What Color Is the Sky in Gov. Blagojevich’s World?

Dec 11, 2008 9:09am

One Democrat quipped to me yesterday that all Democratic Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has to do to present a compelling insanity defense in his pending corruption case is to walk into the courtroom and present the judge with the criminal complaint against him.

After all, the argument goes, this is a man — a lawyer, a former Cook County assistant prosecutor, for the love of Pete — who knew he was under federal investigation and yet was brazenly (allegedly) trying to sell a Senate seat, at one point saying into a telephone — while discussing what kind of quid pro quo he could weasel — "I want to make money.”

The complaint says that Blagojevich "analogized his situation to that of a sports agent shopping a potential free agent to various teams, stating ‘how much are you offering, [President-elect]? What are you offering, [Senate Candidate 2]? . . . Can always go to. . . [Senate Candidate 3].’"

Even more bizarrely, Blago seriously contemplated appointing himself to the Senate seat.

“Unless I get something real good for" appointing Obama friend and adviser Valerie Jarrett, "sh*t, I’ll just send myself, you know what I’m saying?" Blagojevich says, according to the complaint.

In this hypothetical swap with Team Obama the governor talks about trying to become Secretary of Health and Human Services, an ambassador, or leader of a union affiliated organization. He talks about President-elect Obama securing a spot for Mrs. Blagojevich on some corporate boards. And if none of that works out, Blagojevich posits that the President-elect could help him create a non-profit organization he could head, with Mr. Obama getting his "friend Warren Buffett or some of those guys to help us on something like that.”

He really thinks that the President-elect, who wouldn’t even let him speak at the Democratic convention, would ask Buffett or Bill Gates to contribute millions of dollars to a non-existent non-profit that he can head in exchange for the Senate seat?


Even more astoundingly, the complaint says that the governor had a "desire to remake his image in consideration of a possible run for President in 2016…"

Right. A presidential run. Of course.

"It’s just such a bizarre state of mind, that Gov. Blagojevich had to be in to even think this was possible," former Democratic Congressman and Judge Abner Mikva told ABC News.

Mikva used the word "delusional" to describe the governor.

– jpt

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