Rod Blagojevich blames everyone but himself for his unceremonious ouster from the Illinois Governor’s office. Nothing new there.
What is new is that you can read his off-the-wall accusations and circuitous logic in the leisure of your own home. Blagojevich’s book, which was supposed to drop on Sept. 8 is available for purchase now at a few local bookstores.
We got our hands on a copy and we’re not exactly surprised by what’s in it.
Blago uses much of the 264 page book to rehash old themes, such as, “They were out to get me” and “What happened to me is total bull crap.” And just like during his media blitz, the governor uses allusions to Shakespeare, Aeschylus and Martin Luther King to tell his story ---"Maybe I read too many history books," he writes.
Blagojevich opens the book in the most self-aggrandizing way possible, by comparing himself to President Barack Obama.
“He was a young lawyer, a state senator and a guy many saw as a rising star. I was a young lawyer, a state representative preparing to run for congress and a guy many saw as a rising star,” Blagojevich writes. “It was not long after our first meeting that he and I began our climb up the political ladder in Chicago that would one day make me governor of our state, and on this day, make him president.”
And he closes the book by blaming U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald for messing up democracy by arresting him.
“There’s nothing wrong with America,” Blago writes. “What is wrong is what this prosecutor has done. He’s wrong. His actions are undermining and threatening the rights we Americans expect and so often take for granted. It is not America that is wrong. His arrest, his press conference, and his false accusations are what’s wrong.”
In between he throws dirt on just about every politician he’s ever worked with.
“Now it’s time for Pat Quinn to take a bat and step up to the plate,” Blago writes. “And he wasted no time swinging for the fences. There he was, my Lieutenant Governor, my running mate in the last two elections. The guy who became my Lieutenant Governor only because of my hard work, the campaign contributions I had to raise and we both accepted, and all the long and lonely hours I spent campaigning. There he is. He’s turned on me. Even before I have a chance to assert my innocence, he has become the director of the marching band leading the chorus that’s calling on me to resign.”
There are a few interesting nuggets.
He asserts that he was this close to appointing Attorney General Lisa Madigan to the senate seat left vacant by Obama until Dick Durbin and Madigan's father conspired against him, err, the people of Illinois, and he had to appoint Roland Burris in a hurry.
Madigan's spokeswomen, Robyn Ziegler, said the attorney general hasn't read the book and doesn't intend to.
Blago also goes to great lengths to remind voters of how much he cares for them.
"How much do I love the people of Illinois?" he asks ad nauseum in one chapter. The answer is: apparently enough to not foist himself on the national political scene as their representative.
"You know, I could've made myself a U.S. Senator. The law allows it. ... Deep down it didn't feel right," he writes.
We're glad you didn't, Blago. You're much better as a media personality.
He also says in a new book that White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel wanted his help in arranging to leave the Obama administration after two years to reclaim his seat in Congress.
He said that Emanuel spoke with him about whether it was possible to appoint a "placeholder" to the congressional seat Emanuel was giving up so that he could win back the seat in 2010 and continue his efforts to become speaker some day.
Blagojevich says Emanuel was interested in his own career because he had to give up his congressional seat to work in Obama's White House. Blagojevich writes that Emanuel dreamed of being speaker of the U.S. House and wanted to know if Blagojevich would work with him to name a successor to "hold" his seat until he wanted it back.
Blagojevich says he told Emanuel he didn't think he could do that and the House vacancy would have to be filled by special election. But Emanuel reportedly told him "his lawyers thought there was a way."
The book is available through Phoenix publishers for $24.95. Tune in to the 4:30 p.m. news for more excerpts from "The Governor."