Speaking publicly for the first time since last week's I Am Not A Crook press statement, Rod Blagojevich now says that:
...the wiretap recordings show him working for the people of the state.
"Even in this process, without saying too much, that was all about trying to end up with the right decision that could do the most things for the people of Illinois, and when the full truth is told, you will see precisely that," Blagojevich said.
"If somehow that's impeachable, then I'm on the wrong planet and I'm living in the wrong place," he said.
Okay, that's possible. So in the interest of fairness, let's review a few examples from the criminal complaint, where Blagojevich is apparently giving it his all for the people of Illinois.
Here's Blagojevich, discussing funding for a children's hospital whose executives were a little behind on their campaign contributions:
ROD BLAGOJEVICH: The pediatric doctors – the reimbursement. Has that gone out yet, or is that still on hold?" [...]
ROD BLAGOJEVICH: And we have total discretion over it?
DEPUTY GOVERNOR A: Yep.
ROD BLAGOJEVICH: We could pull it back if we needed to – budgetary concerns – right?
DEPUTY GOVERNOR A: We sure could. Yep.
ROD BLAGOJEVICH: Ok. That’s good to know.
And here are his thoughts how the Tribune Company, parent company to the Chicago Tribune, a newspaper that had been critical of Blagojevich, could help expedite a loan from the Illinois Finance Authority:
ROD BLAGOJEVICH said Tribune Owner should be told "maybe we can’t do this now. Fire those fuckers" ... "our recommendation is fire all those fucking people, get ‘em the fuck out of there and get us some editorial support."
Because there's nothing that does more to promote the common good than having the press in the pocket of the government.
And of course, Blagojevich couldn't have made it more clear that the people of Illinois were first and foremost in his mind as he contemplated Barack Obama's replacement in the U.S. Senate:
"I’m going to keep this Senate option for me a real possibility, you know, and therefore I can drive a hard bargain. You hear what I’m saying. And if I don’t get what I want and I’m not satisfied with it, then I’ll just take the Senate seat myself" ... "is a fucking valuable thing, you just don’t give it away for nothing" ... "I’ve got this thing and it’s fucking golden, and, uh, uh, I’m just not giving it up for fuckin’ nothing. I’m not gonna do it. And, and I can always use it. I can parachute me there."
So there you have it. They just don't make 'em like Blagojevich anymore, do they? Why, you'd have to go all the way back to Ted Stevens to find a more selfless public servant.