This 1981 documentary creates a revealing portrait of Dan Rostenkowski, Chicago’s most important Congressman in Washington, at the time when he first became Chairman on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. It demonstrates the style and deep rooted network of politics in Washington and Chicago, the colorful man himself, and his contemporaries. “The Chairman” was at the height of his power when this documentary was produced, over a decade before Rostenkowski was indicted, convicted and sent to federal prison. It shows the inner workings of Congress and politics from the point of view of a genuine insider… the phone calls, relationships, and processes that run this country.
DVD special features include behind the scenes footage of the 1980 freshman House Representatives orientation, attended by future Chicago Mayor Harold Washington (a Representative from Illinois at the time). Also included: the final meeting of the 96th Congress featuring appearances from Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill and Majority Whip John W. Brademas. Both clips are an extremely rare look into what really goes on behind closed doors in Washington D.C.