January 28th, 2009
07:10 PM ET

Hi I'm Rod Blagojevich and this is my hair

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/27/art.getty.blago.hand.jpg]

Jack Gray
AC360° Associate Producer

I finally saw them. Rod Blagojevich’s bangs.  I saw them with my own eyes and I lived to tell about it.  The disgraced Governor of Illinois had just finished up Larry King Live and was, I can only assume, on his way to steal money from terminally ill children when he passed me in the hallway here at CNN.

It all seemed to happen in slow motion, us walking toward each other.  It was a perfect example of why I need someone to follow me at all times with an iPod boombox playing the theme song from Chariots of Fire.

The governor had quite a large entourage, though I’m unsure if they were Illinois State Troopers there to protect him or U.S. Marshals there to make sure he didn’t flee the country.

 As he approached I quickly considered whether or not to say anything to him.  I opted not to; not because I didn’t have any questions – Why did you try sell the senate seat?  Who is paying for your trip to New York?  Do you have any advice on what I can do about these split ends? – but because there’s an unwritten rule that if someone is willing to come into CNN to tell their story we don’t hassle them in the hallway.

I mean, sure, there was that time I blew kisses at Angelina Jolie.  And Robert Redford, I still owe him an apology for asking him to record my outgoing voicemail.  But, Blagojevich, I didn’t want to delay him from getting to his next interview with Dionne Warwick and the Psychic Friends Network.  Plus, I have a fear of dandruff.

We made eye contact, the governor and I, albeit briefly.  He knew, of course, that I knew who he was.  He smiled slightly in that corrupt politician sort of way.  Believe me, he may have told Larry that he was innocent but the smirk on his face in that hallway said “only my hairdresser knows for sure.”

Mrs. Blagojevich did not appear to be traveling with him.  Unless she was downstairs in the Columbus Circle subway station mugging little old ladies.

He walked confidently and appeared to be soaking in all the attention.  But looking into his eyes – dollar signs where the retinas should be  – I could see that this is a man who knows his time is running out.  A man who knows all that remains between him and impeachment is a segment of basket weaving with Martha Stewart.  A man who knows his best hope is that his plane goes down in the Hudson River and he’s able to swim to New Jersey and start a new life as a bouncer at Jiggles Gentlemen’s Club.

The next thing I knew, Rod Blagojevich was getting onto the elevator and I was walking back to my desk.  And checking to make sure he hadn’t stolen my wallet.

Post by:
Filed under: 360° Radar • Jack Gray • Raw Politics • Rod Blagojevich
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. Ken Lanahan

    It just seems to me a common run of the mill American, if I would have said and done one eighth of what this man has done I would have been on the line making the plates on that car he is riding in already. Why can't our laws keep this from happening? That is what they need to be debating on the Hill first. This country better wake up! WHAT ARE WE TEACHING OUR YOUNG GENERATION? It is ok to commit a crime just have a lot of money behind you! Washington needs get out of the fictitious world and start living in the one they represent and the real people live in.

    January 29, 2009 at 10:22 am |
  2. Meghann

    Nice Jack. Did you see Geraldo chase him down and invite him to dinner and is now defending him (like he isn't on TAPE). Big haired men UNITE!

    (I think it would be funnier if you walked around with your own boombox on your shoulder in true 80's style rather than have someone with an Ipod follow you around but nice job doing your part to create jobs in this economy).

    January 29, 2009 at 9:21 am |
  3. JQQ

    Good one Jack!
    But I still think Blago's insanity will have him in office for years.

    January 29, 2009 at 12:05 am |
  4. Linda, Illinois

    IT'S HOWDY DOODY TIME ....My husband has been calling BLAGO HOWDY DOODY that least the last three years. We think it a perfect match.

    January 28, 2009 at 10:48 pm |
  5. sharon from Indy

    I think people need to realize that the Governor of Illinois is just a human being with strange hair. I am not sure his TV moments are acts of desperation or just plain "Hollywoodism".

    January 28, 2009 at 10:05 pm |
  6. Lori from IL

    Great post Jack -

    My question is did you see the "football" that holds his hairbrush?

    You should come to Chicago for the weekend. You could get a "Bleeping Blago Burger" (burger topped with a slice of bologna and mustard in the shape of a dollar sign) and a souvenir t-shirt with the expression "I've got this thing and it's bleeping golden" - yes, they are actually for sale.

    Was sad to turn on the local news last night and learn that Blago was back in Chicago. I was kind of hoping that he would stay in New York.

    I just hope you didn't look directly at the "bangs" - wouldn't want you scarred for life.

    Thanks for the yucks!

    January 28, 2009 at 9:17 pm |
  7. Anna

    So far, the only other person I've seen get past "that hair" and live to tell about it, is Joy Behar on "The View".

