Tales from the Trail

The First Draft: Blago’s new groove: published author

September 1, 2009

Ousted Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, whose corruption case put the national spotlight on big male hair and crooked Chicago politics, has reinvented himself as the author of a book that claims to offer insights into White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel’s political ambitions.

Romney rakes in the dough, gives generously

July 16, 2009

USA-POLITICS/Former, and perhaps future, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney raked in some serious cash — $1.6 million — for his political action committee during the first half of 2009, despite the recession.

Sen. Burris won’t run in 2010

July 10, 2009

BURRIS-SENATE/ILLINOISAfter just a few months in office and having fiercely resisted calls for his resignation, Illinois Senator Roland Burris has decided Congress is not his calling after all.The Chicago Democrat appointed to fill the Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama plans to announce on Friday he won’t seek election to a full six-year term in 2010. Word leaked out a day early, with sources in Chicago and Washington confirming Burris’ plans to forgo the midterm election.The Chicago Sun-Times broke the news, reporting that Burris had raised only about $20,000 toward what undoubtedly would have been a very expensive campaign. The newspaper also quoted a source as saying that Burris, a former Illinois attorney general, was concerned about his legacy.He entered office under a big cloud that never cleared. Burris was appointed on Dec. 30 by former Governor Rod Blagojevich, who later was impeached and indicted on corruption charges — including trying to sell Obama’s Senate seat.Burris escaped a perjury charge last month when prosecutors said there was insufficient evidence aganist him. Burris declared his appointment “perfectly legal” and said he had never offered the ousted governor anything.For more Reuters political news, click here.Photo credit: Reuters/Frank Polich (Burris reacts to audience applause after speaking at a Chicago, church in  March)

The First Draft: Wednesday, Jan. 7

January 7, 2009

USA-OBAMABarack Obama can expect questions about his plans to stimulate the flagging economy, his controversial choice of Leon Panetta for CIA chief and the war in Gaza at a mid-morning news conference.