Even in the context of Illinois' sleazy political standards, it's hard to find the right words to describe the Blagojevich allegations, writes Eric Zorn in the Chicago Tribune. He tries "eyepopping, gobsmacking, jaw-dropping, appalling," and "unprecedented in their alleged brazenness." He also notes that a Chicago pol called the governor a "madman" and "insane" in a magazine profile a year ago. "That struck me at the time, as over the top," writes Zorn. "Today it strikes me as brave and prescient."
Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times finds Blagojevich's exploits—including his attempt to sell the Obama Senate seat—"audacious, especially since he has been in the scope of federal investigators for years." Given that scrutiny, "what could he have been thinking?" wonders Neil Steinberg of the Sun-Times. He also notes that Blago could be the fourth Illinois governor of the last eight to end up in the pokey. "That's a lousy average."