Choice Words From Gov. Blagojevich

With the Illinois House poised to vote as early as this week on whether to impeach Gov. Rod Blagojevich, ABC News took a look back at the governor's colorful comments through the years.

Since becoming governor of Illinois in 2003, Blagojevich -- who was arrested on Dec. 9 for allegedly trying to sell the Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama -- has made his fair share of surprising remarks. Here's a glimpse of Blagojevich in his own words.

January 2003: "Stopping public corruption and improving ethical standards will be ongoing priorities of my administration. The people of Illinois expect a new day of integrity, of openness and accountability -- and they deserve a government as good and honest as they are."
-- On promising to clean out the corruption that ultimately landed his predecessor George Ryan in jail.

June 2003: "I refused to let the promise of expanded gambling allow us to escape the hard choices our system so desperately needs. We took this fiscal crisis and used it to turn this state around."
-- On the passage of a state budget following his decision to reject state lawmakers' proposal to expand gambling.

August 2003: "If we discover that someone is cheating, whether they be human beings or cows, they're going to pay a price."
-- On the scandal that shook the Illinois State Fair when the winning junior division steer, Mongo, was disqualified because it was given an anti-inflammatory for a bum foot. The disqualification was later reversed after the family that owned Mongo sued, blasting Blagojevich for his comment in the process.

December 2003:"Today I am signing a bill into law that finally gives Illinois revolutionary ethics reform. We are not just tinkering at the edges, tweaking here and tightening there. Today we are re-establishing the primacy of principle over politics, and in Illinois that constitutes real change."

January 2005: "The family is fine. We're all good. We all love one another, but that's all I'm going to say about private, family issues in a public setting. I was hired to be governor of Illinois. The people of Illinois don't want me to be engaged in some kind of a family soap opera."
-- On family drama instigated when Blagojevich's father-in-law, Chicago Alderman Richard Mell, accused the Blagojevich administration of hiring for political jobs based on campaign donations after the governor elected to shut down a landfill run by family member.

February 2005: "The governor will no doubt continue to disappoint Mr. [Dominic] Longo in his various requests for employment and favors."
-- A statement from Blagojevich's office regarding a political worker once convicted of vote fraud who threatened to sue the Blagojevich administration for defamation.

May 2005: "Do you have the testicular virility to make a decision like that, knowing what's coming your way and then stick to it, which is what I did, and knowing all of this that we're dealing with now is what we have to deal with? I say I do."
-- On his decision to go up against his father-in-law amid escalating family tension.

May 2005: "It does kind of remind me of that old Frank Sinatra song, 'That's Life.' 'That's what all the people say -- you're riding high in April, you're shot down in May.' This goes with the territory -- the ups and downs in the business."

November 2005: "We have worked hard to make neighborhoods safe and keep criminals off our streets. This year, I am proud to say, we signed several important pieces of legislation to keep our communities even safer."
-- A letter the Blagojevich administration asked parole agencies to hand out. The move was criticized by some who said it appeared the governor was having state employees do his PR.

March 2006: "As I said before, I was very strong in my condemnation of what [Nation of Islam leader Louis] Farrakhan said. ... It was hateful and anti-Semitic, and I condemned that. But I don't agree, I don't believe in guilt by association."
-- Standing by his decision to retain a state panel appointee after five members of a state hate crimes panel resigned over controversy surrounding the Nation of Islam member.

Sept. 2006: "Their families are extremely close, and like most close friends, they have exchanged gifts over the years."
-- A statement from the governor's office addressing questions about a $1,500 birthday check that Blagojevich's daughter received from a newly hired state employee.

May 2006: " I hope tomorrow when we read the papers we see great headlines saying congratulations to this administration for ferreting out wrongdoing. Because I think fundamentally it is a real different place today than it was under my predecessor Gov. [George] Ryan."
-- On a federal investigations into allegations that state hiring processes were corrupt.

August 2006: "I said, of course I'll never take bribes. Not only would that be dishonest, it would be illegal, and I would never do anything to dishonor the memory of my father."
Recalling a conversation he had with his mother during a speech at a Democratic party gathering.

November 2008: [The seat] "is a [expletive] valuable thing, you just don't give it away for nothing."
-- On selling the open Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama, according to the arrest affidavit issued in December.

December 2008 "... This is America, you know, and I appreciate if you want to tape my conversations, give me a heads up and let me know. ... I don't believe there's any cloud that hangs over me, I think there's nothing but sunshine hanging over me."
-Blagojevich on Dec. 8, 2008, responding to reports he'd been taped.

December 2008: "Is this a joke?"
-- The governor's reaction to federal officials waiting outside his house at 6 a.m., Dec. 9, to arrest him, according to the head of the FBI's Chicago office, Robert Grant.

December 2008: "Hang loose, to quote Elvis. Hang loose."
-- Responding to reporters eager for answers on Dec. 17, 2008, while he was gearing up for a morning run.

December 2008: "Merry Christmas, happy holidays, happy new year, feliz navidad y prospero ano nuevo. The people of Illinois are entitled to have two United States senators represent them in Washington, D.C. As governor I am required to make this appointment. If I don't make this appointment then the people of Illinois will be deprived of their appropriate voice and vote in the United States Senate."
-- On announcing the appointment of Roland Burris to the Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama.