Sometime this summer, I was working the patio at the restaurant I work at, when the owner quietly came over to tell me that I was waiting on the governor.
I had waited on Governor Blagojevich a few times in the past, but not since he became governor of Illinois; he served as the House Representative for the district I live in (the one that soon-to-be Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel served until recently). His office back then was down the street from the restaurant, and he came in frequently.
Back when he came in as a Congressman, it was more casual. He'd show up with a couple of cronies and have a quiet dinner. As governor, he had a bunch of Illinois State Troopers as bodyguards.
This summer, he and his wife and kids, as well as his brother and brother's wife, had dinner out on the patio. I chatted with him for a minute, reminding him that I hadn't seen him there since he was a congressman.
When he left, I was astounded at what happened; all of my other customers on the patio started trash-talking him. I'd known he had become very, very unpopular (his most recent polls show a 13% favorable rating, even lower than that of the historically-low President George W. Bush). It was widely believed that he was going to be indicted for various things.
News this morning was that he was arrested at his home, just a few blocks from mine. Apparently, he told the Chicago Tribune that if they didn't fire the head of their editorial board, which has been highly critical of him, that he'd withdraw support for the Trib to sell Wrigley Field. He was also trying, apparently, to gain financially from his position as the person who will get to fill the Senate seat that Obama is vacating.
What an idiot. He knew that they were gunning for him, yet he became even more arrogant and outrageous in his graft. It looks like he's going to join the long line of Illinois governors who went to prison:
Otto Kerner, Jr., 1961-1968
Dan Walker, 1973-1977
George Ryan, 1999-2003
He was kicking the Tribune while they were down-- they filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy yesterday.
That leaves Lt. Governor Pat Quinn as acting governor. Quinn was considered one of the possible picks to fill Obama's seat. Instead, it looks like he might be making that choice.