Friction Haunts Democrats as They Gather to Celebrate

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As it worked out, Gov. Rod Blagojevich backed away from one spat with a party leader, explained his side of another and chastised the party for not embracing his calls for reform.

Blagojevich insisted that any friction within the party is minor and simply amounts to healthy debate, but his sometimes-rocky relationships with other Democrats created clouds over an otherwise sunny Governor's Day.

Other party leaders acknowledged the friction but said it was nothing that Republicans will be able to exploit in next year's elections.

From the governor's point of view, such disputes might even be helpful.

Blagojevich wants the public to see him as an outsider trying to shake things up in Springfield, and one lawmaker said fights with state officials reinforce that image.