The trial of former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich was meant to answer questions over whether he attempted to illegally sell President Barack Obama's Senate seat. Instead, the jury's inability to give a verdict on 23 of the 24 counts of corruption — Blagojevich was convicted on one count of lying to federal prosecutors — has prompted not only a promised retrial, but many more questions. Is this a victory for the disgraced governor? Can the government build a better case at a retrial? Should there be a retrial at all? (Watch Blagojevich's response to the verdict.) Here's how pundits see the situation:
We need a retrial, with conclusive answers: The only takeaway from this mistrial, says an editorial in the Chicago Tribune, is that both sides must "do a better job" next time. These accusations are "too serious to go unresolved." We must know if our only "impeached and ousted governor is guilty or innocent." Justice — whichever way it falls — must be served.
"Rod Blagojevich, felon"
Let it lie and forget about Blagojevich: Why move for a retrial?, asks Edward McClelland at NBC Chicago. We don't need to spend "$25 million on a face-saving do-over" for the prosecution, or give Blago "another six months to repeat his wearying claims of innocence." Our ex-governor is now a convicted felon. Isn't it time to "put the Blagojevich years behind us"?
"Hung Blago! We called it"
Blago back in power? The "Blagojevich saga will continue," says Michael D. Shear at The Washington Post, whether inside the courts or out. In fact, it's not hard to imagine the ex-governor making "another run for political office." Springfield's lawmakers cannot bar him from "holding federal office in Illinois," nor from "moving to another state to run." Blago has said he believes in comebacks. Is "Senator Blagojevich" really an impossibility?
"A Blagojevich retrial? Don't expect smiles from the White House"