05/31/2008 09:22 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Ickes' Breakey Heart as the Fight Winds Down

Harold Ickes, hand wringing throughout the Democratic National Committee's hearing this afternoon, sounded more like someone fresh off a breakup than a Hillary Clinton surrogate. Even his checkered shirt looked sad. In 1997, a New York Times Magazine article titled "Bill Clinton's Garbage Man" wrote of Ickes' father, "From 1933 until Roosevelt's death in 1945 Ickes played for F.D.R. something of the same role that his son would play for Clinton -- mad dog during the campaigns, champion of the dispossessed once that campaign has been won."

So it's generational. After his decades of service, Ickes senior published: "The Secret Diary of Harold L. Ickes," to much success, and Ickes junior left the White House with boxes of notes from his years of service. He told the Times of the notes, ''I still don't know who owns them, but I have them. And what is that old expression? Possession is nine-tenths of the law.''

That's a book proposal that probably keeps the Clintons up nights, not that it could rival Scott McClellan ripping the curtain open on a press corps that is still rolling over at the direction of media owners and the White House as the war rages on, but a page turner nonetheless.

By 2004 Ickes, Clinton's former Deputy White House Chief of Staff made a bid to head the Democratic National Committee but lost to Howard Dean, and there's still no love lost between him and the DNC. Here are seven stages of grief in this breakup played out during the Rules and Bylaws Committee meeting:

1) My Friends Think You're a Jerk. The hubbub in the hallway, Clinton supporters shouting "Lipstick on a pig," and "McCain McCain McCain" all had Ickes' back in his efforts to enforce a Michigan primary with only Clinton's name on the ballot.

2) So Now, What, We're All Just Going to Hang Out Together Like Nothing Happened? "There's been a lot of talk about party unity, let's all come together, and put our arms around each other."

3) I Know I Said That We Could See Other People, But That Was Last Week. A member of the Rules Committee that approved the deal, Ickes raged against it to the panel. He used the word "chutzpah."

4) Oh You'll Pay For This. "I submit to you ladies and gentlemen, hijacking four delegates is not a good way to start down the path of party unity."

5)If We Gave This Another Try, Things Could Be Completely Different. "Senator Clinton has asked me to reserve her right to take this to the credentials committee."

6) Whatshisname Will End Up Leaving You For Some Fancier State. Ickes postulated that Barack Obama took his name off the Michigan ballot to "curry favor with the likes of Iowa."

7) The Record Collection is Mine. It probably is.