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Top 9 Of '09 - No. 4: The Blago Saga Continues

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Dec 30, 2009 4:20PM

This week, we're counting down the top 9 stories of 2009 according to the Chicagoist staff.

One day, someone will write "The Ballad of Blagojevich" and 100 years from now, people will hear the song and view the former governor as a dumber, more self-involved Pecos Bill (come on Bruce, you know you wanna). Because that's the best way we can envision the saga of Blago being encapsulated. When we placed Blago's arrest at Number 2 on last year's list, we'd figure there was a good chance he'd be making this year's list, too. But the story has taken so many strange twists along the way we're getting dizzy from trying to sort it out. Because Blago himself has been a trip, not to mention those who surround him, including U.S. Senator Roland Burris. So what happened?

The state legislature came out in '09 swinging with their impeachment hearing which led to, eventually, IMPEACHMENT and a press conference that gave us the greatest Blago photo we could ever ask for. Then - AND THEN - he went and made things awkward by presiding over the opening of the new State Senate right after he was impeached and was then RE-impeached by the newly sworn in State Senate. Got all that? Good because that gets us to mid-January. Blago then went on a media blitz in an effort to save his ass from getting removed from office but really just gave us another reason to drink. Finally, Judgment Day came for Blago and in spite of a spirited plea, he was removed from office and we ushered in the Pat "The Mighty" Quinn era.

Good Lord, what else? Well, there was the lashing out, that whole reality show soap opera, Patti's job troubles, Patti's appearance on a reality game show, Patti's email etiquette issues, and Blago winding up on an edition of The Apprentice. Blago also hit radio and Second City. And, of course, there was that *yawn* book of his.

From those great heights, the year paraded on with one Blaglorious moment after another. Remember when we tried to figure out who'd be taking Obama's senate seat? Way off on that one, huh? It was actually Mr. Burris going to Washington and becoming The Lord's Senator, facing endless speculation about how his son got a state job, about how he wrangled his senate appointment, about possible perjury and campaign contributions and that whole mausoleum thing. Eventually, Burris decided not run again and got off with a very stern letter as punishment for any testifying shenanigans while also trying to make himself relevant again in the midst of Congress' attempt to pass President Obama's health care reform bill.

And then things went from surreal to surreal and sad: former Blago aide Christopher Kelly committed suicide this fall and Blago still found a way to make it all about him.

There's more that we left out in this post - check out Karl's Blagoversary post for more if you have the stomach - and there's still more to come as Blago's trial is slated to get underway in just six months proving the ex-governor is the gift that keeps on giving we wish we could return.

Previously: No. 9 - Abbate Case Resolved; No. 8 - Rick Bayless Goes Supernova; No. 7 - Oprah, Oprah, Oprah; No. 6: Should We Talk About The Media?; No. 5 - The Beating Death of Derrion Albert