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Jury to get Blagojevich Case This Week

A Chicago jury will soon be deciding the fate of the man known more for reality shows and big hair than for being the governor of Illinois.

Rod Blagojevich spent seven days on the witness stand testifying in his own defense, which was not nearly as entertaining as members of the public who showed up every day at 4am for tickets to the courtroom circus thought it would be.

Many who watched the trial thought Prosecutor Reid Schar was winding up for a big knockout punch, but the former governor accused of selling Barack Obama's Senate seat held his own, for the most part.

In court Tuesday, Blagojevich seemed to be alternating between jovial and frustrated with the questioning. He tried, and succeeded many times, to interject jokes or quips in his answers, probably in an attempt to seem more human to the jury.

Schar got into a back and forth squabble at one time over what to call an offer made to Blagojevich of "campaign cash" in exchange for giving Rep. Jesse Jackson the Senate seat in 2008.

"It's a bribe!" Schar insisted.

"It was illegal and something we were never gonna do," Blagojevich replied.

"It's a bribe, isn't it?" Schar tried again.

"Did you see my law school grades?" Blagojevich said "I'm afraid to give you an answer, if I'm wrong I don't know what you'll do with it".

It was Rep. Jackson who got most maligned during this part of questioning, as Blagojevich admitted he didn't like the guy, didn't trust him, and that the leaders in Washington were "scared" that Blagojevich might actually give Jackson the Senate job.

Chicago Mayor and former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel's name has come up several times. Blagojevich said he talked to Emanuel about appointing someone to his congressional seat that would be left vacant when Emanuel went to work for Barack Obama. It never happened because Blagojevich found out that doing so would be a violation of the Constitution.

Blagojevich also claims Emanuel made it clear Obama wanted Valerie Jarrett in the Senate, which then made Blagojevich think Obama might give him a big job, like director of Health and Human Services, if he granted Obama's wishes.

During testimony, the Celebrity Apprentice star found at least two opportunities to throw in the fact that he is a big Cubs' fan, which will only work for him if there aren't White Sox fans among the jurors.

He also found a way to say "keep hope alive" a couple of times while explaining his plans for his future.

This is the second time the Feds are going after Blagojevich for allegedly bartering, bargaining and bantering about ways to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Obama. Blagojevich denies it.

In the first trial, the government only got him for lying to the Feds, but the jury was hung on 23 other charges.

This time around it's all moved a lot more quickly, as prosecutors run down the cast of characters in the alleged schemes designed to reap cash for the former governor, in exchange for doing favors, such as signing certain legislation.

James Matsumoto, who was the jury foreman for the first trial and has shown up every day just to sit in the courtroom for the second trial, thinks putting Blagojevich on the stand didn't help or hurt his case.

"If you think he's guilty already, you see his attempts to spin the truth. If you think he's not guilty then his testimony just reinforced your opinion" Matsumoto said.

Blagojevich, who kissed his wife each time before going up to the witness stand, hasn't yet gone for the sympathy vote by bringing his kids to the courtroom, as he did during the first trial.

The jury this time is made up of 11 women and one man. Some analysts think a majority female jury is good for Blagojevich, who has a slightly more positive image with women.

The case is expected to be in the hands of the jury by the end of the week.

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