Blago's Bluster

The man is good. You have to give him credit for that.

If you were from the far reaches of the universe and just arrived here today, you might have been persuaded just by watching Rod Blagojevichat his press conference this afternoon that he was being persecuted because he was such a great guy.

"The causes of the impeachment are because of the things I've done on behalf of families," Blagojevich said, before ticking off a list of health care initiatives that he embarked upon to save lives despite the cold-hearted, stonewalling legislators who were against him.

But we know better here on Planet Earth.

"The governor wants you to believe he's being impeached because he's pro-health care," Tribune editorial page editor Bruce Dold said on CLTV.

"He said he was a victim, and the target of a partisan political attack," Jack Conaty said on Fox Chicago.

Of course, that point doesn't hold up well considering that state House Democrats and House Republicans came together to impeach the governor in a 114-1 vote.

But then, Blagojevich's lack of shame - and political brazenness - were on full display today, best exemplified by the human props he brought out and situated at his side, a group of people apparently helped by his programs, including one in a wheelchair front-and-center.

Missing from the group was Ali Ata, Joe Cari, and Tony Rezko, three folks whose pay-to-play criminal cases were devastating to the governor.

Not that the pay-to-play scheme that Blagojevich is sure to be formally charged in when Patrick Fitzgerald has wrapped up his investigation was far from his mind; he was surely playing to a future jury pool more than responding to the House.

At times, though, Blagojevich's statement had such a campaign speech flavor it seemed as if he was about to announce a re-election bid - or a run for president.

When it was all over - he didn't take questions - Norah O'Donnell of MSNBC said, "The man is clearly delusional . . . or he could be in some ways politically smart."

Given at least the success so far of his appointment of Roland Burris, Blagojevich is teaching us once again that those two elements are not mutually exclusive.

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