It's all too fitting that Rod Blagojevich would break one more promise before his corruption trial ends. After months of blustering and blathering about his innocence to every New York media personality who would have him, guaranteeing he would sit on the witness stand and tell the truth, about how — in the words of his lawyer, Sam Adam Jr. — he was “honest as the day is long,” Blagojevich announced Wednesday he will not testify in his own defense.

It's all too fitting that Rod Blagojevich would break one more promise before his corruption trial ends.


After months of blustering and blathering about his innocence to every New York media personality who would have him, guaranteeing he would sit on the witness stand and tell the truth, about how — in the words of his lawyer, Sam Adam Jr. — he was “honest as the day is long,” Blagojevich announced Wednesday he will not testify in his own defense.


His lawyers won’t even bother to put on a case. They say the prosecution has not proven that their client did anything wrong.


For example, they won’t try to:


* Explain the testimony of chief of staff Lon Monk, who said that he, Blagojevich, fundraiser Chris Kelly and fundraiser Tony Rezko met to outline ways to make money once he took office. This was after Blagojevich spent the entire campaign lambasting former Gov. George Ryan and the Republican Party for corruption.


* Answer allegations that he held up funding to treat sick kids at Children’s Memorial Hospital so that he could wring a campaign contribution out of the hospital’s CEO.


* Explain Blagojevich’s remarks, captured on a wiretap, when in the course of allegedly trying to sell President Barack Obama’s former seat, he said, “Only 13 percent of you all out there think I’m doing a good job. So (expletive) all of you.” Those would be the people for whom Blagojevich repeatedly professed to be doing so much good.


It's too bad Blagojevich did not take the stand. Not so much because we’d like to see him squirm under cross-examination (OK, maybe a little), but because he finally would have to answer specific questions without using his upcoming trial as a shield, as he did in many sympathy-building television appearances.


Blagojevich’s guilt or innocence will be up to the jury to decide after closing arguments, which begin on Monday, are finished. But even if Blagojevich is acquitted, nothing in the trial did anything to reverse Blagojevich’s conviction in the court of public opinion as being one of the worst governors in Illinois history.


State Journal-Register of Springfield, Ill.