- The Washington Times - Monday, January 26, 2009

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Rod Blagojevich, taking his defense to television rather than his impeachment trial, lashed out at his accusers Monday and revealed he had considered naming Oprah Winfrey to the U.S. Senate.

The embattled governor told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that the idea of nominating the talk-show host came to him as he explored potential candidates for the job that federal prosecutors allege he tried to sell to the highest bidder.

“She seemed to be someone who would help Barack Obama in a significant way become president,” he said. “She was obviously someone with a much broader bully pulpit than other senators.”

See related story:No Blagojevich at impeachment trial

The governor worried, though, that the appointment of Miss Winfrey might come across as a gimmick and that she was unlikely to accept.

In the end, Mr. Blagojevich appointed former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris to the vacant seat.

The revelation that Miss Winfrey was considered came just hours before Mr. Blagojevich’s impeachment trial was set to get under way in Springfield. The Democratic governor is refusing to take part, arguing that the rules are so biased that he can’t possibly get a fair hearing.

“The fix is in,” he said on ABC.

“I’m talking to Americans to let them know what’s happening in the land of Lincoln,” he added. “If they can do it to a governor, they can do it to you.”

In addition to the appearance on ABC, Mr. Blagojevich also was scheduled to appear on “The View” and “Larry King Live.” An interview he did with NBC’s “Today” show also aired Monday morning.

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