23 June 2010

Probably not ideal ambassadorial material

From an article on the corruption trial of disgraced former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich:

[His former chief of staff John] Harris told jurors that Blagojevich suggested leaking false reports that he was thinking about appointing state officials, including Attorney General Lisa Madigan, to give Obama and his advisers the impression that he would be expending a lot of political capital in appointing their preferred candidate Valerie Jarrett — and so would expect more in return.

Among a list of appointments he thought he might be able to secure in the new administration in exchange for appointing Jarrett to the seat was U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, or ambassador to the U.N., Canada, Germany, England, France or India, according to the tape.

Harris implied that ambassador to India might be too important a position for a former Illinois governor.

"I'm the governor of a $58 billion corporation," Blagojevich said on the tape, referring to Illinois and cursing. "Why can't I be the ... ambassador to India?"

Blagojevich says to Harris in the recorded conversation that he understood he was so politically damaged in Illinois that he didn't want to ask Obama for any help that might suggest he wanted to remain governor.

- Christian Science Monitor, 23 June 2010

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