The Rod’s and Rob’s of Family Dynamics

The men in the image are brothers. But notice the image merges two separate shots. Likely because they aren’t terribly tight these days. Let’s take a look at some interesting Rod/Rob family dynamics.

If you’ve watched TV or read a newspaper over the summer, you probably recognize the brother on the left. That’s the disgraced, and now convicted felon, former Governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich. The man on the right is his 16-months-older brother, Robert.

The story goes the two were extremely close as kids growing-up in Chicago. They even shared a room until Rob left for college. And when it was Rod’s turn to go away to school, he followed his brother to the University of Tampa. Their parents thought they ought to stick together.

Their father envisioned a military career for Rob and a legal career for Rod. And, in fact, Rod became a lawyer and Rob joined the Army.

All too familiar family patterns continued as Rob was Rod’s best man. Rob’s wife even sang at the wedding.

The two brothers went their separate ways, as Rod went on to become the Governor of Illinois in 2002 and was re-elected in 2006. Rob retired from the Army as a colonel and did well in banking.

But they reunited one fateful day in July 2008 when Rod asked Rob to manage his campaign finances, and he accepted.

As an Illinois resident for the past 24 years, I can tell you Rod Blagojevich made a mockery of the governorship; as most Illinois governors do. And his irresponsibility and criminal behavior led to his being taken into federal custody on corruption charges on December 9, 2008. Rod faced 24 counts. Rob was also indicted, facing four counts.

Rod and Rob were tried together. Rod was found guilty on one count and the jury was unable to reach a verdict on the remaining 23. The jury couldn’t deliver a verdict on any of Rob’s charges. I might add that Rod was one rogue juror away from a conviction on several of the charges.

As of this writing, a retrial is in the works.

Needless to say, big-brother isn’t too pleased with little brother. The two acted as if they were total strangers during the trial. And, according to reports, they’ve not spoken since.

The issue appears to be Rob’s contention that Rob and his wife, Patti, fudged just a bit when they assured him the federal investigation into the Blagojevich administration was over. Rob trusted them and ended up accepting the campaign finance manager position.

But as strained as their relationship was/is, Rob continues to defend Rod post-trial. Not only that, Rod continues to use a car Rob loaned him 18 months ago. And he’s yet to repay a $30,000 home remodeling loan from his brother. Finally, reports indicate Rod has yet to reach-out to Rob in a spirit of reconciliation.

For the record, Rob will likely sell his own home because of mounting legal bills.

As mentioned, a retrial is highly likely. Many don’t want to see Rob included this time around. And it’s been suggested a plea deal will be offered Rod that will include dismissing the charges against Rob.

Reporters have asked Rod about accepting such a deal, saving Rob and his family the emotional and financial trauma of a second trial.

Rod replied to one, “I love my brother. He’s an honest man. …But I will never plead guilty for anybody to things that I did not do.”

Interesting story, don’t you think? The big-sibling/little-sibling dynamics are so pronounced. Did, and is, Rod taking advantage of his big-brother? Is Rob protecting his little-brother, in spite of his disdain for him?

Many lessons to be learned about family matters – and responsibility. I know I learned a few…

Anything feel familiar or hit home? Why not share with us in a comment?

image credit

thanks to the Chicago Tribune