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Blagojevich Waxes Poetic About Injustice

Video
In an interview with The Associated Press embattled Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich says he did nothing wrong and deserves a fair trial. Video by AP

Then, on Friday, he told a Chicago radio station that he was in "a 21st-century Frank Capra movie, Gary Cooper, Jimmy Stewart movie." That afternoon, he compared himself to an accused horse thief in a cowboy movie.

By the time the governor landed on the "Good Morning America" set yesterday, Diane Sawyer had Shakespeare on her mind. "Mrs. Blagojevich is also on these tapes, and some people in the columns have said she's like Lady Macbeth," Sawyer said. "How is Mrs. Blagojevich?"

"You know," he answered, "there's a phrase from a poem by Rudyard Kipling." He then quoted a verse from "If" that he had not read at his first news conference:

"If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken/Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools/Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken/And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools."

While Sawyer went with Shakespeare and Blagojevich opted again for Kipling, on the "Today" show, Amy Robach plumbed the Capra comparison. "Whether it's Jimmy Stewart or Gary Cooper, I do, I see myself that way," he said.

The governor went on to describe the day he was arrested at his home. "I had a whole bunch of thoughts -- of course, my children and my wife," he said. "And then I thought about Mandela, Dr. King, Gandhi and tried to put some perspective in all of this."

Four hours later, Blagojevich was on the set of "The View," being interviewed by a plasma television with Barbara Walters's face on it. "You've compared yourself to Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi," she said. "Are you really seeing yourself as one of the great martyrs of history?"

"Out of context," answered Blagojevich, his famous hair swooping over his forehead and eyes.

Another "View" co-host, Sherri Shepherd, had a question about a great woman. "We heard that you had first considered Oprah for the Senate seat," she said.

"Among the many potential candidates for the Senate seat, we discussed Oprah," said the man who, after his arrest, ultimately settled on Roland Burris.

"We've heard some of the tapes," Behar told him. "On some of them you and your wife are potty mouths."

"Let me explain something," Blagojevich began.


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