Thursday, September 3, 2009

Rod Blagojevich's "The Governor"

Posted By on 09.03.09 at 09:15 AM

A few excerpts from The Governor (Phoenix Books), by former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich:

"Roland Burris was on his way in, and I was on my way out. There was hardly any doubt now that I was going to be removed from office. The only realistic question was when . . . "

"Even though I knew deep down that it was going to be soon, I still held out some sliver of hope that maybe, if given a fair trial, enough lawmakers might realize that impeaching a governor who wasn't proven to have committed any impeachable offenses was a dangerous precedent. And that by doing so, it would have serious consequences on the role of future governors in Illinois, as well as around the country. If I could be thrown out of office without the House or Senate being required to prove any wrongdoing, then what governor would be willing to take on the legislature on behalf of the people, as I so often did! . . . "

"Think about it. I was elected by the people of Illinois to be their governor not once, but twice. They hired me, and if they didn't like the job I was doing then they should be the ones to fire me. But instead, a bunch of nameless and faceless lawmakers in Illinois who nobody knows joined together to thwart the will of the people . . . "

"I chose to boycott. And I chose to protest. I took my case to the American people. I went outside of Illinois and appeared on as many national network shows that would be willing to hear me out. As the Illinois state Senate was trampling on our most basic constitutional principles, I made the rounds on the news shows telling the American people what was happening. And I was under no illusions. Doing those shows was not going to be easy. I was going to be interviewed by some of the toughest interviewers in our country. And it wasn't like I was walking into those interviews with the image of a choirboy. What most of the people who were interviewing me knew was that I was the guy accused of trying to sell Barack Obama's Senate seat. And while I know those allegations are not true, those national network interviewers couldn't wait to get their hands on me . . . "

"I flew back home to Chicago immediately after speaking to the Senate. The Senate was scheduled to vote later that day, and I joked on the plane home that some of us might have to parachute out if the impeachment vote took place while we were still in the air. Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn had already publicly said that he was giving me one day to get out of the governor's mansion, which was not our primary residence but where we still spent a lot of time together as a family. If he became governor while I was in mid air, it was not a stretch to think that he would immediately recall the plane back to Springfield and make me walk home.

"I was home when the impeachment vote came down.

"I was suddenly no longer the governor."

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