Blago says he’s “blacker than Barack Obama”
Believe it or not, Rod Blagojevich is African-American — and more so than President Barack Obama. At least, that’s what the former Illinois governor tells Esquire magazine in a new interview.
“It’s such a cynical business, and most of the people in the business are full of (expletive deleted) and phonies, but I was real, man — and am real. This guy, he was catapulted in on hope and change, what we hope the guy is. What the (expletive deleted)? Everything he’s saying’s on the teleprompter,” Esquire quotes Blago as saying about the president, without the expletives deleted.
“I’m blacker than Barack Obama. I shined shoes. I grew up in a five-room apartment. My father had a little laundromat in a black community not far from where we lived. I saw it all growing up,” he explains.
Blago is, in fact, a white Democrat who gained prominence for introducing big male hair to the national political arena during a corruption probe that led to his indictment on charges of trying to sell Obama’s former U.S. Senate seat. He denies the accusations.
Esquire doesn’t say whether Blago thinks Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid should resign for calling Obama a “light-skinned” black man “with no Negro dialect unless he wanted to have one.” Reid’s comments were made in private but published in the new book, “Game Change,” by Time magazine reporter Mark Halperin and New York magazine writer John Heilemann.
Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, who actually is black, says Reid should go — just like former Senate Republican leader Trent Lott went in 2002 after praising former segregationist and long-time Senator Strom Thurmond. Reid has apologized for “using such a poor choice of words” and Obama has accepted the apology.
But Blago does let the magazine in on the legal strategy he’s contemplating for his upcoming trial in Chicago.
“I’m absolutely going to testify,” Blago promises Esquire. “Absolutely. I’m going to go up there and tell the whole truth — and the complete truth.”
CORRECTS: spelling of Heilemann.
Photo credits: Reuters/Frank Polich (Blagojevich); Reuters/Jim Young (Harry Reid)