It seems possible that Blagojevich’s brain is wired wrong. It may be as simple as being a sociopath. But the stories about committing to do something one day and forgetting the next, that’s odd even for a sociopath.
The Dick Mell people I met in the 90s revered Mell, but they really didn’t like Blagojevich.
The Chicago and Illinois media owe their audiences some introspection. How did Blagojevich slip through the system?
I refuse to accept that it was impossible to find out Blagojevich was bad news before he was elected governor.
He’s just putting on an act. When the last jury deadlocked 11-1 in favor of conviction, perhaps he thought he could get one hold out this time as well but he had to know that guilty on a bunch of counts was a heavy favorite.
Some commenters need to think for a second. It was announced yesterday morning that the jury had reached a verdict on 18 of 20 counts and were deadlocked on 2 counts. So, he couldn’t possibly have been thinking deadlock on everything unless that fact was somehow kept from him, and I can’t see how. He had to have been thinking acquittal.
Like him or not, the federal statutes are written so broadly that a state employee falsely using a telephone to call in sick so that they can go to Great American with their children is guilty of wire fraud. Ratchet it up to what he was accused of and the result seems inevitable.
for the first time, I am in complete agreement with all of the postings so far. The man definitely has some issues with the truth.
What troubles me is along the lines of what Carl said, esp considering I was an enthusiastic supporter of the guy in the ‘02 primary. too bad we cant have a mental test before candidates are certified or something like that.
“How did Blagojevich slip through the system?”
I’m reminded of the file that the Vallas campaign was reported to have had that year. Not that it matters much anymore, but I wonder what they had on him back then.
It makes me think that he and his attorneys had bubbly in a cooler and were waiting to spray champagne like Dirk Nowitzki and Mark Cuban after the NBA Finals. It also tells me that Blago will never learn from his mistakes and the two trials and will wind up serving his entire sentence because a hearing judge or parole panel won’t want to listen to a man who refuses to admit to his own faults.
What happened? Those guilty verdicts weren’t in the script, what’s going on?
Stunned? Of course he is. He believed he could pull off the same act he’s been performing for years. His audience would swoon at his feet, all would see the righteousness of his cause. Reality check, the audience is a jury, the jury is sending you to prison. I expect the next reaction to be anger.
If he’s not the true sociopath that I and many others believe him to be, he’ll be very careful in what public comments he makes between now and sentencing. The judge had warned him before about this, he didn’t listen the first time and it hurt him in the second trial. If he expects any leniency from Zagel, he better keep his mouth shut.
I would say it is similar to his recorded tantrum over his growing unpopularity despite doing things he felt should be popular. He was described repeatedly as being more of a politician than a governor, but one of the basic rules of politics is that what you want and like has nothing whatsoever to do with what the mobile vulgus wants/likes.
Or put differently: despite his career and its many campaign victories, Rod is bad at politics.
Well, as a taxpayer, I’d rather state employees not call in sick to take their kids to Great America. That’s what vacation time is for, Legal Bob!
But given that the statutes are broad, you’d think that Rod would have known in the back of his mind that this was a possibility and have been prepared for it - not happy about it, of course, but prepared for it.
I think his surprise was genuine and that it wasn’t an act. Like others, I think he just has a loose grip on reality, though unlike others, I’m not sure it rises to a level of a clinical disorder.
===I refuse to accept that it was impossible to find out Blagojevich was bad news before he was elected governor===
I’d also say there was a robust amount of skepticism regarding RRB in the circles of state government prior to ‘02. Whether out front or behind the scenes, a lot of folks ‘in the know’ worked against him (or for Vallas) in the primary…and some tried to after - see MJM’s state fair ‘01 comments re: RRB’s “indiscretions.”
But even if some insiders knew, they don’t carry the water. Blago and Mell lined up John G. early and Blago proceeded to snow the editorial boards and the electorate.
