On an FBI wiretap played this morning in his federal corruption trial, former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is heard lamenting the fact that he's been eclipsed by the state's junior senator, Barack Obama.
"He's a demigod now," Blagojevich complains in a recorded telephone conversation with advisor Doug Scofield the day after Election Day 2008. "With my upward mobility, it doesn't look so good."
He said he felt "like I've failed." Then Scofield reminded him he had something "both important and valuable" -- the power to appoint President Obama's successor in the Senate.
During the call, Blagojevich plays "what-if" -- what if he had gotten into the presidential race himself? "I could've worked my ass off," he says. He could have hired David Axelrod. "That would've scared him," he says.
Axelrod helped Blagojevich win a House seat in 1996. The two fell out when Axelrod passed up working on Blagojevich's 2002 gubernatorial race.