In the first clip, Gov. Rod Blagojevich explains at a press conference this afternoon why he believes he is not being afforded an impartial impeachment trial in the Illinois Senate. He takes questions from reporters in the second clip. Specifically, the governor complains that the Senate rules do not allow him to call witnesses. If he could, he would call folks like White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, White House Adviser Valerie Jarrett and Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. to offer testimony that he didn't try to sell a Senate seat. He would also call Sen. Kennedy, Sen. John McCain and other governors who supported the reimportation of prescription drugs from Canada similar to a program he attempted but was blocked by the federal government. He complains further that the Senate rules do not permit him to confront allegations contained in the House report, which he contends were not subject to cross-examination. He likens his situation to the cowboy in the old West accused of stealing a horse. One guy says, let's hang him. Another guy says, let's give him a fair trial and then hang him. Blagojevich says he's not even being afforded a fair trial before his public hanging. His contention is essentially that he was out herding cattle when the horse was stolen.
Mayor Richard Daley says the governor is "cuckoo." I say he's crazy like a fox. Watching Blagojevich defend himself in this afternoon's press conference, he reminds me of former President Bill Clinton defending himself during his own impeachment. You can't help but be impressed by his tenacity and confidence against all odds. Unlike Clinton, Blagojevich isn't facing an incompetent special prosecutor with zero experience as a prosecutor and who pursued the case against the president like he was writing an appellate brief. If Clinton had faced U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald instead of Kenneth Starr, he would have been dead meat just like Blagojevich now finds himself. The Illinois legislature knows he will wind up in jail just like his immediate predecessor, George Ryan. The Democrats are trying to remove his stain as quickly as possible before its reach begins to cover them. The people who've been in bed with him for the past six years, including President Barack Obama, have no desire to remain there.