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Don't believe the bad stuff about Gov. Blagojevich. He likes puppies

Anyone with a beating heart surely must be touched by the human predicament afflicting Illinois Democrat Gov. Rod Blagojevich these days. The poor guy simply can't catch a break. (See videos below -- one from the Associated Press and on the jump with Barbara Walters.)

OK, the feds say they caught him trying to sell state favors and Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat. And the feds have been investigating him for three years already, so anyone who comes near Blago ought to know their every word is being recorded. (Hello, Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid.)

Yes, sure, Blago waxed Reid up good by stuffing his Senate appointee Roland Burris down the Nevadan's throat. But now those black hats in the state Senate want to railroad the 51-year-old governor out of office simply on the basis of federal charges that actually aren't even formal charges yet. In fact, the feds are seeking a 90-day extension on when they must file some.

Illinois Democrat governor Rod Blagojevich and then Senator Barack Obama in happier legal days

And the governor hints the impeachment is really about his standing up for the little guy in his state against the powerful legislative politicians who are probably maybe against healthcare and education and helping working moms with preschool children.

So this week Rod ignores the impeachment trial in Springfield, Ill., because it's clearly a railroading job to get rid of a strong governor twice elected by the people of Illinois.

And he takes his case to the national public through the media on the off chance that two or three future federal jurors will be watching and be impressed with his open-faced, golly-gee plea that he's never done anything criminally wrong. And deadlock any future jury deliberations.

As Blagojevich well knew, the New York media are falling all over themselves to get their own exclusive interview with this outrageous but entertaining character and give him a national podium. Quick question: How many other interviews in the same day before a network can no longer claim "exclusive"?

And Rod tells them all the same thing with the same straight face about those quotes being taken out of context (yes, he apologizes for the rough language) and how, unlike Richard Nixon, he'd really like all the bug tapes to come out so he could clear his name for the sake of his children. (See news video below.)

But about those state Senate meanies in his own party not letting him make his case, not allowing him to defend himself? Which isn't the American way of justice, you know.

And the politician cites Rudyard Kipling and Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. and other departed saints, which doesn't happen that much back in Illinois except in the comedy sketches at Second City. And the TV hosts laugh in disbelief when the governor leaves. But millions saw for themselves, which is all he wants.

And, have you noticed, some commentators are now starting to wonder out loud how many years and extra months of prep time do the feds really need before they actually charge this guy? Because, as Rod intends, doubt is creeping into some minds. If the guy is such a blatant crook, what's the big delay?

In case you haven't already been won over by the media blitz to feel sorry for the poor, legally challenged fellow who only wants to serve the people, we get word today that this %$#&*(- governor and his equally good-hearted wife, Patti, got their two daughters a puppy for Christmas. A real live puppy. With floppy ears. All happy and eager to please his youngsters with unconditional love. Which, as any American parent knows, is how it should be with loving pets and adorable children.

Just like Barack and Michelle Obama last year promised their two daughters a puppy of their very own. Of course, the new president and his wife have been in the White House now for -- what? -- a full week already and they haven't actually come through with their campaign puppy promise yet for their two little girls. But that's their choice. And that's not the point anyway.

The point is, Rod and Patti did. And how could a daughter-loving, puppy-buying governor like Rod Blagojevich possibly be a crook?

--Andrew Malcolm

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Photo credit: Associated Press

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Blagojevich is being impeached not because he tried to sell Obama's Senate seat, which he clearly tried to do, but because he is corrupt and incompetent.

He has accepted well over 300 donations for $50K or more of which almost all have business ties to the state (the previous gov had only around 20-30 like size donations, and he is currently sitting in jail for corruption), he does not keep his word (lawmakers have made many political deals with him that he has reneged on, so many in fact that they won't make any deals with him unless it written on paper), he tried to, without the approval of the Illinois State Senate, implement universal healthcare coverage in the state of Illinois (How are we going to pay for that? We already have a $2 billion deficit for 2008 - besides, no one really believes that he really cares about this issue, it's just that he wants to cement his image in history at the cost of the citizens of the state), his wife was a real estate agent who got well over half of her business from well heeled clients that did big business with the state (I'm talking about some real shady deals here including at least a few with Rezco who is right now singing like a bird to prosecutors - he was to be sentenced in Dec, but it didn't happen. Only means one thing, that he is talking), his approval rating in the state is in the single digits, during his term Illinois has been ranked 49 out of 50 states in regards to new job creation, and this is only just the stuff from the top of my head.

It is not one of our civil rights that any one person may serve as Governor, it is a privilege. A privilege that Blagojevich took advantage of and does not deserve. He will be impeached simply for the reason that the people and elected representatives of the state of Illinois want him out. Without our tacit approval, he has no business being in that position. This does mean that he will go to jail, or will be waderboarded, but that he will simply no longer be Governor. I can assure you, it is no less than what he deserves.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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