March 15th, 2012
11:30 AM ET

Abramoff to Blagojevich: 'Keep your head down'

On the day former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich begins a 14-year prison sentence on a corruption conviction, he's getting some advice on life behind bars from someone who knows firsthand how hard it can be: Jack Abramoff.

Abramoff, a former Republican lobbyist, was the central figure in a corruption scandal that ultimately led to charges against numerous lobbyists and public officials. He served four years of a six-year sentence in federal prison.

In a poignant interview on CNN's "Starting Point," Abramoff offered a strategy to Blagojevich for surviving his incarceration. Watch the video to hear Abramoff's advice and reflections on his big regret the day he surrendered to authorities.

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Filed under: Crime • Jack Abramoff • Politics • Rod Blagojevich
soundoff (132 Responses)
  1. Fiona

    My advice to the very vain Blago would have been to cut that silly mop of hair off. The footage of him making a last public, "Don't cry for me, Argentina" appearance was hilarious as much as it was annoying. He looked so much like a le-sbian friend I had back in the 1990's, when that hair style as in. He is a ridiculous little man. I wonder whether he'll be allowed all those hair products in the pen.

    March 15, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Burbank

      My thoughts exactly! Get rid of the girly hair or he's going to be someone's prison wife in short order. On the other hand, if he doesn't mind being bent over on a regular basis, it might not hurt to have some big bruiser protecting him.

      March 15, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • chicago7

      If he goes in there with all that hair, someone is going to put it up in pigtails. Lipstick will come next, and after that...

      March 15, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Tee

    And Bush 43 and Tricky Dick Cheney are still running around here free as birds, why? This Country is something else. Those two idiots should have a jail cell right next to Blogovich for their war crimes, and the almost total distruction of this country. By the way, has anyone seen George W,.?

    March 15, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe B

      They should also save a cell for Obama. He continues to have us involved in wars that are killing our young men. Apparently he is too weak a commander to do anything but apologize to foreign governments.

      March 15, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mme. Padva

      You mean those two pesky little wars that The Sunshine Boys started?

      March 15, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • B

      I thought Obama got us out of Iraq and plans to have us out of Afghanistan in 2014. Let me see, who started the wars, landed on an aircraft carrier and declared a victory......sunshine boy himself.

      March 16, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • bertha59

      Right on!

      March 16, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Pete

      Hey Tee,Bush won't be running for long,he can't leave stateside.He's got a warrent for his arrest on human rights violations,war crimes issued by Geneva,Switzerland,home of the Geneva Convention,remember,they made the war rules Bush broke....Abramoff should be given over to the Indians for scalping,he deserves it...

      March 18, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  3. jailbird

    Overheard in a conversation from Abramoff to Blago: "Four words come to mind, Rod: Soap on a rope"

    March 15, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Serge Crespy

    "Presidential Pardon", in the back-burner?

    March 15, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  5. shagpal

    jew advice, go figure.

    March 15, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • madmaninthemiddle

      Please take your anti-semetic remarks to some right wing facist site and share them with your fellow bigots. Adults are talking here.

      March 16, 2012 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
    • TheBigSXC

      No one here cares for your hate speech. Maybe you should join Stormfront if you want to spew your racist views.

      March 16, 2012 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  6. HenkV

    I am proud to report that it happens only very rarely that someone in our government gets sent to prison. This really increases my trust in our government.
    Can you spell 's a r c a s m'?
    Charles Rangel, did you ever meet up with Wesley Snipes?

    March 15, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Luther51

    No remorse from either Abramoff or Blagojevich. With Blago, it's always about me. As an Illinoisan, we're glad to see him gone and shut up. He and all the other corrupt politicians here have made our state a laughingstock and messed up Illinois almost beyond repair. Blago epitomizes the vain, selfish, greedy politician so common in Washington, DC and Springfield, IL.

    March 15, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • TheBigSXC

      Abramoff not remorseful? Did you even read the above article?

      March 16, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      A minor correction – Springfield isn't the problem. Its Chicago.

      March 19, 2012 at 5:28 am | Report abuse |
  8. ckwest542

    It seems obvious that Blago ticked a very powerful some one off! Unfortunately he was playing politics with the old" one hand washes the other" philosophy. He just was not snooth enough to pull it off.

    I do not condone his behavior, nor do I condone his being scapegoated by an angry public. Where was the outrage when Michelle Obama was hired byThe University of Chicago's Medical Center, for a whopping $317,000.00 per year? Is anyone curious as to how she got that position? BTW her very essential job was never filled when she left to become First Lady.

    It was also apparent that when Dick Cheney was VP, he surely "helped" his old friends at Halliburton. Certainly this culture of rewarding political contributors is not just indiginous to one political party, it is the mother's milk of politics.

    Witness the Super Pacs!!! They are comprised of wealthy donors who want influence and access to political power for their generous contributions.

    It is unfortunate that this is the way the political system has devolved. However, making an example of the one or two who were clumsy, niave, inept at cheating or made enemies is a distraction from the root of the problem not a solution in preventing corruption.

    March 15, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mme. Padva

      Someone has been drinking from the well of hyperbole. Scapegoated by a very angry public? Angry public, yes. Scapegoat? Nonsense.

      March 15, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Greek American

    Well said, spoken like a true idiotic sorry a*s GOP Bush Cheney butt licker. Yes Congress agreed to war in Afghanistan. That's where your idol GWB was supposed to get OBL, remember? They didn't say OK just go divert to Iraq now for no reason and stay for 10 years to get nothing done! You are an idiot.

    March 15, 2012 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • David in Cincinnati

      Regardless of what is said, everyone knows this was Bush' (or his cronies') war.

      March 16, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Sam

    I'd like to see Abramoff in a real prison...he went to some prison for white collar crimes.

    March 16, 2012 at 1:00 am | Report abuse |
  11. edog355

    I have always like Jack's demeanor and candor. He seems like a pleasant guy who just got caught doing what everyone in Washington does – buy votes from Congressmen.

    March 16, 2012 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  12. J Wheeler

    In Rod's case, it's 'keep your hair down.'

    March 16, 2012 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  13. Panda

    LOL...sounds like Jack knows they like that position when they are doing it to you doggie style in prison!

    March 16, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  14. aj

    TV, ice cream, weights, 3 meals a day, a warm bed. Horrific?

    March 18, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
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