It was six years ago that former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich was arrested at his home on federal corruption charges. While looking through some old photos from the Illinois State Capitol, I found some I took during Blagojevich’s impeachment trial in the Illinois Senate. It was a surreal experience, seeing someone who held so much power fighting for his life.
As Blagojevich approached the stand to deliver his speech about why he shouldn’t be impeached, he glanced toward the press box on the Senate floor. His lips were pursed and his eyes seemed to acknowledge his fate. For a brief second, this big-talking hotshot seemed like a normal person.
However, the minute he began his speech, he was back to his usual arrogance. Several times, he looked directly at the special prosecutor, who sat only a few yards in front of him, as if daring the prosecutor to face him directly.
Blagojevich is in a federal prison in Colorado now. The Senate voted to impeach him that day, and a federal jury later convicted him of corruption. Even though he’s been out of power for six years, his legacy of mismanagement is still alive in Illinois. Looking back now, I don’t feel sorry for him. He bought the ticket, and now he’s taking the ride.