Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich needs to stop grasping for the spotlight.
Blagojevich’s latest attempt to get attention was his request to U.S. District Judge James Zagel to allow him to travel to Costa Rica for the reality show I’m a Celebrity . . . Get Me Out of Here with other celebrity C-listers, like journalist Geraldo Rivera, reality TV star Heidi Montag and American Idol wannabe Sanjaya Malakar.
Zagel rightly refused, saying he didn’t have full confidence Blagojevich would comply with the terms of his bail, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
“It’s way too soon. I don’t think this defendant in all honesty … fully understands the position he finds himself in,” Zagel said.
Blagojevich said he was going to do the show for his family. He would have received as much as $123,000, according to the Times.
Blagojevich was arrested on Dec. 9 after he was heard on FBI wiretap attempting to sell President Barack Obama’s seat in the U.S. Senate to the highest bidder.
He was removed from office and barred from ever holding another office in Illinois in January.
If convicted, Blagojevich could get anywhere from 25 to 30 years in prison, according to
He is said to need money for legal costs, but he seems to have other sources. The former governer has already been paid a $21,000 advance to write a book, which is due to come out in October.
Blagojevich needs to follow the steps of another disgraced politician.
After Richard Nixon was impeached for the Watergate scandal, he stayed secluded in his home and actually felt — or pretended to feel — some remorse for his actions. After President Gerald Ford pardoned him, Nixon made a heartfelt statement.
“I was wrong in not acting more decisively and forthrightly in dealing with Watergate … No words can describe the depths of my regret and pain at the anguish my mistakes over Watergate have caused the nation and presidency — a nation I so deeply love and an institution I so greatly respect,” Nixon said.
Blagojevich has pleaded not guilty to 17 charges including racketeering and extortion. And there are taped conversations of him as evidence and still no remorse.
Days after removal from office, he started on what many news sources have called a “media blitz.” He was on every show from Larry King Live to the Today Show — even The Late Show with David Letterman and The View.
Nixon at least waited a few years before being interviewed by David Frost.
So if Blagojevich doesn’t receive any jail time, which is unlikely, he should shuffle away from the public eye and remain behind closed doors no matter how much money he needs.
And if all else fails, he could always sell his spot on I’m a Celebrity . . . Get Me Out of Here.
Candace Kaw is a senior majoring in history and mass communications.