Blagojevich Apparently Unaware He’s Been Accused of Corruption (Updated With Video)
Following his impeachment this morning, Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D-Ill.) gave a press conference that addressed everything under the sun — except the charges of corruption and abuse of power for which he was impeached. It was an utterly bizarre spectacle that left CNN’s Rick Sanchez asking, “What the hell was that?”
“The House’s action today was not a surprise; it was a foregone conclusion,” Blagojevich began calmly. “They’ve been talking about doing it for years.”
He went on to describe his accomplishments as governor, and the state House of Representatives’ efforts to hinder his health care reforms. Flanked by a motley crew of Illinoisians who he said “have benefited from some of these initiatives,” he ranted for minutes on end about breast cancer and kidney conditions.
But he made absolutely no mention of the core issue: his attempted sale of Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat, as alleged by federal prosecutors. Instead, he seemed to think that he had been impeached for his crusade to save lives.
Over and over, he described his health care programs and asked rhetorically, “Is that an impeachable offense?”
The only moments that did not seem thoroughly surreal came at the end of the press conference — but not the very end, when he once again quoted a British poet to prove some point that eluded me — as he maintained his innocence.
“Let me reassert to all of you once more that I am not guilty of any criminal wrongdoing,” he insisted. “I’m confident that at the end of the day I will be properly exonerated. In the meantime I have a job to do for the people.”
Go save lives, Blago! Godspeed!
UPDATE: Here’s the video: