CHICAGO (CBS) – If you turn on the TV at any hour of the day, you’re likely to see Rod Blagojevich’s name thrown around in a political attack ad or two.
But Blagojevich himself is appearing in a TV commercial too, and it has nothing to do with politics.
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Blagojevich is now appearing on a national commercial for Wonderful Pistachios. He is one of several celebrities appearing in the nut company’s Get Crackin’ campaign.
The 15-second ad shows Blagojevich sitting silently at a table, wearing a black suit, black shirt, and fluorescent green tie. A shady man hands him a briefcase, which he opens to find overflowing with pistachios.
“Rod Blagojevich does it innocently,” an announcer says.
In commenting on the ad in the news release, Blagojevich once again reiterated his insistence that he is not guilty of the charges that federal prosecutors brought against him.
“The contents in the suitcase are like the accusations against me–they’re nuts,” Blagojevich said in the release. “I’d been eating these pistachios and enjoying them well before they asked me to do a commercial.”
Blagojevich public relations representative Glenn Selig said the company picked the deposed governor because he is a pop culture phenom who likes pistachios.
“People across the country have come to know Rod Blagojevich through reality shows, countless interviews and public appearances. So many people who didn’t even know him two years ago like him and believe he’s being wronged. They admire him for how how he’s fighting back,” Selig said in the release.
Jurors convicted Blagojevich on just the one of 24 counts against him in August after a two-and-a-half month trial. A retrial on the 23 deadlocked charges is set for April.
Among the charges jurors disagreed on was that Blagojevich tried to sell or trade an appointment to President Barack Obama’s old U.S. Senate seat for a top job or campaign cash.
The lying charge of which Blagojevich was convicted was considered the least serious, carrying a prison sentence of up to five years. Other charges, including racketeering, could result in a 20-year prison term.
Among the other celebrities besides Blagojevich who have taped ads for Wonderful Pistachios are Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi of “Jersey Shore” fame; “Jackass” co-star Wee Man; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco; and Levi Johnston, the father of Sarah Palin’s grandson.
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