Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

At State Fair, Democrats Distance Themselves from Blago

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    Alexi Giannoulias, center, the Illinois Democrat running for President Barack Obama's old Senate seat attends U.S. President Barack Obama's speech to supporters at the Oakley Lindsay Center in Quincy, Ill., Wednesday, April 28, 2010. Obama visited Missouri, Iowa and Illinois to discuss the economy and his administration's policies. Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is on the right. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

    The Illinois State Fair for many is about food, farm animals and fun, but on Thursday -- "Democrat Day" -- it was also about politicians, on the heels of the Blagojevich verdict, keeping their distance from the former governor.

    "Rod Blagojevich lied to me.  He lied to the FBI.  He lied to the people of Illinois," said Gov. Pat Quinn. 

    "He's kind of going around bragging that he's only guilty of one felony," said former Virginia governor and Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine.  "I've never known anybody to brag about that."

    Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) and senator wannabe Alexi Giannoulias traveled to Springfield together.  But before they took off for the fair, the stopped briefly to talk about the Blagojevich jury decision and a few other things.

    "Fair minded people will look at individuals," Durbin said when asked about how the mistrial would affect the November elections. "Neither party has a monopoly on fairness and goodness."

    Durbin was out and about after undergoing stomach surgery a week ago. He said he's "lucky" and attributes his quick recovery to the "best medical care" available.  

    On Blagojevich, Giannoulias added: "I think he was a poor governor, but I respect the jury." 

    Talk of a retrial spells trouble for Blago, said Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

    "We knew that Rod Blagojevich had disdain for the law," she said.  "We knew that he acted unethically."

    Thursday is "Republican Day" at the fair.