Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich ranked 15th in Mad Magazine's "Mad 20" list of dumbest people, events and things of 2009.
Jurors in the Rod Blagojevich corruption case got an inside look Wednesday at the emotions they never saw on TV when Rod Blagojevich was governor: a brooding insecure Rod, and an angry, foul-mouthed, and seemingly vindictive first lady.
Deputy governor Bob Greenlee described an absentee governor who only came to the office "two to eight hours a week," and was so averse to bad news, he once hid in the rest room to avoid his own budget director.
In a call from Nov. 4, 2008, Blagojevich tells Greenlee he is furious with advisor Doug Scofield, for telling him he shouldn't appoint himself Senator. And he adds something of a low opinion of his constituency.
"I f---ing busted my ass and pissed people off and gave your grandma a free ride on the bus! I gave your f---ing baby a chance to have health care! And what do I get for that? Only 13 percent of you all out there think I'm doing a good job! So f--- all of you!"
But there was a Senate seat to fill. On December 4, 2008, Blagojevich told staffers he was warming to the idea of Jesse Jackson Jr. A new poll had indicated Jackson had much higher support in the black community than Lisa Madigan, who had been Blagojevich's first choice because he hoped to cut a deal with her father, the powerful House Speaker.
Incredulous aides reminded Blagojevich in a phone call secretly recorded by the government, that Jackson had politically double-crossed him before. But the governor told them that this time he was being offered something different.
There's tangible concrete stuff from supporters," he said, apparently referring to the million dollars plus Jackson supporters had offered in exchange for his appointment.
"You know, specific amounts and everything. And while, you know, I don't know if all of that is achieveable, there is, some of it, up front!"
Later in that conversation, Blagojevich says, "Jesse Jackson wants it badly! And he's the only one willing to offer other stuff!"
When his advisors continue to express doubts, Blagojevich suggests Jackson may offer the best all-around alternative.
"I can cut a better political deal with him. Trust and verify. Which means you need, and you need some down payment and all the rest, if you want to be cynical. And with them, you need a lot of down payment!"
In other developments Thursday: