“I’m not blaming anyone. I was the governor, and I should have known better. I am just so incredibly sorry.”
– Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, apologizing Wednesday for his crimes of corruption
Now he’s sorry? Now?
After his arrest three years ago on federal corruption charges?
After undergoing at least a dozen federal investigations over the course of his political career?
After milking nearly every minute of his media exposure to tell people he was innocent?
And even after crassly exploiting his ignominious fame with such stunts as appearing on the reality show The Celebrity Apprentice, and charging $50 a pop for autographs while appearing at a comic book convention?
If anyone, for whatever twisted reason, wanted to create a corrupt politician, the Democratic Blagojevich would provide an ideal modeling template.
What crimes finally convicted him? He tried to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by then President-elect Barack Obama, and used the power of his office to extort campaign contributions; win jobs for himself and his wife; and extract personal gain by directing state policies regarding hospitals and a racetrack.
He is the fourth Illinois governor since 1973 to be convicted of criminal charges. In the land of “Honest Abe” Lincoln, meet Dishonest Rod. The state’s legendary plutocracy of criminals could be Illinois’ fourth branch of government.
Blagojevich’s crimes are shameful enough, but the brash swagger he displayed in the face of his looming conviction is nothing short of sickening.
Now a disgraced politician and a disbarred lawyer, he faces a 14-year prison sentence during which he should find humility and figure out how to rebuild his life into something meaningful.