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REPORT: Rod Blagojevich Coveted Oprah As Obama's Senatorial Replacement

Jun. 28 2010, Published 10:31 a.m. ET

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Ex-Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, accused of scheming to sell or trade President Barack Obama's U.S. Senate seat after the November 2008 election, at one point had an A-list candidate in mind for the seat with a pretty good approval rating in the Windy City (or anywhere else in the world): Oprah Winfrey.

Blagojevich was heard touting the talk show queen during backroom discussions in audiotapes recorded just weeks after Obama's presidential victory, has learned.

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Blagojevich, on the tapes, called Winfrey a "kingmaker," according to NBC Chicago -- and bragged about the political advantages that could be reaped with the daytime icon in office.

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"She's a kingmaker!" Blagojevich reportedly said on the tapes.

"She made Obama!... Oprah is not far-fetched as a candidate," though he does say at one point that "the odds of her f----ing taking it are slim to none."


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Blagojevich, who makes his intentions of picking an African-American for the job clear on the tapes, bandied about the names of a few other prominent Chicago personalities before dropping the name of one famous leader he wouldn't give the time of day: Jesse Jackson.

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"I don't want to create an opportunity for him in two years!" Blagojevich said.

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Blagojevich, who has appeared on reality shows such as I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! And Celebrity Apprentice in the wake of his scandal, has said the recordings will prove his innocence.



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