Mona Charen

No doubt he was inspired by the example of his wife, who is heard demanding in the background of one call regarding the Chicago Cubs, that her husband should "hold up that (expletive) Cubs (expletive) (expletive) them." He liked her advice well enough to ask the aide what he thought of it. Not a shock from a guy who could demand a $50,000 campaign contribution from the director of a children's hospital before releasing $8 million in state funds for the kids.

Plunkitt had some other reflections on public service. He noted that "What tells in holdin' your grip on your district is to go right down among the poor families and help them in the different ways they need help If there's a fire in Ninth, Tenth, or Eleventh Avenue, for example, any hour of the day or night, I'm usually there with some of my election district captains as soon as the fire engines. If a family is burned out I don't ask whether they are Republicans or Democrats, and I don't refer them to the Charity Organization Society I just get quarters for them, buy clothes for them and fix them up till they get things runnin' again. It's philanthropy, but it's politics, too Who can tell how many votes one of these fires bring me? The poor are the most grateful people in the world, and, let me tell you, they have more friends in their neighborhoods than the rich have in theirs."

On second thought, Blagojevich wouldn't be fit to shine Plunkitt's shoes.

Mona Charen

Mona Charen is a syndicated columnist, political analyst and author of Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help .
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