We’ve heard for years about Rod Blagojevich’s one-time presidential aspirations, but now they are a matter of public record.
On the witness stand on Tuesday in the Tony Rezko trial, former Democratic National Committee finance chairman Joe Cari testified that Blagojevich “offered to give him his pick of contracts and state business in exchange for help building a nationwide political money machine as a prelude to a presidential run,” the Tribune reports.
A spokeswoman for the governor denied it. Personally, I think Cari under oath has more credibility.
“Though less than a year in office, Blagojevich was already contemplating a White House run and talked about how easy it had been for former President Bill Clinton to raise cash because he was the sitting governor of Arkansas when he launched his presidential bid,” the Trib account says.
“Then, Cari said, Blagojevich shocked him by offering the national fundraising post as well as state-funded inducements.”
And this, from the Sun-Times: “The governor wanted to know about my experience in the 2000 election” as one of unsuccessful presidential hopeful Al Gore’s top fund-raisers, Cari testified. “He then slid into how excited he was to be governor, some of the dreams he had and also he had aspirations beyond the governorship.”
Hey, he even had the merchandise ordered up!