Here’s the latest political rumor: President Trump is thinking about commuting Rod Blagojevich’s 14-year prison sentence.
The former governor of Illinois has been in federal prison since 2012. He was convicted of soliciting bribes for political appointments. Specifically, he was best known for not only trying to sell Barack Obama’s Senate seat to the highest bidder but also for being stupid enough to allow himself to be recorded while doing so. After Blagojevich was impeached and removed from office (and just imagine how corrupt you have to be to be too corrupt for Illinois!), he appeared as a contestant on The Celebrity Apprentice. He didn’t do well on the Celebrity Apprentice but, during his brief time on the show, Donald Trump made it clear that he did like him on a personal level.
One of the funny things about Blagojevich is that he was initially elected governor as a reformer. In 2002, Blagojevich ran as the hope and change candidate and attacked “politics as usual.” After he was first elected governor, many people expected that Blagojevich would be the Illinois politician who challenged Hillary Rodham Clinton for the 2008 Democratic Presidential Nomination. Of course, two years into his term as governor, Blagojevich was overshadowed, both in Illinois and nationwide, by Barack Obama.
Normally, the chance of Blagojevich getting any president to agree to commute his sentence would seem to be close to zero. (Obama not only refused to do it but also went out of his way to deny having ever been allied with Blagojevich.) However, with Trump, I think Blagojevich’s chances probably jump to 50/50. Trump is going to do whatever he wants to do.
If Trump does commute Blagojevich’s sentence, I’m sure there will be the usual outrage. But does anyone outside of a few political junkies and pundits actually remember Rod Blagojevich? It’s been ten years since he was first arrested for trying to sell Obama’s senate seat. In today’s world, ten years might as well be a century.
Below is what Blagojevich looks like today. As you can tell, 7 years in federal prison have turned him into actor William Devane. If Rosland Capital ever needs a new spokesman, they know where to look.