Rod Blagojevich was the guest of honor at a Northwestern University panel on ethics in politics last night, where he defended his record and actions in front of a not-so-friendly audience.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the former-Governor, currently facing federal corruption charges, often elicited laughs from the audience — and not necessarily intentionally.
And he drew boos at the end of the talk, when he compared the Democratic Senators who held up his appointment of Roland Burris to segregationist southern governors.
“The great irony of course is, in the age of Obama, my fellow Democrats, and your Senator Dick Durbin, and Harry Reid, are keeping him out of the U.S. Senate, like they were some segregationist governors in Mississippi and Arkansas.”
Audience members gasped and booed and, a few moments later, one exclaimed: “shame.”
“You don’t like Burris?” Blagojevich responded.
“No, you,” the audience member replied, drawing big laughs and a round of applause from the audience.
“I’ve got nothing but love in my heart for you,” Blagojevich said.
Watch the exchange:
Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website’s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl(at)talkingpointsmemo.com