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Blagojevich: 'Blacker' than Obama


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Rod Blagojevich apologized Monday for saying he's "blacker than Barack Obama," but the disgraced former Illinois governor said he probably won't try to make amends directly to the president.

"I'd be happy to but, you know, I don't have the phone number," he told reporters outside his Chicago home.

In the February issue of Esquire magazine, the ousted governor, semi-professional Elvis impersonator and reality TV contestant refers to Obama as "this guy" who was elected based simply on hope, implying that the president isn't genuine.

"What the (expletive)? Everything he's saying's on the teleprompter," Blagojevich told the magazine. The story hits newsstands on Jan. 19.

"I'm blacker than Barack Obama. I shined shoes. I grew up in a five-room apartment. My father had a little laundromat in a black community not far from where we lived," Blagojevich said. "I saw it all growing up."

On Monday, Blagojevich said the comment was "stupid, stupid, stupid."

He said it was meant as a metaphor for his disappointment with Obama, whom he accused of doing more to help Wall Street than Main Street.

The White House declined to comment.

The response — or lack of response — is in contrast to the reaction Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has received after it was disclosed that he once discussed Obama's presidential prospects in terms of his skin color and whether he had a "Negro dialect." Reid immediately apologized and Obama accepted, though some Republicans are calling for him to step down.

There was no way Obama could avoid acknowledging the statements from Reid, an important Democratic leader and legislative ally, but the president has far more leeway to ignore Blagojevich's latest strange behavior.

The twice-elected Democrat was impeached and removed from office last year after federal prosecutors arrested him on corruption charges that included trying to sell Obama's old U.S. Senate seat. He has pleaded not guilty.

Ahead of his trial, which is expected to start in June, Blagojevich is appearing on NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice."

He also continues to accuse prosecutors of persecuting him for routine political deals.

One of those deals, he said, was the possibility of naming Attorney General Lisa Madigan to Obama's Senate seat in exchange for cooperation on important programs from her powerful father, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.

He used an infamously coarse word to refer to the attorney general.

"If I can get this, how much do I love the people of Illinois to make that (expletive) senator?'" Blagojevich said in the interview.

But on Monday, Blagojevich said, "I don't think I said that."



Mel Briscoe 5 years, 10 months ago

.... but atleast the guy has a nifty haircut!

mom_of_three 5 years, 10 months ago

I don't think this former governor realizes that what he spoke about "being black" is reality for a lot of people, but also thinking on stereotypes - shining shoes. Can't believe that anyone gives him any notice these days, let alone interviews or tv shows.

Mel Briscoe 5 years, 10 months ago

does he really? wow! he should invest in a better one!

we have much in common? how is that? expound please.

mom3, i can't believe he likened shining shoes to black life... i mean, what is this, the '30s?

Mel Briscoe 5 years, 10 months ago

tom, you never post in my what are you listening to right now thread. you did that one time i think but you haven't returned. why, my friend, why? i'm a liberal who has always been pretty nice to you so why not visit my music thread? sobbing

jaywalker 5 years, 10 months ago

Blagoyevich is the equivalent of Joey Buttafucco now. Anything this guy says should be immediately ignored. And who thought, of all the things the election of our first black President might bring, that we'd hear white men claiming to be "blacker" than any particular black man? It'd be funny if it weren't so irretrievably stupid.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 10 months ago

"And who thought, of all the things the election of our first half African-American, half Caucasian President might bring, that we'd hear white men claiming to be “blacker” than any particular black man?" There, I fixed that for you.

Mel Briscoe 5 years, 10 months ago

either way.... i'm used to people calling him black rather than biracial. furthermore, he identifies himself as black so i respect his choice. i identify myself as multiracial. if folks don't respect that and just consider me as one of the three races that i'm comprised of, so be it. i don't really put that much thought into how people classify me racially.

GmaD321 5 years, 10 months ago

Blagojevich=idiot w/really bad hair and a big, stupid mouth.

Mel Briscoe 5 years, 10 months ago

hitme never did elaborate on why he thinks i have alot in common w/ irish and grandmammy.

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 10 months ago

hitme You are putting me in some good company. I am flattered in be included in the same group with them. Whatever that may be. I think that Rod Blagojevich is saying that President Obama grew up privileged, which he did not, and he grew up poor which means he has more in common with black people who are all lower class, poverty stricken, school drop outs, dope users from unstable families. Did I mention crime?

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 10 months ago

rantor She did get 392 posts on that blog which is about, say, 39 times what the average blog can expect to get. And people are still posting on it. It's alive! It's alive!

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 10 months ago

Does anyone know just what the hell a Negro dialect is?

Flap Doodle 5 years, 10 months ago

You can sit in a tree and hoot. That doesn't necessarily mean that you are an owl

Mel Briscoe 5 years, 10 months ago

porch, i agree that tom did actually make a pretty good comment.

irish, i have no idea what a negro dialect is. maybe jimmy walker should have ran for president??.... i do heart jonesin' comment tho. :)

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 10 months ago

Mel, there is something you might call an inner city dialect, like when a man says to a woman, "you got my nose wide open." Know what that means? The eagle flies on Friday? I got an Obama jones! Snap, good one, I like it.

Mel Briscoe 5 years, 10 months ago

remember that classic bit in the movie airplane where "june cleaver" translates jive talk? man that was comedy gold!!

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