Rod Blagojevich called himself a “narcissist” and an “effing jerk,” admitted he was on academic probation in college and didn’t learn anything in law school, and acknowledged he flunked the bar exam.That last line is believable for certain. It may have often showed during his time in public life.
Then, on his first morning on the witness stand at his trial on federal corruption charges, the former governor of Illinois grew emotional when asked to talk about the woman he met when he was in his 20s and struggling with a fledgling legal career.
He looked across the room at the woman, who is now his wife, and pointed to her — but choked up and apparently became too emotional to say her name.
U.S. District Judge James Zagel quickly called a lunch recess.
Across the room, wife Patti Blagojevich burst into tears, lowering her head, her brother passing his hand over her back.
The exchange capped a morning that largely featured a personal history lesson on Rod Blagojevich, who, in intimate detail, described what he believed to be landmark moments in his life.
Blagojevich took a moment to apologize for the profanity on the now infamous secretly recordings of him while in office, saying his teenage daughter told him this morning to watch his language when she wished him good luck on the stand.
“When I hear myself saying that on tape, I’m an effin’ jerk, and I apologize,” he said.
Throughout his narrative, Blagojevich kept to key themes: that he dreamed big, like his father, and often strayed from reality.
This testimony as reported is interesting especially for someone like myself who largely hasn't been paying much attention. Especially since on this blog I went after him because I thought of him as a terrible politician. Hence how he found himself where he is today.
For some reason my own expectations wasn't that he displays this self-awareness on the stand. Never thought he would display that. It could be a good defense ploy who knows.
BTW, yesterday Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was on the stand in his trial and really didn't spend a lot of time as a witness. Indeed he said nothing earth shattering. Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. however spent more time on the stand and did mock Blago on the fact that he wouldn't appoint Jackson's wife, a Chicago Alderman, to a position within state government.