[Rostenkowski raw #306]

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. Election day, 1980. Rostenkowski is interviewed in his office. Rostenkowski discusses how Congressmen are low-profile political figures in Chicago, and how Chicago's increasing reliance on federal funds is changing and heightening the profile of Chicago Congressmen. He also discusses his political future, dodging the question of whether or not he'll run for mayor of Chicago or attempt to become Speaker of the House of Representatives (saying everyone should want to become mayor or a congressman).

00:00Copy video clip URL Color bars.

00:37Copy video clip URL Weinberg and Rostenkowski talk about the fact that many Congressmen are generally low profile in Chicago. He speaks with vigor about how he has worked towards heightening the Congressman’s profile and the fact that Congressmen will probably be more highly recognized in the future due to Chicago’s reliance on federal funding.

02:40Copy video clip URL Weinberg asks Rostenkowski whether he would like to further advance his political career by setting his sights on higher points in office, such as Speaker of the House or Mayor of Chicago. Rostenkowski admits that he is not ready to retire and emphasizes the fact that he got involved with politics at an earlier age than most, which he believes gave him an advantage. He then goes into his thoughts on holding political office and how every citizen should want to engage themselves with it in some way. While Rostenkowski does not give Weinberg a direct answer, the Congressman definitely does not rule it out.

05:08Copy video clip URL Rostenkowski is interviewed outside of his office. He comments on how quickly his campaign workers remove the political signs after the election.

6:55Copy video clip URL Quick cut to a shot of St. Stanislaus Kostka’s church tower in front of a backdrop of the autumn sky. The bells are sounding as the camera pans down and records Rostenkowski and his wife leaving their home on their way to vote. We then follow Rostenkowski and his wife as they walk to the polling place located in the field house of Chicago’s Pulaski Park. The two arrive at the park, sit down to get their registration information in order, and make their way into the voting booths. The camera operator records Rostenkowski as he disappears behind a black curtain to cast his vote. The sounds of the various levers being pulled down one by one resonate through the entire field house. Then suddenly, the curtain opens, Rostenkowski steps out, and jokes with his wife about voting “faster than him.”

11:25Copy video clip URL Rostenkowski shows us a painting of Casimir Pulaski given to the park by Rostenkowski’s father. He then points out a sign where Rostenkowski’s name is misspelled (the “e” is omitted).

12:29Copy video clip URL After admiring the artwork within the field house, Rostenkowski moseys his way on over to Weinberg and says, “Okay Tom, that concludes our association. What now?”

12:48Copy video clip URL Tape ends.



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