Reporting with Natasha Korecki
At the close of his third day on the stand, Rod Blagojevich is approaching the government's flagship charges in the case against him: that he tried to sell President Barack Obama's old Senate seat.
His defense lawyer, Aaron Goldstein, starts out by asking Blagojevich how he makes decisions and why he spent so much time at home as governor. Blagojevich says it's because he was making budget cuts and wanted to distance himself from special interests, and said it's an idea he got from President Richard Nixon.
That cuts off his explanation. Blagojevich's wife, Patti, giggles at his Nixon mention.
"I was hunkering down to be away from all the men and women and interests who wanted money," Blagojevich explains.
He adds that it was easier to combine politics and governing when he wasn't on a state phone or in a state office.
He saw the Senate seat appointment as an opportunity -- to prove himself.
"I felt that the Senate seat was one of my last best opportunities to try to use this opportunity to make the best decision I could, and I wanted to be very careful," Blagojevich testifies.
To that end, he considered different options -- "good ones, bad ones, stupid ones, ugly ones" -- to try and make the best decision.