These are pathetic words spoken by a man who will only discover the concept of truthfulness after he has entered prison and “hit the wall.” For those of us who have had occasional professional need to interact with the recent Illinois prison gang (Fawell, Tristano, Ryan, Blago, etc.), I offer genuine thanks and congratulations to Fitzgerald and the prosecutors involved. You are the only folks that really seem to be able to impact the actual ethical behavior of this self-selected category of person. We need you to continue to be a governor on this kind of behavior, which seems to be unchecked by the rather showy, ineffective, and wasteful regulatory schemes that are occasionally added. We need ethical behavior at the Captitol, and we need the strong, regular deterrant only offered by the AUSAs. Now would be a particularly good time to announce another major political corruption indictment — it would show that the pressure is still on. I look forward to a time in the future when we are not immediately offered as an example of one of the most corrupt governments in the world — that sadly is what I regularly hear when I am out-of-state.
- CircularFiringSquad - Tuesday, Jun 28, 11 @ 9:31 am:
Everyone can look up the sociopath diagnosis on their own today. Besides everyone should remember Blagoof is a pretty dim bulb. The smart ones were Wyma and Monk and they have not been on the scene. The tough ones were Rezko and Kelly. They too have withdrawn.
Left on his own Blagoof clearly assumed he would beat the rap. Heck ERV did, Mel did,….(pick any name)did
He was incapable of any clearer thinking.
Maybe folks will begin to figure this out.
- Jake From Elwood - Tuesday, Jun 28, 11 @ 9:32 am:
Maybe he will now blame Sorosky for his downfall. It is clear the defense will include some slam on Judge Zagel for his perceived “pro-government” slant on evidentiary issues.
Blagojevich is so convinced that he did nothing wrong that he couldn’t have said anything else but “what happened?” He really is a very delusional human being and there has been nobody around to smack him in the head to tell him to snap out of it. He somehow got sucked out of “Bizarro World” where the bad Superfriends live and has ended up in ours.
Despite his law school diploma and his exceedingly brief tenure as an assistant state’s attorney, Blagojevich the politician never practiced law too often over the course of his career. He probably did not understand what was happening throughout much of his trial.
I honestly believe that Rod not only believed he would be found innocent, but that he actually believed he WAS innocent. His delusion seems to know no bounds, and he seems to me like a textbook narcissistic sociopath.
- Because I say so - Tuesday, Jun 28, 11 @ 10:09 am:
Like George Costanza said when talking about beating a lie detector. It’s not a lie if you believe what you are saying. I think Rod really believed what he did was not wrong that therefore he was innocent.
Also, hearing the forewoman say she would divorce her husband if he ran for office makes me think the all-woman jury strategy does not take into account how women’s role in politics has completely changed in the last 10 years. ie- Rahm’s election. There’s a sophistication of morality without an understanding of how much government in Illinois is not straightforward. Look at the end around attempt by Cullerton at establishing a shadow budget that not more than 500 people in the entire state were aware of. The amendatory veto that created the free rides for seniors. The unfunded pension that can neither be reduced by arbitration nor dealt with in any other way except with larger and higher interest loans. Not paying your bills, unilaterally changing laws, and creating a hostile environment to entrepreneurship were the hallmarks of the Blagojevich administration. Unfortunately, that is more of an Illinois problem than a Blago problem.
- Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Jun 28, 11 @ 10:17 am:
Much like those closest to him when he was in public life, his attorneys probably grew weary of telling him the way things really were, and succomed to his perception of reality. When your circle dwindles down to only your attorneys, and your whole life depends on your attorneys ability to prepare you for trial, the attorneys must be impervious to Rod’s capacity to wear you down. My guess is that Shelly knew that Rod was going down, did his best to let Rod have the trial that best positioned him to be found not guilty, which led Rod to believe that his attorneys really believed he would beat it. When the verdict was read, Rod reacted to the feedback he extracted from his team, not from their real opinion of the situation.
Rod was never really connected to reality because he entered each personal interaction with an unflappable opinion about the outcome. He could not be swayed, and his mind could not be changed. He was tireless, to the point that he wore down those who held differing opinions.
I suppose this end was inevitible, regardless of who he surrounded himself with. He had some real good people who worked very hard for him. He squandered it, and now his family will pay a great price. Its just sad.
