Prosecutors in the Rod Blagojevich trial have released some classic audio of a recorded conversation between the former Illinois governor and Doug Scofield, a political advisor and former deputy governor, from the day after Barack Obama won the Presidential election.
In a candid conversation, Blagojevich and Scofield discussed the governor’s strategy for filling the vacant Senate seat, and the governor utters the now-infamous phrase: “I’ve got this thing and it’s fucking golden.”
“I’m just not giving it up for fucking nothing,” Blagojevich tells Scofield. “I’m, I’m not going to do it and I, I can always parach-, use it and fuckin’ parachute me there.”
Blagojevich said a cabinet post is “out of the question,” but that Health and Human Services was his second choice. He also imagines what would happen if he were appointed Ambassador to the U.N.:
“‘You Russian motherfuckers.’ Can you see me?” he says, then laughs, before adding, “Alright, anyway, um, but those are not reachable.”
In the conversation, Blagojevich expresses a deep dislike for Obama, and bemoans how there was nothing he could do to prevent his election.
“Look, we talked about this yes, you know, several times, but, there is nothing I coulda done about Obama. Nothing. Right?” Blagojevich said. “I mean you got this historic, fucking demi-god. He’s a demi-god now. At least for now. You follow me?”
“My upward mobility, you know, doesn’t look so great right now, but it’s a funny business. That’s all. And maybe there is no upward mobility but how much more can you do than being governor, right?” Blagovejich said.
“Yeah. Well, there’s, there’s nothing. There’s one or two things. Maybe,” Scofield responds.
Blagojevich actually sounds pessimistic about his prospects on the call, even musing that fate could still deal him a tough blow.
“I mean, I could be and I could … end up still maybe delivering pizzas somewhere. Maybe that’s where my destiny is, right? And I’m over here fucking, where I could make myself a U.S. senator for this job, for that job for two years. Or stay on as governor,” Blagojevich says. “And I’m in discussions with emissaries from [Obama] and I’m feeling like, you know, I’m really in a bad place. You know it’s interesting isn’t it? And like I fail-, I’m a, like I failed. I feel like I’m, like I failed. Like I failed.
Listen (the good stuff starts at about 3:50):
(h/t Chicago Tribune)
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