    Yes, he was parading himself on the "The View" this week, (it's already on YouTube), when Joy quickly ran her fingers through his hair, while he was talking. (He sure talks a lot, but I don't know what he said. ) She messed it up a bit a little bit, but he didn't seem to mind.

    January 28, 2009 at 8:58 pm |
  8. Don, WA

    Even if Blago could comb his way through this mess, how could he ever run anything again when he would'nt even be able to make a simple request at a meeting...like..."take your seats."

    January 28, 2009 at 8:37 pm |
  9. Brandi - bottom of the boot

    @Paula Vergara, Boston, MA

    lol, i had a flashback of the denorex commercials where the head 'tingles'! maybe he used it too much and that is why he is 'the idiot' (courtesy of the gergenmeister)!!!

    January 28, 2009 at 7:28 pm |
  10. Rikki, Fargo, ND

    Jack, I can't believe there was room for you, an entourage and Blagojevich's hair in the same hallway! 🙂 I'm glad that you and the vast fortune in your wallet survived a chance encounter with Blago...though now that I think about it you didn't actually say that you still had your wallet intact. He does seem to be getting a little more desperate with each passing day.

    January 28, 2009 at 7:00 pm |
  11. Betty Ann, Nacogdoches,TX

    Stacy~Creepy Clowns. Could the Blagojevich really be "IT" hiding under all that hair? Yet another question for the only person who knows for sure, his hairdresser. 😉

    January 28, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  12. Paula Vergara, Boston, MA

    I have visions of Blagojevich in a shampoo commercial, or someone spoofing him on SNL. He seems to have caught the Palin syndrome – the more he talks, the more people make fun of him.

    January 28, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  13. Tammy, Berwick, LA

    Sounds traumatizing. This guy gives new meaning to the term delusions of grandeur. You know, he's like a little kid tugging on his mom's jacket for attention. If we ignore him, maybe he'll eventually get the hint, go away, and find something else to occupy his time (like oh say his actual defense which has nothing to do with the media blitz desperation tour). It's funny but almost just plain pitiful as well. Someone should thank him for the diversion from our real issues in America.

    January 28, 2009 at 6:05 pm |
  14. Michelle

    so, did he steal it? your wallet??

    January 28, 2009 at 6:02 pm |
  15. Stacy from Fairfax, VA

    Wow! You made eye contact with those beady eyes, which are way too close together.
    Everytime I look at him, I think, "What a clown and what a creep".
    Then again many clowns can be creepy.

    January 28, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  16. Vanessa, TX

    Hey Jack..Did the famous Blago bangs wink at you by any chance? Cause I was watching the Larry King interview, and I SWEAR that thing winked @ the camera! SERIOUSLY it did! I'm surprised you didn't intoxicate with so much hair product. I mean seriously, how does that thing stay on straight...even w/ all the craziness coming out of his head?! Maybe you should have interviewed the bangs! ;0

    Love your blogs:) Look forward to the next ones;>

    January 28, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  17. Brandi - bottom of the boot

    absolutely hilarious jack! thank you for the hysterics, they are much needed this week. 🙂

    @EJ, had he stolen anderson's wallet, he would still be in the cnn building as it is too heavy even for poor anderson to keep in his back pocket. with all of his hair, anderson's wallet would have been enough to immobilize him. rofl

    January 28, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  18. Lorie Ann, Buellton, California

    Hi Jack,
    So you had a close encounter of the worst kind..It's a real eyeopener to see dollar signs instead of retinas, isn't it?
    It's just about as gruesome as a bad hair day that could be contagious! I guess you're lucky to have survived the brief, near collision of two giant minds. Of course, Blagojevich is only a giant of mankind in his own unoccupied space between his ears, and you are a very witty writer! Giant, witty, writer. Great post as usual.

    Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif.

    January 28, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  19. EJ (USA)

    Totally hilarious Jack. I loved the chariots of fire thing too.

    What if Blagojevich had stolen Anderson's wallet? We can only imagine what would've happened then.

    January 28, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  20. Helen, Reading, UK

    Evening Jack, Sammy & fellow Gray groupies!
    OMG Mr G, I can't believe you were THIS close to the village idiot and didn't get a photo, or an autograph, or a lock of his lovely hair. I'd have been right behind him with a pair of scissors! Sammy could've distracted him by asking for a light whilst you snipped a bang or two off to auction to the highest bidder – hey, what's good enough for the governor.. Although you know that Sammy would probably end up spending whatever you made.

    January 28, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  21. Pamina

    Hi Jack,
    Bloggo's interview with Larry was certainly interesting. He sure does feel the need to tell us he's innocent- a lot. It's good that Sammy was not with you, I think she would have given him a piece of her mind! Or at the very least, ask for the number of his hairdresser!

