Troubled Illinois Governor wanted Oprah in Senate
Monday, 26 January 2009

Illinois' beleaguered Gov. Rod Blagojevich said today that when he was deciding who would take President Obama's Senate seat he considered appointing talk show queen Oprah Winfrey, a suggestion that Winfrey says left her "amused."

Blagojevich made the revelation to Diane Sawyer on "Good Morning America" on the day his impeachment trial is set to begin. That trial is expected to toss him out of office.

The governor said that Winfrey's name came up as a potential successor to Obama in the Senate.

Watch Gov. Blagojevich's Interview With ABC News' Cynthia McFadden On "Nightline" Tonight at 11:30 p.m. ET

"She seemed to be someone who had helped Barack Obama in a significant way to become president," Blagojevich said. Blagojevich added that "she had a much broader bully pulpit than a lot of senators."

His consideration of Winfrey was tempered, he suggested, by the fact that "she probably wouldn't take it, and then if you offered it to her, how would you do it in a way it wasn't a gimmick to embarrass her."

Later on "The View," he added that Winfrey was appealing because she was an African-American woman with a huge standing in the country.

"Oprah is Oprah and I'm only the governor of Illinois," he said.

Blagojevich said his consideration of Winfrey "were interrupted on Dec. 9," the day he was arrested by the FBI.

Winfrey, who endorsed Obama's presidential bid and showcased his candidacy on her show, said she missed "GMA" this morning because she slept late.

"If I had been watching from the treadmill where I'm usually watching, I would have fallen off the treadmill," Winfrey told her friend Gayle King during the Sirius XM radio show "Oprah and Friends."

Winfrey said she was "pretty amused" by Blagojevich's revelation.  //01.26.09  //MINA


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