Blago's Final Day: Dark Humor Amid the Gloom

Ex-gov finds lighter side as he exits
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 30, 2009 7:39 AM CST
Blago's Final Day: Dark Humor Amid the Gloom
Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich poses for a photo with Liam Hudson as he talks to the media outside of his Chicago home, Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009.   (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Rod Blagojevich—now the former governor of Illinois—spent his last day in office in characteristic fashion: a stew of gallows humor, bitter recrimination, and concern about how he looked (literally and figuratively). A New York Times reporter flew with him from Chicago to Springfield and back, as he lurched from one emotion to the next. "I wonder if we’ll have to hitchhike home," he wondered before his plane landed; "maybe we could take the bus." (He didn't.)

Blagojevich called his career "a personal Greek tragedy" but showed little remorse for the epic corruption that led to his ouster, the first in Illinois history. He was nervous before his last speech in Springfield—though not so distraught that he forgot his beloved hairbrush—but seemed relieved to have escaped the trials of politics. As the State Senate threw him out, Blagojevich did not stick around to hear the result; he spent his last hours jogging through the snow.
(More Rod Blagojevich stories.)

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