What was Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich’s thinking when he tried to sell Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat to the highest bidder? To answer that question, let’s take a closer look at the specifics of the charges against him. Here are some of the personal benefits that he was after:
- High-paying jobs for himself at nonprofit foundations or labor union organizations
- High-paying jobs for his wife on corporate boards or as a lobbyist
- Corporate contracts
- Campaign funds
- A Cabinet post
- An ambassadorship
I submit that the motivation behind Blagojevich’s illegal, immoral, and evil actions can be found in 1 Timothy 6:10, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
Blagojevich said, “It (the Senate seat) is a valuable thing — you just don’t give it away for nothing.” The farthest thing from his mind would be to give away something of value. He also said, “If they’re not going to offer me anything of value I might as well take it (myself).” In this regard, he hoped to use the U.S. Senate seat (or the Cabinet post or ambassadorship) as a springboard to a presidential run in 2016. I would contend that even this lust for power was rooted in his love of money, and the hope of raking in even more cash. Perhaps his most telling quote was, “I want to make money…”
The governor sought campaign finances as kickbacks for state funding for a children’s hospital. He planned to provide state assistance to the Chicago Tribune only if the newspaper would fire members of its editorial board who had been critical of him. His scheme of corruption was blatant, his attitude is arrogant and brazen, and his speech is usually punctuated with profanity. He is a man who reminds us of Genesis 8:21, “… every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood.”
Blagojevich is a symbol of the breakdown of moral character in our country. Perhaps the best thing we can take away from this situation is the confirmation of how valid and profound God’s Word is.
It seems that every inclination of the governor’s heart is indeed evil, and that his love of money has caused him to pierce himself with many griefs, including a long prison sentence and lost dreams of any further political advancements.