'Senator Oprah' Sounded Good to Blago

Then-gov considered media titan to succeed Obama as senator
By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 28, 2010 2:30 PM CDT
Holding a mini cupcake, former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich departs the federal court building in Chicago after the first week of his federal corruption trial, June 10, 2010.   (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)
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(Newser) – As Rod Blagojevich considered possible successors to Barack Obama as US senator from Illinois, he came up with one name "no one can assail": Oprah Winfrey. As the former governor's corruption trial dragged on today in Chicago, prosecutors played a tape from December 2008—after Obama confidant Valerie Jarrett had withdrawn, the Tribune reports, costing Blago what he perceived as leverage with the president-elect—of Blagojevich and an aide tossing around names.

"Oprah, by the way, is not far-fetched," Blago said. His chief of staff called the notion "crazy," and the governor shot back, "That's where you're wrong." Also under consideration, even more briefly, was a legal resident of California: Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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