Rod Blagojevich took the stand this morning just after kissing wife Patti. He began just after 10 a.m. with "I used to be the Governor and I am here to tell the truth." And for over 2 hours we heard well...we heard about Rod. About Rod as a little boy who played little league (including a family photo put up on the screen). We heard the heartbreak of getting cut from the baseball tryouts at Lane Tech High School. How that event was a "reality check" and changed his aspirations to the NBA . How he could spin a ball on his hand.
We heard about his first job as a shoe shine boy. How it taught him "life lessons to get ahead and do good." And how he flunked drafting.
It took 25 minutes of this for us just to get to 1974. Then we heard how his dad worked on the Alaskan Pipeline as janitor. And we heard an emotional Rod as he said his parents would do anything for him. He too went to Alaska in 1976 to make money for college. And he pointed out how years later - the week after his arrest he would meet Sarah Palin and talk about his experience in her neck of the woods. We heard too how Rod's dad "was someone who lost everything". How he fought the Nazis and was a prisoner of war.
We heard a choked up Rod say that his dad never lived to see him elected. And how his mother was ahead of her time suggesting he read books about powerful women like Claire Barton and Florence Nightingale.
We heard how he liked college. Was an A student. And the most significant day? August 16, 1977- the day Elvis died. We learned too about his Aunt Helen. That he really liked her. She was his mother's sister. And also about Ms. Dibble - his teacher that taught Shakespeare. She died of breast cancer or uterine cancer. He was sad about that. And he said a prayer for her.
The Prosecutors looked like they were beside themselves.
Finally- he talks- well sort of - about the business at hand. That his daughter warned him as he left today to watch his language. He apologized to the people of Illinois. "When I hear myself on taped I'm a Effin jerk."
We get through law school. And as he starts to talk about meeting he is choked up. And Patti starts to cry. The judge says to take a break. He says no. But the Judge calls for a break.
So there you have it. At this rate, this trial will be longer than the first. I liken it to a filibuster in a courtroom. Stay tuned to my Twitter @Msjournalist for live updates this afternoon.