Starting Thursday, the entire nation will be watching Rod Blagojevich as he goes on trial for corruption. Here in Illinois, we've been watching him for nearly 20 years, ever since he was elected to the state house of representatives. Here, from two decades in public life, are Rod Blagojevich's greatest media moments.
10. Out-Prayed by a Reverend
In 1999, Rep. Rod Blagojevich, the only Serbian-American in the House of Representatives, accompanies Rev. Jesse Jackson on a trip to Belgrade, to ask Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic for the release of three U.S. soldiers. When the three men pray, Jackson is in the middle of the picture, holding Milosevic’s hand. When the soldiers are released, Jackson gets all the credit.
It’s the last time Blagojevich allows anyone to steal the spotlight from him.
8. Out-Balls a Baller
In 2005, Blagojevich boasts that he has the “testicular fortitude” to stand up to his father-in-law, Ald. Richard Mell, after infuriating the paterfamilias by shutting down a landfill run by a distant relative. This quality proves useful in Blagojevich’s re-election campaign the next year. His opponent, Judy Baar Topinka, has fortitude, but not testicles.
7. First Daily Show Appearance
In 2006, Blagojevich appears on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show to talk about a law that requires pharmacists to provide the morning-after pill to pregnant women. Reporter Jason Jones pretends he is unable to pronounce Blagojevich’s name, calling him “Governor Smith,” then asking, “Are you the gay governor?”
“Is he teasing me or is this legit?” Blagojevich asked an aide.
It's obvious, right then, that something is off about this guy. He spends so much time reading Lincoln biographies and reciting Kipling that he has no time to watch satirical cable TV shows.
6. The Age of Disco
A reporter from the celebrity website TMZ catches Blagojevich at an airport and asks, “What kind of hair care products do you use?”
“Let me tell you this,” Blagojevich answered. “I came of age in the Disco Era, when a brush was an extension of your arm. So, you know, habits form early. I comb my hair a lot.”
Under questioning, Blagojevich also reveals that he is more partial to shampoo than conditioner.
5. Dancing on a Loading Dock
At a 2009 street party for Optimus, a downtown video production company, the loading dock door rose, and there was … Rod Blagojevich, standing next to a Fabio look-alike and singing Elvis’ “Treat Me Nice.” Blagojevich, who was paid for the performance, making him a professional Elvis impersonator, flipped up his collar and unbuttoned his dress shirt during the five-minute song.
For the final entries in the top ten awful, no good, very bad media moments, check out the video above. Totally worth the next one minute ten seconds of your life. Totally.