He’s a freak. He knew what he was doing. As Jon Lovitz says, “ACTING!!!!”
And that whole hugging, shaking hands, waving stuff??? Really? “I feel as if I’ve let the people down. I didn’t.” Or whatever it was he said. Man, that is so phony. Those phone conversations made it clear he knew what he was doing.
I’m not going to name people, but you can certainly think of all the people, not just politicians, who are wonderful in the public and appear to be sincere, etc. But behind closed doors, these same people are total opposite. Some do it better than others, and Rod was one of them.
Rod has always been the proverbial Politian who was “born on third base and thought he hit a triple.” His luck ran out years ago when thought he could challenge Madigan. He has been delusional from the start and looks like he’ll have a lot of time to get his head on straight.
The guy has gotten by with a smooth level of BS, an facade that he was the compete package, a mootching batch of ‘Yes’ people who did the actual ‘work’, and throwing others under the bus. The lack of substance only lasts so long. The bus got him and he was driving it.
Illusions of grandeur that go back as far as his stint as Congressman. He was genuinely surprised yeaterday.
Me? I’d be happy if the judge took a couple years off his sentence in exchange for Rod’s agreeing to a full and lengthy psychological evaluation of himself from prison that would be published publicly with footnotes.
What he said was – approximately – “ … frankly I’m stunned. There is not much left to say other than we want to bet home to our two little girls and explain this to them …”
I was struck with the alacrity with which the former Governor in a statement of just a few words, shifted the topic from his 17-count guilty verdict for soliciting bribes and attempted sale of the Senate seat, to his innocent children.
I think he had two things going on in his head. First, I think he really believe he could talk his way out of it, since being a talker is pretty much how he made his way in life. Probably talked his way out of trouble lots of times.
The other is that, like a lot of defendants, the full weight of the situation only hit him when the verdict came down.
He was surprised. Completely. But it was because he thought that he could spin a tale that the jury would believe. He had such a sense of being invincable that he thought he could do what he wanted, how he wanted, with no consequences. He was surprised he got caught and stunned he was convicted. He just believed he was too slick to get found guilty.
And remember, Blago was not the problem, he was a symptom. The virus is still present.
That is a brilliant suggestion. There is a possible Ph.D. and an endowed chair with full faculty tenure for the grad student who could take on such a project in fulfillment of the requirements for graduation from a doctoral program.
- Way Way Down Here - Tuesday, Jun 28, 11 @ 11:10 am:
The most interesting part of the trial to me was his expression of hurt and envy toward the Obama people who were going to Washington and leaving him behind. It was almost childlike. So was the “What happened?” question. Maybe he’s really just 12 years old.
RB believed in himself to the exclusion of reality. Remember in the tapes when he referred to giving seniors free bus rides, among other perks, but then complained bitterly about only having a 13% approval rating? His response to the real world reflects a superficial understanding of it. Classic socio-pathology. His unrealistic belief that he could do whatever came to his mind led to his downfall. It could be said that all he engaged in was typical political shenanigans but he did so without a net once he turned on Dick Mell. That was when his problems seemed to begin. He lost his clout but continued to act like he was all powerful. He believed all he had to do was charm a few folks and he would walk. Comments made by some analysts indicated he especially was pleased at having 11 women on the jury. It appears he may have thought he had this in the bag and turned on the charm on the stand. The jury was not taken in by that.
I feel no pity for the man or his wife. The chose their path. I do feelsorry for their daughters.
IMHO he never thought he was innocent; he just truly and honestly believed he could talk his way out of it. he always knew what his conduct was, and what he was doing, he just beleived he was clever enough and or charming enough to keep from being convicted.
I would have to say that I was quite impressed with the jurors I saw interviewed. I kept thinking that I’ll bet Rod figured he had it made with all of those ladies on the jury. He probably thought his charm and testicular virility would have them all swooning for him. It was very evident these ladies were not the swooning type. I’ll bet his attorney is second guessing his jury selection.
the guy is a goof in so many ways. and perhaps delusional. and certainly bad. but he still can be stunned by bad news. it’s stunning what happened to him yesterday. it would rock anyone. no need to over think this.
