Now that we know (or are told at least) that Rod Blagojevich's "Senate Candidate 5" is Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr, well, we have almost more questions than we did before. Why was he such a great bargaining chip against Obama in the (admittedly crazy) mind of Blago? Did Obama really not want Jackson to take his seat? Also why did Blago expect he'd get something "tangible up front" in exchange for a Jackson appointment? That last question seems to hinge on an unnamed "Individual D." Try to guess who we are wildly speculating that is!
Ron Burkle, the billionaire Supermarket magnate and young model enthusiast, is a longtime friend of the Democratic party. A huge fundraiser, he's personally close to Bill Clinton and hey, once he was a secret media mogul! That secret media moguling also involved fellow Radar investor Yusef Jackson, of the Jesse Jackson Jacksons.
Way back in 1995, Jesse Jackson Senior took his friend Burkle aside and asked that the billionaire "''look out' for Jackson's grown children if the billionaire supermarket tycoon saw a financial opportunity for them," according to a 2001 Chicago Tribune story. And with that in mind, let us read a selection from the Holiday Classic "The Criminal Complaint Against ROD BLAGOJEVICH" by P. Fitzgerald:
ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated he might be able to cut a deal with Senate Candidate 5 that provided ROD BLAGOJEVICH with something "tangible up front." ROD BLAGOJEVICH noted he was going to meet with Senate Candidate 5 in the next few days. ROD BLAGOJEVICH told Fundraiser A to reach out to Individual D, an individual who ROD BLAGOJEVICH is attempting to obtain campaign contributions from and who, based on intercepted phone calls, ROD BLAGOJEVICH believes to be close to Senate Candidate 5. ROD BLAGOJEVICH told Fundraiser A to tell Individual D that Senate Candidate 5 was very much a realistic candidate for the open Senate seat, but that ROD BLAGOJEVICH was getting "a lot of pressure" not to appoint Senate Candidate 5. ROD BLAGOJEVICH told Fundraiser A to tell Individual D that ROD BLAGOJEVICH had a problem with Senate Candidate 5 just promising to help ROD BLAGOJEVICH because ROD BLAGOJEVICH had a prior bad experience with Senate Candidate 5 not keeping his word. ROD BLAGOJEVICH told Fundraiser A to tell Individual D that if Senate Candidate 5 is going to be chosen to fill the Senate seat "some of this stuffs gotta start happening now . . .right now. . . and we gotta see it. You understand?" ROD BLAGOJEVICH told Fundraiser A that "you gotta be careful how you express that and assume everybody's listening, the whole world is listening. You hear me?" ROD BLAGOJEVICH told Fundraiser A to tell Individual D if there is "tangible political support (campaign contributions) like you've said, start showing us now." Fundraiser A stated he will call Individual D on the phone to communicate ROD BLAGOJEVICH's message. ROD BLAGOJEVICH responded that "I would do it in person. I would not do it on the phone." ROD BLAGOJEVICH told Fundraiser A to communicate the "urgency" of the situation to Individual D.
Individual D could certainly be a lot of people, but it is fun to imagine Blago shaking down Burkle, isn't it?
But honestly, Ron, is a Senate seat for Jesse Jackson, Jr. really a better investment than a niche magazine about style and pop and politics and pop and things? It's a vanity project either way.