* I had extensive excerpts from Rod Blagojevich’s new book in Capitol Fax today. The Associated Press has also obtained an advance copy and has a story up now. The book is pretty much what you’d expect. Self-serving, self-righteous, blames everyone but himself…
He says his discussions about Obama’s possible successors amounted to “ordinary and routine politicking.” […]
“[US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald] didn’t stop a crime spree. He stopped me from doing a lot of good for a lot of people,” Blagojevich writes.
Blagojevich writes that he eventually appointed Roland Burris, in part because of Burris’ famously big ego. No one else but Burris would accept the appointment and fight to be seated under the circumstances, Blagojevich says.
Pretty good insight by Blagojevich.
* Analysis by NPR’s Frank James…
The AP story leads with the information provided by Blagojevich that the Rahm Emanuel, chief of staff to Obama and a former North Side Chicago congressman wanted Blagojevich to name a “placeholder” to his congressional seat so Emanuel could reclaim the seat in two years and continue his march to become Speaker of the House.
It was well known at the time that Obama named Emanuel to lead his White House staff that Emanuel was conflicted not only because he harbored the hope of becoming the first Jewish speaker but also because he has young children and feared the grinding chief of staff’s job would prevent him from seeing them.
So Emanuel having such a conversation with Blagojevich, if it indeed occurred, probably wouldn’t shock anyone who’s followed his career. By mentioning Emanuel in this way, Blagojevich is likely trying to make the case that wheeling and dealing was something everyone in Illiinois politics was doing.
Blagojevich also knew that media outlets like the AP couldn’t resist including the Emanuel stuff, no matter how unsurprising.
The AP also includes Blagojevich’s story about his hare-brained scheme to appoint Lisa Madigan to the vacant Senate seat. Somehow, Blagojevich figured he could use that appointment to cut a deal with Speaker Madigan on health care and the capital bill. But as I reminded subscribers this morning, Madigan refused to return the governor’s calls or even be in the same room with the man for months before Blagojevich was arrested.
…Adding… If you want to see Blagojevich’s media appearance itinerary, click here.
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* More trustee applicants emerge
* One step ahead, two steps back on U of I board
* U. of Ill. trustees who resigned now left hanging
* City Colleges borrowing state politics
* “Hundreds of University of Illinois students petition Governor Pat
Quinn to retain David Dorris for Board of Trustees”
* Resignation Recommendation Up in the Air for U of I’s President and Chancellor
* U. of I. legal bill for scandal: $440,000