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. The crew is on the floor of the convention center at the 1980 Democratic National Convention. Rostenkowski is interviewed. He discusses the withdrawal of Senator Edward Kennedy from the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. He also discusses the challenges of running the convention. He says the most challenging aspect of running the convention is keeping the media satisfied. At just after eight minutes, someone in the convention hall apparently sets off some firecrackers, startling both Rostenkowski and the camera crew.
00:00Copy video clip URL Tape begins with footage of a crew member testing levels. The crew then makes their way out on to the convention floor.
00:24Copy video clip URL Cut to a shot of the Illinois delegation sign in the middle of the floor. The crew also gets a shot of a Carter/Mondale campaign sign while on their way to find Rostenkowski.
00:54Copy video clip URL Tape cuts out for a few seconds.
01:01Copy video clip URL Cut to more footage from around the convention hall. The crew travels through throng after throng of delegates and other news media, while trying to make their way over to Rostenkowski for an interview.
01:48Copy video clip URL Cut to a shot of an unidentified speaker giving a speech to the large crowd. The cameraman also gathers a few shots of Rostenkowski at work on the phones at the convention. At just over three minutes and fifteen seconds, Rostenkowski motions over to the camera crew to meet him around the corner for an interview.
03:32Copy video clip URL In relatively good spirits, Rostenkowski greets Weinberg and the rest of the crew. Weinberg then asks Rostenkowski to talk about his responsibilities at the convention. The Congressman talks a little bit about his current duties and goes into detail about the procedural affairs that come with the withdrawal of Ted Kennedy from the race.
05:40Copy video clip URL Weinberg asks Rostenkowski why he is so involved with so much at the convention. The Congressman responds by saying, “I really don’t pick out the parts that I’m involved in. It really is difficult out there (Rostenkowski points out to the convention floor) to keep the flow of information, and you can see why.” Rostenkowski then takes a jab at Weinberg and the media by saying, “It’s mainly because of fellas like you.” Rostenkowski then talks about the struggle in keeping the high atmosphere and activity at the convention.
06:41Copy video clip URL Weinberg asks Rostenkowski who is actually running the convention. Rostenkowski names off a few of his colleagues involved in the process. The camera man also asks Rostenkowski if there is a separation between the mechanics and the substance of the convention. The Congressman responds, “You know, mechanics of any convention aren’t really highly visible. I mean what you want to do is to keep people cool, so that you haven’t got somebody going out and stirring up a lot of argument over nothing or over a misinterpretation of something.”
07:35Copy video clip URL The camera operator asks Rostenkowski about what he thinks will happen with the election in the next few months. Rostenkowski responds rather fervently, “You people can change the will of people in forty-eight hours. I wouldn’t predict anything at this point.” When asked about his own re-election and what may happen in the future, Rostenkowski says, “I’m going to run to win.”
08:15Copy video clip URL Off in the distance, someone in the convention hall sets off a couple of fireworks, which startles both Rostenkowski and the crew. Weinberg and Rostenkowski then talk about logistics having to do with the piece. Shortly after this, the Congressman makes his way back to the phones.
09:33Copy video clip URL Cut to a shot of the convention crowd as they chant the phrase, “We want Jimmy!” Jimmy Carter will be speaking at the convention the next day. The crew also gathers a little more footage of Rostenkowski at work.
11:58Copy video clip URL Tape ends.