Lynn Sweet, long-time Chicago Sun-Times Washington correspondent, has some wisdom gleaned from David Axelrod as the Obama 2012 campaign gears up. Well worth reading if for nothing else than this anecdote/metaphor:

“I told my colleagues yesterday a bit of homespun wisdom that I got from an alderman in Chicago some years ago when one of his . . . colleagues wanted to run for higher office and he was really dubious. He said, ‘just remember the higher a monkey climbs on a pole, the more you can see his butt.’ So, you know, the Speaker is very high on the pole right now and we’ll see how people like the view.”

Axelrod told me afterwards that the alderman was [Dick] Mell.

Mell is Rod Blagojevich's estranged father-in-law. And ST's Mark Brown looked into the rules Blago's looking at living with for 12 or 13 years. I was most interested in the price list for commissary items:

Sweat pants, size large, will cost him $15.75. A thermal shirt goes for $7.80. Boxer briefs will set him back $7.25 for a two-pair package. Shower shoes are $4.45. Tennis balls are $3.65 each. Batting gloves are $10.40 for the right hand or $21.85 for a pair.

Iced oatmeal cookies 65 cents. Limit ten. Butterscotch pudding $1.35. Limit two. Tuna fish $2. Limit 10.

A Sony Walkman AM-FM radio costs $37.05. It’s the only such device offered. Throw in Koss headphones for $18.85 more.

Not Alcatraz, but not exactly Club Fed. . .