    January 28, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  22. Lilibeth

    I actually wish Blago would go away, but then again, we'll lose some free entertainment...

    January 28, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  23. Pati Mc

    Hey Jack,

    I too sensed the desperation in Blago the past few days. Interesting. Perhaps he has seen the discount hairspray at the end of his 15 minutes of fame? LOL.

    Ooh, here is an idea for him: maybe he needs to team up with John Edwards. They could share hair tips and start their own chain of Salons! What would one call this....hmm..."Bangs are Us"? No, sounds too suggestive. Perhaps the "John Blogo Salons"? What say you, Jack? I am sure you are better at this than I am., creative fellow that you are.

    Your post is hilarious for all of the right reasons. Only thing that has come close was Joy Behar on The View trying to get him to do the Nixon "I am not a criminal" impersonation. Now that would have been an instant classic!

    Happy Hump Day Jack. Oh and did Redord aquiesce and record your message? That would be awesome.


    January 28, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  24. Betty Ann, Nacogdoches,TX

    Holy Hocking Hairballs Jack!
    You better watch your back Jack. People have disappeared over things like bad hair and dandruff. I mean, you don't want your last landing to be in the Hudson River! You silly goose!
    Talk about Chariots of fire. Man alive! Or maybe not.
    To be on the safe side, next time just pretend he is Angelina and blow him kisses too. He might just blow some back. Or, he might cuss you out.It could go either way.
    He seems to be on the bi~polar express. Anywho, we all know where Bangovich's express is headed.
    When you made eye contact and saw those $ in his retina, you KNOW he knows who YOU are! The Gov was not on his way to have his palm read, he was busting at the bangs to get on his computer to "dial" up CNN and read what you wrote about him.
    Good Luck Jack. You're going to need it!
    XOXO's and (((hugs)))

    (you made me smile!) 😀

    January 28, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  25. Leslie

    When the dust settles, he'll start his own line of hair care products from behind bars ...

    January 28, 2009 at 1:56 pm |
  26. Jenn/Monrovia, CA

    Chariots of Fire theme music...I think I just snorted teah through my nose. Ahhh, too funny.

    January 28, 2009 at 1:41 pm |
  27. Stacy from NJ

    I can see it now:

    Palin Blago 2012

    January 28, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  28. Philoan Tran - Houston

    LOL! Blagojevich's hair is getting more attention than his bribery and corruption charges – that is his defense strategy.

    January 28, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  29. Jolene, St. Joseph, MI

    Do you have any advice on what I can do about these split ends?

    Jack: Considering the head of hair this man has, it would actually be interesting to know what hair products he uses.... 🙄

    With that being said, I was surprised to hear that you have split ends. Take it from me, I know. I once developed green split hair from lying in a chlorinated pool on a raft with a Margarita in hand for hours on end one summer. Okay, so I had a thing for worshiping the sun. What can I say? Anyways, may I suggest the best way to get rid of this problem is to get some heavy duty conditioner, put it in your hair, cover your head with plastic wrap and leave it on for 15-20 minutes, then wash out. Not much of a fashion statement wearing plastic wrap but it works wonders..... 8)

    Enjoyed your blog posting today....nothing like a good laugh during lunch time!

    January 28, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  30. Renee

    Just throwing this out for discussion, does anyone think the Governor's stylist and John Edwards are one in the same? Maybe it is another $400 hair cut.

    January 28, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  31. tori

    Talk to the hand.

    Oh, does Sammy have little snow boots? Snowy today.

    January 28, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  32. Claudia


    January 28, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  33. Kit

    I'm pretty sure this post is amazing. I barely missed seeing The Hair in person myself, but I feel like we would have similar reactions.

    I will never, ever get over the hilarity of this whole mess. I mean on the one hand it's kind of tragic for Illinois, but on the other hand, he did a regular politician thing (that should be stopped in all instances) and is succumbing to the rage *all* of America feels for *all* American politicians. That is a lot of responsibility for one man('s hair) to handle.

    January 28, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  34. Michelle D. Fonthill,Ont

    That Govenor Ba-son of B-i-ch I mean Blagojevich .The man just won't stop talking he's trying to distract us hypnotize us with his hair .
    The pyschic freinds network yeah his future shows him as a spoksperson for capital one -What's in your wallet ? I think part of his dandruff just blew in there ugh !

    See you on the flipside Jack
    Michelle D.

    January 28, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  35. Laura

    Thank you!

    I'm glad someone is finally addressing the issue of Blago's hair. Never mind the fact that he tried to sell a senate seat, or the fact that he's milking the media's attention for all it's worth, let's talk about that weave. I'd bet good, hard-earned money that it's a toupe, or at the very least, hair plugs.

