Blagojevich Now Giving “Closing Argument”

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Having refused to show up at what he called an unfair "kangaroo court," making the rounds of talk shows instead, soon-to-be-former Governor Rod Blagojevich said on Wednesday that he had decided he would make an appearance at his own impeachment trial after all.  (That speech is now underway, and you can watch it live here.)

Blagojevich has refused to testify or present any evidence in his defense so far, and he won't be doing so today.  "He wants to make a closing argument," said his spokesman.  Some suspected, though, that he really wanted to make what could be considered the opening argument for the defense in his criminal trial, since it seems virtually impossible for Blagojevich to change any minds in the legislature at this point.

But if so, the opening opening argument would have been the one he made on the Today Show on Monday.  That was the beginning of the Blagojevich Blitz, in which he also appeared, over a two-day period, on:
  • Good Morning America
  • The View
  • Larry King Live
  • On the Record with Greta Van Susteren (FOX)
  • Fox & Friends
  • The Early Show
  • Fox & Friends again
  • AP TV
  • Fox Business Network
  • Jami Floyd (TruTv)
  • Glenn Beck (FOX)
  • Campbell Brown (CNN)
  • Rachel Maddow (MSNBC)
  • Greta Van Susteren again
  • CBS Evening News
  • DL Hughley (CNN)

DL Hughley is a comedian that CNN has recently recruited to do some news commentary, so it seems appropriate that Blagojevich ended with that.  The other comic moment took place on "The View," when Joy Behar announced that she had heard Blago does a great impersonation of Richard Nixon, and demanded that he do it on the show.

He refused, but did say he was not a crook.

Reportedly, the gallery of the Illinois Senate was packed today and people stood in long lines hoping to hear Blagojevich's spiel.  After today's proceedings, the legislature will begin deliberating on the governor's fate.  The state's lieutenant governor said he was standing by, just in case he might possibly be needed.  He is probably standing by right outside the governor's office, in fact.  Maybe even with his hand on the doorknob.

The Chicago Tribune is conducting live blogging about the governor's closing statement.  So far, he has challenged the trial rules, dropped some names (including, oddly, mentioning the time he met Sen. John Warner and Warner, mistaking Blagojevich for a staff member, asked him to go get the group some coffee), and defended a variety of his recent decisions.  "I have done nothing wrong," he insisted, "and did a lot of things right."

Maybe so.  But as one senator commented, "I hope he has a ride home."