Reporter's Notebook: Toned Down Behavior As Blago Goes Into Pre-Sentencing Hearing

It is a different world at the Blago pre-sentencing hearing. We’ve now been through two different Blagojevich trials and suddenly no one is behaving the same as they did in the past.

First, Blago gave the cameras the slip. This is the guy who has spent as much time making his case to the public as he did making his case in court.

On Tuesday, he entered and exited Chicago’s Dirksen federal building through an underground tunnel. The shot, to which we have all become accustomed, of Blago glad-handing like a candidate and pausing for photos on Dearborn street never materialized, neither did the pre-hearing soundbite.

We were later told this was an extension of Judge James Zagel becoming impatient with the Blagojevich circus. U.S. Marshalls directed Blago in through the tunnel on orders from Zagel. Still, the daily photo op of America’s best-known defendant/Governor never materialized.

The hair, which generated more jokes the Dan Quayle’s spelling problems, is also different.

Producer Marla Cichowski was the first to take note e-mailing that Blago looks like he needs a haircut. The swagger is gone, so is the babbling. The charm has been replaced by a stone face on skin that looks like it hasn’t seen the sun in a while and the resistance has left the man who once pledged that he will fight and he will fight and he will fight.

In open court, the Blago team admitted wrongdoing.

“We accept the fact that it’s a crime. It’s illegal. He should not have done it.” Said Attorney Sheldon Sorosky as he pleaded for leniency.

“This does not deserve a 15 years sentence.” Attorney Aaron Goldstein pleaded “He doesn’t deserve Mercy. His family deserves mercy.”

That is when team Blago went after the heart strings. Goldstien read in court a letter from he said was written Blago’s Daughter Amy.

Excerpts read, “I will not be able to handle my father not being around…I need him here for my high school graduation…I need him when my heart gets broken.” Wife Patty Blagojevich wiped tears from her eyes.

Wednesday, Blagojevich is expected to address the court. We will then learn if the 180 degree turn will be complete. We will see if, after 3 years of insisting that he is innocent, he will apologize for the actions that resulted in convictions on 18 counts of violating the public trust.