He just might be.
Who's Earl Long?
Earl Kemp Long was the very eccentric three time Democratic Governor of Louisiana who was portrayed by Paul Newman in the 1989 movie Blaze. When MSNBC's Chris Mathews compared Rod Blagojevich to Long during his interview with Howard Dean this evening, an admittedly jaded thought crossed my mind.
If you recall, shortly after his indictment on corruption charges, Illinois Governor, Rod Blagojevich received a visit from several members of the African American Baptist clergy. According to the Chicago Defender website the visit by Reverends Marshall Hatch, Steve Jones, Ira Acree, as well as a later visit by Rev. Leonard Barr, were at the invitation of the Governor.
Call me cynical but I have to wonder if Blagojevich requested the visits in order to find solace for his soul or for a more carnal reason like gaining a few future allies in the African American community for say, a fight over a Senate appointment.
Now let me make it clear, I am not implying anything untoward about the motivations of the members of the clergy. But you don't have to make a giant leap of the imagination to suspect that a man with a huge ego, who thought that he could sell a Senate seat, may have been planning a way to defy Congress the minute he heard that they agreed not to seat anyone that he selected.
So just when did Blagojevich decide to appoint Roland Burris? Only he knows. But if he really did use the Burris appointment as his way of giving his enemies the finger, that would be a political move that Earl Long might appreciate.
Even Howard Dean had to admit that the Illinois Governor won this round.