This seems to be a day for names to pop up in the news that are blasts from the past. First it was Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and now it’s Rod Blagojevich. The two don’t have much in common other than a propensity to leave cable news anchors tongue tied when trying to pronounce their names and the ability to produce groan inducing headlines, but we may soon be hearing more from the former Illinois governor. He’s been cooling his heels in the Crowbar Motel ever since his conviction on charges of trying to sell Barack Obama’s old Senate seat to the highest bidder, but if his attorneys get their way Rod could soon be a free man. (AT&T News)
A federal judge will decide Tuesday whether to cut ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s 14-year prison sentence on more than a dozen convictions upheld by an appellate court, including that he sought to exchange an appointment to President Barack Obama’s old U.S. Senate seat in exchange for campaign cash.
Blagojevich, known as Inmate No. 40892-424 since he went to prison in 2012, won a resentencing hearing after an appeals court struck down five of his 18 convictions. The Democrat is scheduled to appear on a courtroom screen through a video from a Colorado prison, which will mark his first public appearance since entering prison.
Famously fastidious about his dark hair as governor, it has turned all white in prison, where his hair dyes are banned.
To be clear, Blago’s victory in court didn’t clear him of all charges. Five of the more serious ones were dismissed, but he still had a stack of other crimes which remain on the books. Perhaps that justifies reducing his sentence somewhat but I’m not sure that dropping it from 14 years to four is fully justified. Even with time off for good behavior he wasn’t expected to be released until 2024.
In a rather selfish way, though, I think that at least the bloggers of the world might enjoy having Blagojevich back out on the town, if only for the possibility of the headlines he could generate. Let’s not forget the wonderful years of entertaining coverage that Blago provided us. Remember that it took the government two tries to convict him on all counts. The first time around the jury deadlocked eleven to one. While we waited for the retrial to drag out, Rod never kept a low profile. He showed up on The Daily Show multiple times, becoming something of a comedy folk hero in the mold of Rob Ford in Canada. Even when he gave press conferences from the steps of his home he would say the most unexpected and entertaining things, such as threatening to call in Rahm Emanuel, Harry Reid and Barack Obama as witnesses in his trial.
Ah… good times, my friends. How can you not miss Rod and his antics? Perhaps the court should cut him some slack and turn him loose after all. God only knows we could use a little humor to lighten things up in the midst of this election.