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Columnist
Feisty Blago suppresses urge for victory parade
By Burt Constable | Daily Herald Columnist
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Published: 8/17/2010 8:19 PM

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Blago, we wish we knew how to quit you.

Knowing his legal woes were on the horizon, Illinois voters couldn't send Blago away. The U.S. government, hoping to put Blago away for years, managed to hang only one conviction on him, as the jury was hung on the other 23 counts.

And you'd have to be delusional to even entertain hopes the 53-year-old impeached-and-now-felon of an ex-guv will just go away on his own.

"Patti and I are going to continue this fight," Blagojevich told reporters Tuesday afternoon, his wife at his side, after the verdicts were announced. He referred to his felony conviction for lying to the FBI as "one nebulous charge," insisted "I did not lie to the FBI" and accused public prosecutors of being personal persecutors who wasted money going after him when they should be more concerned about stopping the murder of children on our streets.

Blago can get on his soapbox, but one conviction and 23 counts still hanging doesn't make him 95.833 percent pure. Especially since it seems that 91.666 percent of jurors wanted to convict him of at least one of the most serious counts, with only one of the 12 jurors on Blago's side.

Judging from TV coverage of Blago's return to his Chicago home, where he proclaimed his innocence and patted a kid on the head, the new felon even regained his swagger. But Blago left most of the theatrics to his defense attorneys, Sam Adam and Sam Adam Jr., who blasted U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald.

"This guy is nuts," Adam the elder said of Fitzgerald.

After noting that the jury did find Blagojevich guilty of a felony for which the disgraced ex-guv could be sentenced for up to five years in prison, a steely, almost curt, Fitzgerald said prosecutors were preparing to begin the jury selection process as soon as possible for when they retry Blago on the remaining 23 counts involved in the mistrial, hoping to persuade all 12 jurors.

Blago's fate could hang in the balance for years, millions of dollars and multiple reruns. I fear we will be stuck with Blago long enough for him to qualify for those free rides he foolishly gave away to all senior citizens on one of those rare days when he actually worked as our governor instead of hiding in the bathroom.

One guilty verdict and a retrial? Say it ain't so, Blago.

Richard Nixon at least let us dream he might go away when he barked, "You won't have Nixon to kick around any more." That creepy Michael Myers killer from the Halloween movies let us think he was finished after Jamie Lee Curtis stabbed him in the neck with her knitting needle. But Blago, the only Illinois governor with an impeachment and a felony, won't give us a glimmer that he might fade away.

Some supporters did cheer Blago and the mistrial announcement, ignoring the felony conviction. Others, so very tired of all things Blago, seemed eager to burst into song if Blago had gotten multiple convictions. But there is no desire to sing, "Ding, dong, the witch is-well, slightly roughed up, and we'll do it all again."

Blago's frequent TV appearances and trial behavior revealed him to be a stupid, foul-mouthed egomaniac who can't operate a computer, hides in the bathroom to avoid work, spent his family's dwindling money on expensive suits for himself and is delusional enough to think he might grow up to be president some day.

While I initially thought a Rod & Patti reality show (sponsored by Effen Vodka) might replace "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" on the E! network, I can't see Blago extending his D-list celebrity status. He simply isn't that interesting. There's no sex or prostitutes, no out-of-control drug use, no gambling debts or even wild parties. Blago has proved himself to be nothing more than a middle-aged felon who loafs at work, thinks he deserves better, is greedy, foul-mouthed and stupid. Those character traits aren't compelling enough to land him a gig on "Jersey Shore." Even the much-mocked Blago hairdo falls short of rising to the level of being worthy of a "Blagolicious" reality show.

On the day he was impeached, Blago quoted Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem, Ulysses, rambling on about "heroic hearts," "strength" and such. Perhaps one day, he'll be able to seek inspiration from another line of that poem: "'Tis not too late to seek a newer world."

Maybe even one far from Illinois.