With an irrational confidence and a cocksucker smile, Rod Blagojevich was somehow elected Illinois Governor in 2002. He ran on a platform of ending corruption and halting politics as usual. That his predecessor was impeached and his opponent unfortunately shared the same last name certainly helped his case, but for whatever reason, his likeable arrogance won over voters and propelled him to victory. During his six years in office, Blagojevich fought constantly and very publically with members of his own cabinet, members of his own party and even the President of the United States. Everything he seemed to do was contentious. Everywhere he went, he encountered resistance. It's very likely his tenure as Illinois' headman may well go down as one of the most disgraceful terms in the history of politics, but most people don't even know half of it. That some of the items on this list could have escaped public scrutiny speaks to the moral turpitude of his entire administration.
I'll be honest. I kind of like Rod Blagojevich, at least in a dumb shit in way over his head kind of way. Then again, he was never my governor. Throughout his abridged term, he behaved like the president of a fraternity, drunk on power and clueless as to what he could get away with. Here are the 6 most ridiculous, insane things that occurred during Rod Blagojevich's time as governorů
Not Speaking To His Own Lieutenant Governor
Running any state, let alone one as large as Illinois, typically requires a team effort and a culture of unity. Rod Blagojevich did not speak to his own Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn for a year and a half between August of 2007 and December of 2008. Not since Andrew Jackson fought with his Vice President John C Calhoun over nullification has an inner-administration feud approached the level of hatred Quinn and Blago shared. Jackson reportedly told friends near the end of his life that one of his regrets was not hanging Calhoun. I guarantee these two Illinois idiots will feel the same way on their death beds. How the hell can you run an administration never corresponding with the second in command? Obviously, you can---just not very well.
Feuding With Michael Madigan
For more than twenty years, Michael Madigan has been the man that's, for all intents and purposes, run Illinois. As the Democratic Speaker of the Illinois House Of Representatives, he's the first word for what legislation gets enacted in the Land of Lincoln. Not surprisingly, he hated Rod Blagojevich almost from the beginning. Things got so bad at one point that Blago called a special assembly to discuss a budget crisis and Madigan sent out a mass email to all Congressmen urging them not to attend. In response, the Governor tried to sue him and fired the wife of Madigan's Chief of Staff from her job as a psychologist within the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. She'd received glowing reviews from her supervisors for nearly twenty-five years.
Rooting For Republicans To Be Elected
Relations got so bad between Blagojevich and the Democrat-led Illinois Congress that the Governor actually told a reporter he hoped Republicans would win more seats so he'd face less resistance. Think about that. A Democrat wanted Republicans to be elected, despite the fact that they were diametrically opposed on most issues, because he knew he couldn't get along with the Democrats in office. That's unheard of. Occasionally, a member of one party will endorse a member of another party in one specific election, but blanketly rooting for a Republic victory is another thing entirely. Only Rod would have the stones to flick off his own party base and smile while doing it.
Worst Approval Ratings In History
President George Bush ended his tenure in the White House with approval ratings of twenty-two percent. That's awful by any stretch of the imagination, but compared to Rod Blagojevich's tallies, those figures make him look like his father George H.W. Bush before the economy went South. At one point, Blago actually had the lowest approval rating in the history of Rasmussen polling. Not one person, out of the five hundred surveyed, described his job performance as excellent. Perhaps even worse, more than sixty percent of registered Democrats did not want to see him win re-election and only seven percent described his performance as satisfactory.
Lack Of Endorsement From Attorney General
Preparing for his re-election campaign in 2006, the Governor asked those around him to go on record supporting his bid. His own Attorney General, Lisa Madigan, refused and even went so far as to publically say she wouldn't endorse him because she had started an investigation on corruption in his administration. Can you imagine what would happen if Eric Holder withheld an endorsement for President Barack Obama because he was concerned about corruption in his administration? Only in Illinois could a candidate overcome that and still somehow win. Of course, it helps that Blago was running against this woman
Trying To Sell Barack Obama's Senate Seat
Elated over the possibility of using Barack Obama's vacated Senate Seat to accrue money and prestige, Blago balked for weeks trying to decide who to give the open position to. He contemplated, on federal wiretap, whether Barack Obama would appoint him to be director of Health And Human Services for his administration if he gave it to the President-Elect's chosen candidate and later, he tried to arrange the sale of it to men affiliated with Jesse Jackson Jr. for over a million dollars. At one point, he even wondered if he could use it get his wife Patti a cushy job in government. After all this nonsense became public, the bastard still had the balls to award the position to his chosen candidate, Rolland Burris.
Those are six of the most idiotic, nonsensical things to happen during Rod's regrettable administration, but they are far from the only ones. He also called numerous special assemblies without bother to attend himself, gave 75% of all government contracts to unions, businesses and workers who gave twenty-five grand or more to his campaign and made an absolute fool of himself on The Daily Show
. Part of me is glad he was finally convicted
for his idiocy, but part of me wishes he'd be in public office forever.