The First Draft: Blago’s new groove: published author
Ousted Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, whose corruption case put the national spotlight on big male hair and crooked Chicago politics, has reinvented himself as the author of a book that claims to offer insights into White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel’s political ambitions.
Blagojevich, who faces trial after allegedly trying to sell President Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat, says in the book, “The Governor,” that Emanuel asked him for help in reclaiming his congressional seat after two years with the Obama administration, according to NBC News.
Emanuel, who entered the U.S. House of Representatives in 2002 as the Democratic representative for the North Side of Chicao, apparently hoped to regain his seat in the 2010 congressional elections.
NBC said an Emanuel spokesman declined comment.
The Chicago Tribune’s account of the new Blagojevich book says the former governor blames overzealous prosecutors and political enemies for his spectacular downfall.
He also says his guiding light in selecting a new senator to replace Obama was the question: “How much do I love the people of Illinois?”
He wound up choosing Democrat Roland Burris, the book says, because of Burris’ famously big ego — no one but him would accept the appointment and fight to be seated under the circumstances, according to the Tribune.
After his arrest in December, Blagojevich was impeached, convicted by the Illinois Senate and ousted from office. His corruption trial is scheduled for next year.
Photo credit: Reuters/Frank Polich (Blagojevich in April after arraignment hearing)