Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Blagojevich faces the fight of his life

The day before Rod Blagojevich's world came crashing down, he stood before the TV cameras confident and defiant, as always, declaring he had nothing to hide, even as a giant political scandal was about to engulf him.

"If anybody wants to tape my conversations, go right ahead," said the boyish, helmet-haired governor, looking jaunty in a black leather jacket and turtleneck.

As it turns out, the feds had done just that.

In the year and a half since his arrest, Rod Blagojevich has lost his job and become a political pariah and a comic punch line. But he's maintained the bravado that defined him as governor with repeated declarations of innocence that are vintage Blago: Confrontational. In the limelight. Never giving an inch.

"His ego won't allow him to give up the stage," says Kent Redfield, a professor emeritus of politics at the University of Illinois-Springfield. "He has this supreme confidence in his ability to win people over."

Redfield's comments were featured in a May 31, 2010, national Associated Press article.

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