Remember when Oprah Winfrey got burned by her first foray into national electoral politics? Rod Blagojevich figured she might be up for Round Two. The impeached governor skipped his impeachment trial and appeared instead at Good Morning America, where he told America that he almost appointed the daytime queen to the Senate:
Illinois’ beleaguered Gov. Rod Blagojevich said today that when he was deciding who would take President Obama’s Senate seat he considered appointing talk show queen Oprah Winfrey.
Blagojevich made the revelation to Diane Sawyer this morning on “Good Morning America” on the day his impeachment trial begins. That trial is expected to toss him out of office.
The governor said that Oprah’s name came up as a potential successor to Obama in the Senate. “She seemed to be someone who had helped Barack Obama in a significant way to become president,” Blagojevich said. Blagojevich added that “she had a much broader bully pulpit than a lot of senators.”
His consideration of Oprah was tempered, he suggested, by that fact that “she probably wouldn’t take it,” and “If I offered it to her how do you make sure it doesn’t look like a gimmick.”
I know! I know! Have her cough up a few hundred thousand dollars! That would not just prove her seriousness in taking the seat, it would cash in on the “f*****g valuable thing” that caused Blagojevich so much heartache in the end.
This is, of course, drizzly effluvium. Blagojevich would never have considered offering the seat to Oprah for one big reason — she wouldn’t have bought it from Blagojevich. He wanted to make a sale, which meant that he had to find someone who wanted a Senate seat desperately enough to pay Blagojevich for it. If Oprah wanted a Senate seat, she could win it on her own, with her own money, which means she didn’t need Blagojevich as a go-between. Besides, why would Oprah give up her billion-dollar industry just to become one voice in 100 on Capitol Hill, representing one state?
All Blagojevich wants out of this assertion is to build some sympathy by attaching himself like some kind of parasite to Oprah’s popularity. It’s pathetic, but it’s also transfixing to see a sitting governor plumb the depths of desperation without any self-restraint. Maybe the Illinois Senate can take their time and see how much further Blagojevich will go in debasing himself. I see pay-per-view in his future…