Soon-to-be ex-governor Rod Blagojevich stepped in front of the Illinois State Senate earlier today to deliver an emotional powerhouse of a speech before the final vote to remove him from office. Unfortunately, as one might expect from his interviews in recent days, it was also pretty crazy. Throughout his rambling, repetitive performance he seemed to offer counterarguments for some bizarro-world trial that doesn’t exist. How could he be impeached for trying to help old people get medicine, or providing health care to poor people? Blago asked. Caring too much is not a crime!
Though he pleaded for an opportunity to bring in high-profile witnesses like Rahm Emanuel, Dick Durbin, and Harry Reid (yeah, they’d love to do that), he chose not to address the actual charges against him — like trading legislation for campaign contributions from a harness-racing track owner, shaking down the Tribune company, and, of course, seeking to sell Barack Obama’s Senate seat. He did, however, offer random stories about the hardships of everyday citizens, or the time he got coffee for Senator John Warner, who mistook Congressman Blago for a staffer. If there were any Boy Rangers back home, ready to churn out their small-town paper in defense of their beloved, corrupt hero, they were probably just confused. When it was all over, after nearly 50 minutes, there were no cheers from the gallery. Just cold silence.