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The Blago Circus Comes to Denver

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Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. (Credit: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. (Credit: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Written by Dominic Dezzutti

Just when you thought the wacky and wild story of Rod Blagojevich couldn’t get any weirder, the man raises the bar of his own potential lunacy.

On his way to serve a fourteen year sentence at a prison in Englewood, Blagojevich stopped by a frozen custard and burger place to order some takeout and pose for some photos with customers.

Surreal doesn’t begin to describe the scene, but surreal has rarely been a big enough word to ever describe Blago himself.

For Blago to treat his last minutes of freedom like a campaign stop or a moment on a reality show really shouldn’t surprise anyone. Yes, it would be surprising to see from a normal person, but as we all know, Blago is no ordinary person.

I’ll leave the intense psycho analysis of Blago and what makes him do what he does to people brighter than myself.

What intrigues me is our inclination as his audience of being unable to turn away from the circus.

It wasn’t like the Blago scene at the burger joint today was captured secretly on someone’s phone. It was witnessed by all of the professional media following his every move.

I can understand following Blago during the trial because of the intriguing story of a self-destructive fall from grace in one of the more notorious cities known for political corruption.

But once he was sentenced to serve real time for his crime, what was our attraction to see Blago actually make the trip to prison?

And for that matter, why was he allowed to arrive at prison in Colorado on his own terms if he was sentenced in Illinois? That’s probably a different blog.

Back to our obsession with Blago. And it is our obsession, because the media doesn’t follow anyone who won’t garner an audience. We may disagree with it or wonder aloud why these photographers are following him, but I can guarantee that the story of him appearing at a burger joint in Colorado will have more clicks on the web than any story coming out of the violence in Syria today.

I think our obsession rests in our marvel at a person who seems to have absolutely none of the humility, common sense or decency that 99.9% of us were born with. All of us know someone who isn’t bashful, or is a huge egomaniac, but very few of us know anyone who would go to the extremes of selfish behavior that Blago has done.

Even the idea of “auctioning” off a U.S. Senate seat goes way beyond what all of us, even in our darker selfish moments, would conceive doing in his position. As the Governor of Illinois, Blago was going to be treated like a king by anyone who wanted to become the next Senator of his fine state.

He could have very easily have escaped scrutiny and still received some sort of subtle payola or favors. The American public is not so naïve to think that it would have been the first time a politician was influenced to make an appointment.

But Blago took it to that mysterious next level that only .01% of us are capable of going to. It’s that mysterious ability that makes Blago a magnet for attention. It also helps that he feeds off the attention as if it is the very oxygen his body needs to survive.

Whatever the reason, our state should feel proud that we are now the new home of Rod Blagojevich. There are very few people of his caliber of egotism in the world, and we are graced to have the specimen within our borders. The only thing that would be better is if we could sell tickets to people to get a glimpse to see him actually serve time.

Colorado would make more money than Blago ever dreamed of.
About The Blogger

- Dominic Dezzutti, producer of the Colorado Decides debate series, a co-production of CBS4 and Colorado Public Television, looks at the local and national political scene in his CBSDenver.com blog. Read new entries here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Dezzutti writes about federal, state and local matters and how our elected leaders are handling the issues important to Colorado. Dezzutti also produces the Emmy winning Colorado Inside Out, hosted by Raj Chohan, on Colorado Public Television.

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