Raw footage from the 1981 documentary "Rostenkowski," a portrait of the House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dan Rostenkowski, a powerful figure in Chicago (and national) politics. The crew waits in Rostenkowski's office for him to arrive and shoots his secretary. Eventually Rostenkowski arrives and does a short interview.
00:00Copy video clip URL Tape begins with footage from Rostenkowski’s office. The crew is waiting for his arrival and is speaking with his secretary, Virginia Fletcher. Fletcher explains how the office runs and describes what each member of Rostenkowski’s staff specifically does. Fletcher also talks about Rostenkowski’s busy daily schedule. Fletcher says, “I wouldn’t have his day if you gave it to me. I wouldn’t have his job. Somebody always wants something.”
06:58Copy video clip URL Fletcher walks out into the lobby and greets a young man coming in for a job interview. Fletcher explains to the young man that Weinberg and the crew are filming for public television. Weinberg speaks to both the young man and another visitor, who already has a job in Washington, while waiting for Rostenkowski to arrive.
11:17Copy video clip URL Fletcher calls someone in hopes to locate Congressman Rostenkowski. She asks the person to “remind [Mr. Rostenkowski] that he’s got a
4:00Copy video clip URL o’clock meeting here.”
11:44Copy video clip URL Quick cut to Rostenkowski speaking with Weinberg about going to the last game of the World Series with the President while looking at a baseball Rostenkowski acquired from the game. One of the crew asks Rostenkowski about the broken gavel on his office wall. Rostenkowski goes into depth about how the gavel broke during a session in the House. He then walks over to his office phone rather quickly to answer a phone call.
13:26Copy video clip URL The sound abruptly gets quieter and slowly rises in a matter of seconds.
13:53Copy video clip URL Congressman Rostenkowski briefly discusses his thoughts on the Senate and how it functions differently than the House of Representatives. Weinberg then goes on to ask Rostenkowski about the progression and succession within the House of Representatives. One of Rostenkowski’s staff members chimes in on the conversation as well. Having just been elevated to the Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, the congressman states, “The Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee is certainly a very, very high profile and always ‘powerful’ person.” “It is very flattering to be put in this position.”
19:52Copy video clip URL The interview with Rostenkowski ends. Weinberg, Rostenkowski, and staff continue to make a little small talk. Weinberg and crew leave the office.
20:44Copy video clip URL Quick cut to various shots outside in Washington. The sound cuts out and the video ends.