“my Blago era voting record… reads Vallas, Blago (couldn’t vote for Ryan because of the Cruz case), Eisendrath, and Whitney.”
Considering that Blago ended up with LESS than 50% of the vote the second time around, and won anyway because the vote against him was split 40-10 or so between JBT and Whitney, that vote for Whitney might have done more harm than good. I realize JBT wasn’t the most ideal candidate and there was much I didn’t like about her, but not wanting to suffer 4 more years of Blago, I voted for her anyway.
Second guessing a jury makes for an interesting story. I would recommend reporters contact a cross section of jury consultants and ask them to offer up theories. The consultants don’t have the same myopic view of the case that the lawyers usually display.
That being said, I would think that getting a jury of like minded people is not a very good strategy for a hung jury. That seems to be an all or nothing approach.
If a not guilty verdict is a long shot, and you want to enable a hold out juror, I would think you need a jury with distinct differences so you can create a minority group who will take an us vs them approach to hold out.
Like minded people are more likely to reach a consensus.
Another example - A Few Good Men … “… We did nothing wrong.” … They knew they did wrong, but thought going with “accepted” practices would negate the wrong. Guess what, no one buys the fact that what you THINK is not wrong, and what KNOWN as wrong doesn’t make it NOT wrong.
Rod was suppose to “stick up for the voters”, not “stick up” all the constituents for money.
I took it to mean “hey, everyone I have known more or less my adult political life has engaged in some level of the activities I have done - maybe I pushed it further than some others - but I didnt invent what I was doing in Illinois… how did it end like this and all the others are out there doing similar things to this day?”
ie - a matter of degree not understanding how his actions were quantatively and qualitatively different from what he was surrounded with his entire adult life - yet he off to a very different result (or, maybe, not so different from some of his predesessors).
- Phineas J. Whoopee - Tuesday, Jun 28, 11 @ 1:09 pm:
He might have been thinking aquittal but that is delusional. The best he could have hoped for was another hung jury. I guess he thought he had snowed the whole jury.
If he had fessed up from the start he could have gotten only 5 years. With good time he might have only 2 years left to serve and Patty would not have had to eat a tarantuala.
- Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Jun 28, 11 @ 1:14 pm:
I don’t know what’s so delusional about it.
The guy proved he can fool some of The People all of the time by winning four statewide elections.
Unfortunately for him, none of those people was on this jury.
- Political Junkie - Tuesday, Jun 28, 11 @ 1:15 pm:
I hope that this proves to everyone all over the state that simply just punches ina democrat or a republican every ballot without knowing the issues or that candidate that this is their fault, we the voters are responsible, we must know the issues and not just be robots in the voting process
Blago lacks at least two things: brains and self awareness. Add empathy in there too.
I don’t understand the concepts of “sociopath” and “narcissist” myself and since the world revolves around me I don’t feel the need to look up the definitions, but the guy is certainly a bit “off”.
It’s not unusual for politicians or just ordinary people to be jealous, petty and lazy, but this guy took it to new “platitudes” as da first Mayor Daley might have said.
Hiding in bathrooms to avoid making decisions!? Superficially charming with absolutely no substance. The fixation on his hair and hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on suits. There is just something wrong there.
This quote from “STripes” comes to mind:
“We’re mutants. There’s something wrong with us, something very, very wrong with us. Something seriously wrong with us”
- Louis G. Atsaves - Tuesday, Jun 28, 11 @ 1:57 pm:
In my eyes he was not delusional. Narcissistic yes but so are many others in politics. He was a student and disciple of the old school political mentality of bartering favors and influence to move up the political ladder. That old school mentality that runs Chicago and areas outside of Chicago.
Those types (in both parties) don’t “slip through” all the way to the top but get pushed by party regulars as a rule. Rod was pushed all the way up the ladder by party regulars who were also looking for return favors and influence.
When they fall or lose an election, they are always shocked and ill-prepared for the moment. Rod being stunned by the decision seems to fit that mindset.
His problem is once he reached the top he couldn’t stop behaving like that.
