January 28, 2009
Blagojevich OutImpeached and barred from political office in Illinois:
The vote, 59 to 0, ended nearly two months of political spectacle in which Mr. Blagojevich, a second-term Democrat who rose from the ranks of Chicago ward politics on the strength of his charisma and the connections of his wife’s family, sought to salvage his career and reputation.Lt. Governor Pat Quinn was sworn in as the new Governor an hour later.
I caught Blagojevich on Rachel Maddow's show, part of the media blitz he chose to do instead of attending his three-day impeachment trial, and the arrogant defiance was cringe-worthy. He insisted that everything he did, he did out of love for the people of Illinois. He also insisted the hearings were rigged because he can't call in witnesses to prove he didn't do anything illegal, even though an impeachment hearing isn't like a criminal trial and the State Legislature only need prove his actions were unethical.
The same arrogant defiance showed up in his 45-minute final plea to the State Senate (transcript) when he insisted he did "a lot of things that were mostly right" and that he did it all for the children. And the vulnerable senior citizens. Ugh.
It shouldn't have taken the Illinois Senate two months to get this joker impeached, but I'm glad it's over; President Obama feels the same way, it looks like.
Of course, there's still his possible criminal prosecution, but at least Blagojevich can no longer use the bully pulpit of his governorship to save his hide.
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