From the time he walked through the curtain on "The Late Show with David Letterman" Tuesday, ex- Gov. Rod Blagojevich was a walking punch line, drawing big laughs when he maintained he'll be vindicated and fidgeting under a folksy-yet-savvy grilling from the host.
"I've been wanting to be on your show in the worst way for the longest time," Blagojevich said.
The barbed, lengthy guest spot highlighted another national media tour by Blagojevich, who became the first governor in the state's history to be removed from office when the Illinois Senate did so Thursday.
Letterman, as he often is with disgraced celebrities and politicians, was friendly yet relentless. The host repeatedly quizzed Blagojevich about his assertion the impeachment trial didn't provide him with "due process."
He also referred to the 13 impeachment counts, saying to Blagojevich, "You're telling me each one of those was a misunderstanding?" Blagojevich returned to his consistent theme -- that when the entire contents of FBI wiretaps are heard, he'll be vindicated. The audience just laughed.
Letterman, who said the more he hears Blagojevich on TV the more he thinks, "Oh, this guy is guilty," asked if Blagojevich believed he'd be found not guilty and voters would come to think, "'He really should still be our governor.'"
"Yes, I do believe that, and I believe it will be a historic result," Blagojevich said. Unmentioned was the fact the Senate conviction also banned Blagojevich from holding state office again.
The former governor also said he is rebuilding after last week's historic events. "My wife and I will come together, we'll put our lives back together," he said. "I will say I never lost an election in Illinois, and so the irony is I've been thrown out of office by lawmakers who didn't give me a chance to prove my innocence, and I'm not writing myself off as a voice for those same people I fought for."
Blagojevich also mentioned that federal authorities have "been scrutinizing Mayor [Richard] Daley," a shout-out undoubtedly unwelcome at City Hall.