January 26, 2009 / 5:05 PM / 9 years ago

Oprah, a senator? Blagojevich considered it

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, charged with trying to sell the U.S. Senate seat formerly held by President Barack Obama, considered offering it to talk show star Oprah Winfrey.

Oprah Winfrey, chairman of Harpo Inc. and host of "The Oprah Winfrey Show", who was named the most powerful woman in entertainment on The Hollywood Reporter's 17th annual Women in Entertainment: Power 100 list is interviewed as she arrives for a breakfast honoring women on the list in Beverly Hills, California December 5, 2008. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

Blagojevich said on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Monday that a friend of his had suggested asking Winfrey to fill Obama’s seat.

“She seemed to be someone who had helped Barack Obama in a significant way become president,” Blagojevich said. “She was obviously someone with a much broader bully pulpit than other senators.”

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich awaits to appear on his first national television appearance with Diane Sawyer January 26, 2009 on ABC News' Good Morning America, the day his impeachment trial begins in his home state. REUTERS/Ida Mae Astute/Handout

But he said he decided that the talk show queen, one of the richest women in America, was unlikely to accept the offer.

“She probably wouldn’t take it, and then ... if you offered it to her, how would you do it in a way it didn’t look like it was some gimmick and embarrass her?”

Blagojevich is doing the interview circuit and said he will not attend Monday’s impeachment trial in the state Senate which could remove him from office.

Reporting by Deborah Charles, editing by Vicki Allen

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