For Rod Blagojevich, everything is a shakedown. For now, writes Carrie Budoff Brown in Politico, he’s staying in office because it gives him some leverage over his own fate. Though he’s facing near-certain impeachment, that’s a long process. In the meantime, he could trade his resignation for leniency. “He’s in a much better position to make a deal if he was a sitting governor,” says a law professor. “In his position, I would not resign."
Blagojevich could bargain for a shorter sentence or protection for his wife, Budoff Brown notes. There’s technically nothing keeping Blagojevich from holding on to his office until forced out, but it could mean presiding over the legislature voting to impeach him. He could also temporarily hand off power to his lieutenant, but keep his position—and his salary. Says a law professor, “He knows he is going to get voted off the island. It’s just a question of how long he can hold out.”