Raw footage from the 1981 documentary "Rostenkowski," a portrait of House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dan Rostenkowski, a powerful figure in Chicago (and national) politics. On the floor of the convention center at the 1980 Democratic National Convention. Delegates are interviewed. Most of the delegates, predictably, praise Rostenkowski. Marty Russo, a congressman for Illinois' 3rd congressional district, and an Illinois Delegate, describes how valuable and powerful Rostenkowski is to the party. Bob McCary, another delegate, talks about why Rostenkowski isn't as well known as other congressmen, saying Rostenkowski doesn't seek publicity. Mary Zolora, another Illinois delegate, says that she would like to see Rostenkowski run for mayor of Chicago. Ed Rosewell, Cook County Treasurer and Illinois delegate, says Rostenkowski will eventually be Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.
00:00Copy video clip URL Tape begins with color bars and two crew members talking with one another.
00:29Copy video clip URL The crew interviews Marty Russo, a congressman for Illinois’ third congressional district who is also a delegate. The crew asks Russo about Rostenkowski, specifically what he does for the party, how he interacts with the delegation, how much power he actually has, and how he uses that power. Russo has nothing but good things to say about Rostenkowski. “Well, first of all, Danny is the number one ranking member in the Ways and Means Committee. He’s number four in leadership in the House of Representatives. He’s one of the most respected and most powerful members in the House of Representatives. He’s been close to every Democratic President that’s been there since he’s been there. So Danny has a tremendous amount of influence on the way things are handled in Washington and in the nation period.”
03:43Copy video clip URL The crew interviews Bob McCary, an alternate delegate from the third district in Illinois. McCary talks about Rostenkowski’s leadership skills in Washington, how well people in Chicago know him, how his power benefits the city of Chicago, and where Rostenkowski might be headed in his political career. The crew also asks McCary about Mayor Byrne’s relationship with Rostenkowski. McCary avoids answering that question by talking about the delegation’s relationship with Byrne instead.
09:03Copy video clip URL The crew asks to talk to female delegates who are sitting one row up from McCary. The two women seem a bit apprehensive about talking to the crew. However, Mary Zolora, a delegate from the third congressional district, talks to the crew about Rostenkowski, his popularity in Chicago, his relationship with Mayor Byrne, and where he might be headed in his political career. The audio is a little rough through this section of the tape.
10:48Copy video clip URL The crew speaks with Ed Rosewell, Cook County Treasurer. Rosewell is gives a number of overly positive answers about Rostenkowski and his relationship with the delegation. “Oh yeah, no, everybody likes Dan. There’s nobody that doesn’t like him.”
12:34Copy video clip URL Quick cut to a shot of the Louisiana sign on the floor of the convention. Under the sign, there is another sign that reads, “Cajuns For Carter.”
12:57Copy video clip URL The crew is speaking with a man who is assumed to be a part of the Illinois delegation, but the audio is poor and cannot be heard very well. This lasts for just over ten seconds.
13:13Copy video clip URL The crew interviews Roland Burris, state comptroller and co-chair of the Illinois delegation. They talk about Rostenkowski’s possible future plans in Washington, what Rostenkowski does for those back in Chicago, and what kind of relationship Rostenkowski has with the delegation. “I think Danny has done a great job in Congress all those years, and he would make one tremendous chairman not only for Illinois, but for the whole nation.”
17:00Copy video clip URL A group of ladies is interviewed. The crew asks the ladies whether Rostenkowski is meeting their needs. Their silence seems to indicate that they are not fans of Rostenkowski. One of the ladies replies: “I abstain from comment.” One of the ladies seems to get a little perturbed by the interviewer. Towards the ends of the interview, the tape begins to break up a bit and gets quite rough.
22:19Copy video clip URL Tape ends.