's failure, especially a moral failure, especially one other people see."

So for all the disbelief and embarrassment we, "the people," are feeling about the impeached governor, it likely doesn't compare to what his family is feeling -- especially his little girls.

Read Mary Schmich's full column here.  

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