    January 28, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  36. Dee from CT

    This poor guy simply can't catch a break. First the feds have been investigating him for the past couple years, then he’s accused of [attempting to ]sell the senate seat, let’s not forget that whole mess about [allegedly] state favors up for grabs and on top of it he now as to deal with *impending* impeachment. To add insult to injury, all the meanies – in his own party!, no less – are not letting him defend himself.
    He is innocent, and will remain so until proven otherwise, or until he runs out of interviews to let everyone know it.
    Meanwhile, have you met B. Madoff – he has some investment opportunities that you should hear about …

    January 28, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  37. Carol B., Virginia

    He does have hair like my son's lego men. However, isn't he lucky to be in his fifties and have a full dome? Is it some sort of follicle envy? Heh, heh. As for the C.O.F. theme – classic. 🙂 At least things will have some sort of resolution soon.

    January 28, 2009 at 11:35 am |
  38. Cindy

    Oh Jack...you know that you are just jealous of those "come hither" bangs of Blagojevich's! You'd die to have a do like that...admit it Jack! You are jonsin' to be just like him aren't ya!? LOL You know those bangs would get you all of the ladies! OK...maybe just the "ladies" at Jiggles Gentlemen's Club...but hey...they are ladies none the less! LOL

    And UM...how do you know about that gentlemen's club HMMM..Jack!? Don't tell me you've been spending Sammy's smoke money over there! No wonder Sammy is hitting up Obama for that first pooch slot...I mean Geeze! LOL

    I can't believe that Blago didn't steal your shirt off of your back not to mention your shoes. Hey...the man's gotta find a way to play hide and seek somehow. Those running shoes may come in handy for him when it's time to go to the big house ya know! LOL Nothing like trying to out run the bad boys...UMM Cops! Hey...he should call OJ and get some pointers! LOL

    But Jack...you better check your wallet and see if it's still got cash in it. With slick willies like him they are smooth at swiping your money right out from under your nose...or should I say your bangs!? LOL


    January 28, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  39. KAREN

    Hi Jack your great ,just thought ide share that,Blogo is a head case and chicago trueley does not need him,he abused his power and his office,buy the way he spent more time in after he got areseted,i work in the same building ,hes a real trip,hes so mad becouse he got busted,but by him going on all the talk progreams,mabe some one will pitty him and give him a job,mabe thats his angle.

    January 28, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  40. Heather,ca

    Beyond the fact that hes out of his mind crazy, I have never seen a politician talk so much yet say nothing at the same time. I think Sammy should have checked him out.

    January 28, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  41. linda strasberg

    I don't wish to sound naive but was this the first time that a senate seat had been up for sale to the highest bidder? It makes me wonder...

    January 28, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  42. Michelle

    Great to hear about the Blago hair project.
    Will we see the mini-doc on tonight's 360?
    Blago is quite a character.

    January 28, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  43. Annie Kate

    So you saw the famous Blagojevich bangs and didn't go blind. And those dollar signs in his eyes were probably panic-induced as he tried to figure out who he was going to get to pay cab fare. You're lucky he didn't introduce himself to you and invite you to lunch and then stiffed you with the check. Like you said – you know politicians.

    So how impressed will Sammie be to hear this story? I bet she would have hassled him to find out what the highest bid was on that Senate seat before the bidding abruptly stopped when the Feds frog marched Blago downtown to get his picture taken – you know the one with the number on it. Sammie might have been able to bid on that seat and been the first dog in the US Senate (real dog that is). Oh well...such is life.

    Now that you have seen Blagojevich in the flesh who's next on your list? Have you met Sarah Palin yet? I hear she wants to write a book – you could offer to be her ghost writer. She has that uncontrollable tic where her eye winks every so many seconds and she says "I gothcha!" way too much but barring those flaws she would be way up on the list of narcissists to meet. I wonder, Jack, is there a record in the Guinness book of records for someone who has met some of the most well known people who should have never been voted into office? Heck, if there is next time you are in DC with Anderson just walk down the street during lunch break – you'll have that record in no time at all.

    January 28, 2009 at 10:35 am |
  44. Jennifer - Michigan

    Good morning Jack. That's so funny – Blagojevich's hair does require its own introduction; absolutely! What a strange man. I couldn't believe that last press conference – he was repeating himself over and over – then the cowboy old west stories.....then starts taking questions – answering "I can't comment about that"!??? Then on Larry King answering the same way there as well.......I don't know what he's thinking. Must have been weird to see him in person. Creepy.
    Anyway, how about this winter snow storm? It's so big everyone is getting some white stuff today. Stay warm, enjoy your day today!

    January 28, 2009 at 10:32 am |