I think every day after the third day the jury was out (they were out a long time), allowed him to be more and more sure things were going his way and/or he had a juror fighting for him. I think he was thinking about his vindication press conference one second before the first guilty came out.
You’ll recall his campaign ads against Topinka, so I guess my answer would be: “What was he thinking?”
- A river runs through it - Tuesday, Jun 28, 11 @ 3:17 pm:
I think he truly believed he was innocent.
His bartering for the Senate seat, in his mind, was just another political deal, a chance for him to move to another position to “help people.” He had no concept of how such arragements looks in the light of day. Similarly, the shake-downs were seen the same way.
Look, what this guy did happens everyday in Chicago and in this state. Blago was just a lot more shameless and less discreet about it. The guy had no abililty to see anything outside of the view of his political careerism, which meant he had no “off” switch. No way to say “Ahh I don’t know. I think we’re crossing the line, here.” Rod had no moments like that. This willful attitude helped him power through to Congress and Governor, but did not serve him well in actually doing those jobs.
Great electeds can play both sides of this fense. Skillfully work the political system while creating effective public policy when in office. But, those two sides, while separated with a blurry line, they are still separated. Rod just couldn’t separate them. He had no interest in policy for policy sake. All of it was about his political career. Everything.
That RB could not be aware of how his actions might appear to others is not possible coming from my POV. RB instituted an ethics test which all employees must take annually. As a state employee, I have taken them all. So, too, did RB. So, it is inconceivable that RB could have no concept of how such arrangements look in the light of day since he RAN on the reformer ticket after GR’s term and instituted the ethics test so that NO ONE who works for the state could claim ignorance of the rules/law.
There are very few of us who could have risen as rapidly in politics as did Rod Blagojevich. If he is an idiot, then he is an idiot savant. The biggest problem Rod had was the chip he carried on his shoulder relating to the fact he was not really wealthy, but wanted deeply to be so, as did his wife.
This came through on the tapes, again and again. He really did not want to be a working class politican, he wanted to be a member of the social elite. This was his undoing, now he is destroyed.
The crazy thing about Rod’s career and the pain he brought to the entire state is that he may never have risen above state rep if all the Lake Shore liberal legislators would have endorsed Nancy Kazak(sp)for Congress instead of Rod. Nice feather in the cap of Schakowsky, Ronen and others.
Blago should be extremely grateful that it was a new product, and therefore as governor he never learned to use Twitter, I think.
- A river runs through it - Tuesday, Jun 28, 11 @ 4:35 pm:
I’m not even sure he ever looked at himself as a state employee. He is a politician — like many — that truly think there is a different law for those who have been elected to office. The whole idea of being governor was only about his personal gain as a politician. So, trying to trade a Senate seat for another job was no different to him than running for office again or jockeying to become precinct comitteeman. Is this messed up? Yes. Is he only guy that operates this way? No. I just think he took it way too far, and it caught him.
The sad part of all these convictions is that the damage is done and Blago’s people are all still in positions of power and hiring only politically connected people. Quinn is powerless to get them out and the Unions are in bed with them. Veterans are being passed over to give jobs to those with clout. Jobs never get posted but get filled. People are brought in on 90 day emergency jobs and never leave. Every rule is being broken and no one is doing anything about it. It’s not going to stop.
My favorite was the self-righteous Sun-Times editorial after they endorsed him for re-election when everybody knew where this was going.
I wonder if he hadn’t got into such an ugly, public spat with his father-in-law regarding the landfill, if he would have been so on the feds’ radar screen?
- Can't Say My Nickname - Tuesday, Jun 28, 11 @ 8:08 pm:
CheckIDOT - Quinn isn’t powerless. He just chooses not to clean up Blago’s mess. Quinn won’t even fire a Blago director who lost a federal lawsuit and cost taxpayers millions of dollars. State agencies are decaying as reflected in Auditor Holland’s audits.
hilarious!!!!! somebody more tech savvy please put up a clip of tonight’s Daily Show. they just ran a Blago story at the top which morphed into a total slam on Illinois politics complete with a stunningly funny visual public service campaign to keep kids from running for office. it’s a must watch.