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A self-serving rant from Blagojevich

Monday, Aug 31, 2009

* 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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* “Hundreds of University of Illinois students petition Governor Pat
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* Resignation Recommendation Up in the Air for U of I’s President and Chancellor

* U. of I. legal bill for scandal: $440,000

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - 60611 - Monday, Aug 31, 09 @ 2:22 pm:

    Really, how likely was it that Rahm Emanuel, former head of the DCCC, thought that governors make appointments for House seats?

  2. - CircularFiringSquad - Monday, Aug 31, 09 @ 2:27 pm:

    Apparently the book is all over Chicago…little display….guess the publisher decided it wasn’t worth much….Blagooof will probably declare it a “soft launch” like his noggin!

  3. - okay then.. - Monday, Aug 31, 09 @ 2:33 pm:

    David Dorris should not have resigned. He is a grown man and he made his choice. Now, assuming that he was not among Gov. Quinn’s reappointment picks, Dorris and the students should just live with the choice that Dorris made.

  4. - Brennan - Monday, Aug 31, 09 @ 2:33 pm:

    440K? That’s a lot of FOIA work.

    Maybe next time the University legal department can walk over to the University’s legal aid clinics and charter a civics course.

  5. - Nort'sider - Monday, Aug 31, 09 @ 2:54 pm:

    More excerpts:

    “Frankly, my humility dazzled His Holiness and Mother Teresa…”

    “How much do I love the people of Illinois? So much so that I engineered the White Sox’ 2005 World Championship, phoning Ozzie with my daily advice, even though I’m a Cubs fan.”

    “I repeatedly told Priscilla that I was not a reincarnation, but simply Rod Blagojevich and that I was already married. I told her that if the trespassing didn’t stop, I’d have to sic the entire Illinois State Police force on her. I wondered, however, why she kept going to Springfield…”

    “So great and steadfast was my resolve to do good for the common people of Illinois, that I told The Lord, ‘Humbled as I am to be called by You to run for president in 2008, I must stay and serve the good, common people of Illinois. I beseech You, let my people know…”

  6. - Oneman - Monday, Aug 31, 09 @ 3:24 pm:

    Got mine at Barnes and Noble in Naperville o Saturday.

  7. - VanillaMan - Monday, Aug 31, 09 @ 3:29 pm:

    Quinn Opens Du Quoin Mansion, Refers to Himself as “Repairman”

    Handyman - James Taylor, enhanced by VanillaMan

    Hey voters, gather round
    Pick up to what I’m putting down
    Whoo baby, I’m Governor Handyman

    I’m not the kind to use a pencil or rule
    I’m governor of Illinois, and I really rule
    I’m fixing broken government, I know I can

    When our streets need repair
    I’m the man to see
    I pass legislation, cash goes to friends
    They’ll come runnin’ to me

    Here is the main thing I want to say
    We’re so fiscally broke, there’s just no way
    To fix this entire mess, I know no one can

    When our broken Assembly needs reform
    I’m the man to see
    I create commissions, they lose all their friends
    So don’t blame me

    Here is the main thing I want to say
    In Illinois, it is Pay-To-Play
    I can’t change this, I know no one can

    Come-a, come-a, come-a, come-a, come, come
    Yeah, yeah, yeah
    Come-a, come-a, come-a, come-a, come, come, come
    Yeah, yeah, yeah

    That’s me
    (Come-a, come-a, come-a, come-a, come, come)
    I’m your handyman
    (Yeah, yeah, yeah) That’s me
    (Come-a, come-a, come-a, come-a, come, come)
    I’m your handyman
    (Yeah, yeah, yeah)

  8. - wordslinger - Monday, Aug 31, 09 @ 3:37 pm:

    Big mistake by Blago and his publishers to release excerpts.

    The market for the book was small anyway. Who’s going to buy it now, based on the excerpts? I’m sure that’s not the best dirt he has — it’s the best dirt he can release when the federales are so hot on his trail he can smell the Brylcream.

    Movie producers, when they have a bomb, won’t pre-screen for critics in order not to blow the opening weekend. Same principle.

    If Rod’s looking for cash, he should get fitted for a white-sequined jumpsuit and look to work the lounge at at Blue Chip in Michigan City.

  9. - anon - Monday, Aug 31, 09 @ 3:38 pm:

    When will the Guv “fumigate” these idiots???

  10. - Segatari - Monday, Aug 31, 09 @ 3:59 pm:

    Ahem, who is going to file claims against Blago for profiting from his crimes? Anyone?

  11. - Just the Facts - Monday, Aug 31, 09 @ 4:16 pm:

    Blago on Howard Stern - now that may be interesting.

