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'Effing Golden' Oprah Tickets Get Juror Excused

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Former governor recalls an infamous line secretly recorded Nov. 5, 2008 by federal authorities.

A potential juror with tickets to one of the few remaining tapings of The Oprah Winfrey Show was excused from participating in Rod Blagojevich's retrial on Wednesday.

"Today was a good day in court because this woman who has those highly coveted tickets to The Oprah Winfrey Show has the chance now to go see The Oprah Winfrey Show," the former governer said after the day's proceedings.

"I would say they're effing golden [tickets]," said Blagojevich to laughter, recalling the infamous line secretly recorded Nov. 5, 2008 by federal authorities.

Blagojevich reminded reporters that Oprah Winfrey has another connection to his case.

"I have said publicly from my independent recollection that I spent maybe a day or two talking seriously about whether or not I was going to appoint Oprah Winfrey as senator after President Obama vacated his office," he explained.

That, of course, never happened.

After a fourth day of screening potential jurors, Judge James Zagel now has at least 40 candidates he has deemed worthy of service.  Many others were dismissed because of work issues, financial hardship, or suspected bias. 

Zagel said he hopes to complete the process Thursday and begin holding opening arguments on Monday.

Still on the panel: a Cook County State's attorney, a federal probation officer, and a man who admitted that he used one of the former governor's profanity-laced rants as his ringtone.

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