Isn't it possible, that Illinois Governor, Rod Blagojevich, is just misunderstood? I'm not a lawyer, but I've seen lawyers played on TV. And I've been thinking about Blagojevich ever since the FBI arrested him. Like many of you, I've been wondering what his defense can possibly be since the Feds taped so many damaging words of his. By the time you read this, he may have resigned or have been impeached. However, as of this writing, he has not been found guilty of anything. So, isn't it just possible that the man is completely innocent? Okay, I know that's a stretch. Regardless, I decided to put myself in the wing-tipped shoes of a criminal lawyer making hundreds of dollars an hour to try to get this man off the hook. If I were his lawyer, this is probably the kind of thing I'd say:
Citizens of Illinois, ladies and gentlemen of the press (or of the jury, depending), I represent Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. I maintain that not only is his name often mispronounced, but it has also been cruelly sullied. Rod Blagojevich is not the money-hungry, vulgar, crooked, arrogant, stupid man that you may think he is. Wait, I left out "disgraceful." Anyway, this is a man who has suffered his whole life. As a child, other kids made fun of his name. As an adult, people have made fun of his hair. And yet, he was able to rise to one of the highest offices in this land that he loves so much. That's got to be worth something, doesn't it? Uh, you know what I mean.
Let's talk about the charge that people find the most shocking: the alleged attempt to sell the Senate seat formerly belonging to President-elect Barack Obama. This is perhaps the biggest example of there being a misunderstanding. When Rod Blagojevich said that he was interested in "selling Obama's Senate seat," he literally meant "Obama's Senate seat" -- the chair that Obama sat in while in the Senate. He did not mean that he was selling someone the lofty position of Senator; he was talking about furniture.
Now, this was probably a mistake, a mistake that he is quite sorry for. He shouldn't have been trying to sell a Senator's chair anymore than I should've tried to sell that Supreme Court Justice's couch a few years ago. I wasn't thinking straight then, and neither was Rod.
Mr. Blagojevich has done his best to be a proper Governor for the people of Illinois. He is an old-fashioned guy who believes in tradition, and he was trying to follow that tradition. If he is guilty of anything, it is of trying too hard. Historically, four of the last eight elected Governors of Illinois have been charged with a crime. Since 1971, approximately 1000 Illinois public servants have been convicted of corruption, and in Chicago 30 Aldermen have gone to jail. Should he be demonized for just trying to follow in the footsteps of the public servants who came before him?
The "Corporate Crime Reporter" recently crunched some Department of Justice statistics to see which state was the most corrupt in the nation. Louisiana was Number One, followed by Mississippi, Kentucky, Alabama, Ohio, and finally Illinois. That's right. Illinois was only sixth. To someone who always wanted Illinois to be Number One in everything, can you imagine how the Governor felt when he read these statistics?
He decided he'd do his best to bring Illinois up to being at least in the top three. Who knows? Because of Rod Blagojevich, he may have pushed Illinois past Louisiana!
You decide. Should someone be severely punished for trying to sell an old chair while he was attempting to make Abraham Lincoln's state Number One?
I don't think so. I rest my case."
That's what I would say if I were his lawyer. And who knows? Maybe that's the kind of thing that'll get him off. Crazier things have happened in court.