The Blago Blitz
Tuesday, January 27, 2009; 10:24 AM
As the Illinois Senate began impeachment proceedings yesterday against the man who has variously compared himself to a cowboy, Mandela and Gandhi, Rod Blagojevich was chatting up Diane Sawyer, Larry King and the ladies of "The View."
It is, to say the least, a novel defense.
The headlines are all about Blago saying he toyed with naming Oprah to Obama's Senate seat, rather than the criminal charge that he tried to auction off that seat. (I guess the pay cut was too big for Ms. Winfrey, so he had to settle for Roland Burris.)
I see several possibilities here:
-- Blagojevich is so in love with the media spotlight that he'd rather preen on shows from "Today" to "Nightline" than fight for his job in Springfield.
-- Blagojevich knows the state Senate is going to boot him out of office--"the fix is in," he declared yesterday--so he's decided to portray the process as a circus.
-- Blagojevich is more worried about staying out of jail at this point, so he's using the airwaves to portray himself as a victim in the eyes of potential jurors.
-- Blagojevich, facing unemployment, is hoping to land a big book deal.
-- He loves the free hair and makeup.
Whatever the Democratic governor's motivation -- and this is a man who Richard Daley has pronounced "cuckoo" -- he has been rushing from one studio to the next. My favorite was his deadpan explanation that he couldn't figure out how to approach Oprah without it looking like "a gimmick to get cheap publicity at her expense." Ya think?
My second favorite: When Joy Behar called him a potty mouth. No bleeping kidding.
His invoking of Gahdhi, Mandela and Martin Luther King was too much for Barbara Walters: "Are you really seeing yourself as one of the great martyrs in history?" Blago said he'd been taken out of context.