Mar 25, 2009 2 Comments ›› Pat Dollard
By ANDY BARR
â€œGood morning, this is former Gov. Rod Blagojevich. How are you?â€
And so it began, the latest chapter in the saga of Illinoisâ€™ infamous Rod Blagojevich.
â€œJust seems like only yesterday that I was the governor of the fifth largest state in America,â€ Blagojevich said, filling in as a guest host on WSL-AMâ€™s â€œDon Wade & Roma Morning Show.â€
â€œNow Iâ€™m here sitting in the seat that Don Wade sits in,â€ he marveled. â€œI guess you could say that Iâ€™ve achieved higher office.â€
In his two hours on the radio waves, Blagojevich took calls from ABCâ€™s White House correspondent Ann Compton, sports columnist Jay Mariotti, comedian D.L. Hughley and the actor who portrays the former governor in a Second City stage spoof â€œRod Blagojevich Superstar.â€
The actor thanked Blagojevich for â€œselling lots of tickets.â€
The former Democratic governor is accused in a federal complaint of trying to sell President Barack Obamaâ€™s Senate seat and was removed from office last January by the Illinois Legislature.
And again on Wednesday, he maintained his innocence, saying he was â€œhijacked from office.â€
Blagojevich kicked off the radio show by attacking his Democratic successor, Gov. Pat Quinn, over a proposed state income tax increase, which he called â€œthe worst thing you can do, in my judgment.â€
He took his first call from â€œTed from Algonquin,â€ who defended the former governor. â€œFor what they’re saying you did in the pay-to-play program, I donâ€™t believe,â€ Ted said.
Compton was Blagojevichâ€™s first guest, calling in from the White House to talk about the presidentâ€™s White House news conference Tuesday night and the looming federal budget battle in Congress.
â€œAs you know from your experience as an executive, putting the state or federal budget in place locks in, at least for a year, so much of the priorities that you want to have in place,â€ Compton told Blagojevich.
Responding, he offered his support for Obama, telling Compton: â€œHeâ€™s the No. 1 Democrat in America. So I think those Democrats have to give their brand-new president a chance to get his program passed.â€
After one caller used the phrase â€œhouse of ill repute,â€ Blagojevich asked, â€œWhat is it, a place filled with politicians?â€
Blagojevich also offered a sneak peak at his coming book, which he said will show â€œhow politicians sell out the people for personal benefit.â€
â€œThe process is basically rigged to benefit the insiders,â€ he declared. â€œYou know, one of the things about being out of office is you can say more things.â€