Reporting with Natasha Korecki and Dave McKinney
While prosecutors try to paint Rod Blagojevich as a do-nothing governor who spent much of his time at home, he's fighting back, saying he was just trying to keep the peace and not disappoint his supporters when he stayed away from the office in 2008.
That's because he was overseeing budget cuts, and didn't want to say no to people asking for exceptions, he said.
It seems prosecutor Reid Schar is trying to paint a rather different picture.
"Isn't it true that you started working largely from your house in the very first year you were governor?" Schar asks.
"Yeah, I read a book about Bill Clinton, that's where the idea came from," he answers, prompting a quick reply from Schar.
"Let's talk about what you did," Schar said, jabbing his finger toward the ex-governor.
Blagojevich said it was easier to dodge people he didn't want to see or speak with from home. Schar seems to find that answer dubious.
"You're the sitting governor of the state of Illinois," Schar tells Blagojevich. "At this time you've been governor for about five years."
"I could turn meetings down, yes, I could do that," Blagojevich finally admits.
Schar brings up that even Blagojevich's brother "from time to time had to go through [Blagojevich's secretary] Mary Stewart." Blagojevich testifies eventually that, barring extreme cases, he decided who he spoke and met with as governor.
Blagojevich again tries to crack a joke with Schar after thanking the prosecutor for letting him answer a question in detail. "My answer was so long I forgot your question. What was it?" he asks. Schar seems unamused.
As Schar finishes up questioning on the alleged Children's Memorial Hospital shakedown and Blagojevich's tendency to stay home as governor, Blagojevich testified he was just trying to appease his public.
"I get requests out here to get people into this courtroom," Blagojevich told Schar. "I was a politician. I wanted to make people happy. I still do."