  12. - Ghost - Monday, Aug 31, 09 @ 4:17 pm:

    Book needs a new title….. There and back again, a narcissist journey.

  13. - Bookworm - Monday, Aug 31, 09 @ 6:24 pm:

    “I’m a humble son of immigrants… and proud of it!” ;-)

  14. - Bookworm - Monday, Aug 31, 09 @ 6:35 pm:

    According to the Sun-Times, Blago claims his Senate pick was all about “loving the people of Illinois.” I guess he is just one of many politicians who don’t know the difference between loving someone and, shall we say, “bleeping” them ;-)

  15. - Hollis Elmore - Monday, Aug 31, 09 @ 6:57 pm:

    Here’s addendum #1 to Rod Blagojevich’s book.

    They’re Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-haaa!

    Remember when you ran away
    And I got on my knees
    And begged you not to leave
    Because I’d go berserk?
    Well. . .

    You left me anyhow
    And then the days got worse and worse
    And now you see I’ve gone
    Completely out of my mind
    And. . .

    They’re coming to take me away, HA HA
    They’re coming to take me away, HO HO HEE HEE HA HA
    To the funny farm
    Where life is beautiful all the time
    And I’ll be happy to see
    Those nice, young men
    In their clean, white coats
    And they’re coming to take me away, Ha-haaa!

    You thought it was a joke
    And so you laughed
    You laughed when I had said
    That losing you would make me flip my lid
    Right. . .

    You know you laughed, I heard you laugh
    You laughed, you laughed and laughed
    And then you left
    But now you know I’m utterly mad!
    And. . .

    They’re coming to take me away, HA HA
    They’re coming to take me away, HO HO HEE HEE HA HA
    To the happy home
    With trees and flowers and chirping birds
    And basket weavers who sit and smile
    And twiddle their thumbs and toes
    And they’re coming to take me away, Ha-haaa!

    I cooked your food
    I cleaned your house
    And this is how you pay me back
    For all my kind, unselfish loving deeds?!!
    Hah. . .

    Well you just wait
    They’ll find you yet
    And when they do they’ll
    Put you in the ASPCA, you mangy mutt!
    And. . .

    They’re coming to take me away, HA HA
    They’re coming to take me away, HO HO HEE HEE HA HA
    To the funny farm
    Where life is beautiful all the time
    And I’ll be happy to see
    Those nice, young men
    In their clean, white coats
    And they’re coming to take me away, Ha-haaa!

    To the happy home
    With trees and flowers and chirping birds
    And basket weavers who sit and smile
    And twiddle their thumbs and toes
    And they’re coming to take me away, Ha-haaa!

    To the funny farm
    Where life is beautiful all the time
    And I’ll be happy to see
    Those nice, young men
    In their clean, white coats
    And they’re coming to take me away, Ha-haaa!

  16. - wordslinger - Monday, Aug 31, 09 @ 7:52 pm:

    From the book, according to Channel 7:

    “Blago was melancholy on Obama’s inauguration day. He saw Obama as Zeus and himself as Icarus, who flew to close to the sun and burned and crashed to the ground.”

    It’s nice that he had the humility to allow Obama to be Zeus. But he still kept the self-pity to be Icarus.

    So, apparently, he wasn’t twisting up numbers in the parking lot during every class in high school.

  17. - Gregor - Monday, Aug 31, 09 @ 9:11 pm:

    The Lightning Rod appearance schedule is incomplete: they left out the two 10th birthday parties, one Quince-Anos, the Tri-Delta kegger, and a Bris he’s going to appear at. He’s getting really good at making the balloon animals. Oh, and the opening of the new Dunkin’ Donuts on East Elm.

    Thank goodness he’s kept his dignity thru all this tribulation.

    As to the Rham stuff: meh. It was speculated from the very beginning by many that Emmanuel was the right guy to set up and run the COS office at the beginning, but that at some point, he’d be replaced after it was running smoothly, because getting in is a different skill set from running things once you’re there. As Rod has learned.


  18. - bill - Monday, Aug 31, 09 @ 10:43 pm:

    He’s a sociopath

  19. - Lynn S - Monday, Aug 31, 09 @ 11:38 pm:

    - Oneman - Monday, Aug 31, 09 @ 3:24 pm:

    Got mine at Barnes and Noble in Naperville o Saturday.

    You paid good money for it??? Why?

  20. - OneMan - Tuesday, Sep 1, 09 @ 9:04 am:

    Worth the laugh

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* No pension bump for Stermer, MJM still not persuaded on special session
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - More comptroller stuff
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* Yesterday's blog posts

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