In Defense of Rod Blagojevich

01/17/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Mario Correa Writer, commentator and co-host of RelationShow

Now that Rod Blagojevich has R. Kelly's lawyer in his corner, we can safely assume he'll be acquitted of any child porn charges. But if it's pay-to-play allegations he wants to answer, maybe the lug head should look to Hillary Clinton.

Like Blagojevich, Hillary was staring headlong into the electoral abyss not so long ago. Like Blagojevich, Clinton was racked with debt and faced no conceivable path to electoral redemption. Like Blagojevich, Hillary wanted a deal from the Obama camp. Unlike Blagojevich, however, Hillary got one.

Today, the outlines of that understanding are clear: Hillary would suspend her then-unwinnable candidacy and make some public stab at pulling the fractured party together. In exchange, then-Senator Obama would help retire her massive campaign debt and, it's logical to presume, consider her for some kind of Administration soft landing. Politically-speaking, it was all subtle enough--especially if you consider the Obamas making a show of maxing out to Hillary's campaign "subtle".

The point is, political quid pro quos aren't new, and they certainly aren't rare. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand how these things work; it just takes someone who isn't a moron. Rod Blagojevich, of course, is a moron. His brain straining under the unbearable weight of that bouffant, the guy dispensed with even the modicum of subtlety required in these sorts of arrangements. He spoke openly to cronies about the mechanics of a deal--a no-no. He wanted the cash up front--a huge no-no. He wanted a guarantee of a job--or even jobs--preferably atop the health care mess at HHS (maybe because he's so reform-minded). No, no, NO!

Which is not to say he couldn't have accomplished some of these things had he chosen to exercise even a sliver of Hillary's finesse. OK, so he probably wouldn't have gotten State (at least not without calling his new boss "irresponsible" and "naïve" in foreign policy), but I bet he could've landed at least the Fiji gig.

"Behold my people's national costume," our folksy ambassador would say to the gathered locals. "The f***ing track suit!"