Chicago Sun-Times

Hugging Illinois pols sight to behold

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DENVER -- No, it wasn't the hug felt 'round the world. No, it isn't in the same category as peace in Northern Ireland.

But to see the political warlords of the Illinois Democratic Party actually hug each other Wednesday in Denver is something I wouldn't have missed for all the world.

And before you arch your eyebrow or curl your lip, let me tell which parts I thought were absolutely genuine. And which parts might be in some doubt.

Let's rewind.

On Wednesday morning at the breakfast meeting of the Illinois delegation, Rep. Bobby Rush rose to say a few words. Recovering from the aftershocks of radical cancer surgery, he is physically a shadow of his former self. But, like the good Baptist preacher he also is, Rush rose to the occasion, telling delegates the parable of the eagle and the storm.

"I am that eagle," he declared.

Thanking those who had been supportive, Rush also noted "some who were not there, but that's all right."

He gave a nod to forgiveness, but didn't name names.

Next up was Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. It isn't clear that Rush was talking about Jackson, but there is no question they've been on a rocky road.

Jackson Jr. began his prepared remarks about unity, talking about burying the truckloads of hatchets that weigh down these Democrats.

And then it happened.

Jackson folded his speech in half. Stuck it in his breast pocket. And turned directly to Rush saying, "Bobby, if there is anything that I've ever done to offend you, I'm leaving it at this convention. You are my friend . . ."

For a second, every one of us was stunned.

Rush made his way to Jackson, Jackson jumped down from the dais and they hugged.

It was real. And touching.

Jackson didn't stop with that. Olive branches went out to others: Chicago Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed and state Sen. Debbie Halvorson.

And then the tables turned.

"Who else out here has been mad at me I haven't figured out yet?" Jackson asked.

Mayor Daley jumped up and hugged Jackson. And Jackson was stunned. Tears sprang into his eyes.

And that, too, was real.

And yes, even if you haven't heard this story, you know what's coming next.

Gov. Blagojevich and his arch-nemesis, House Speaker Michael Madigan, were called to do the same.

Like two tigers dancing the tango, they embraced. And actually, they were pretty good sports about it, which is saying something.

But real?

Nobody's banking on that.

And yet, they did sit with each other later on the convention floor and talk to each other.

Rome wasn't built in a day.

Rush, deeply moved, would later tell reporters, "These are moments divine in origin, a movement of the holy spirit."

Faith, we are taught from childhood, is a mystery.

But do you suppose the Holy Spirit could be a Democrat?

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Don't be silly Carol, they all heard about Rezko taking field trips to the court house so everyone is doing the "Saprano" pat down. It's time for Patrick Fitzgerald to host "let's make a deal" for all of our Illinois democrats, including Obama.

That was beautiful! It is time for healing. I am so glad that at least Jesse Jr. and Bobby is moving toward healing and salving a wonderul friendship. I also feel that Jesse Jr. was a bit emotional as his did was not there and I feel that despite what Jesse Sr. has said, this is a moment in history where he should have been there.

So what......Who cares about these men hugging? It doesn't fix any of our problems. These men will continue to use our tax dollars to cut their political deals making them and their friends RICH at taxpayers expense.

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This page contains a single entry by Carol Marin published on August 28, 2008 7:57 AM.

The Champ Arrives in Denver was the previous entry in this blog.

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