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Blagojevich takes the stand at corruption trial


CHICAGO — An unmuzzled Rod Blagojevich launched the campaign of his life Thursday, taking the witness stand at his corruption trial in an attempt to sway a jury with the same charm and chattiness that helped him win two contests for Illinois governor.

Looking directly at the jurors who will decide his fate, Blagojevich tried to connect with them by laying out nearly every detail of his biography: his upbringing, his first job, the insecurity of his college years. He described himself as a flawed dreamer grounded in his parents' working-class values and at one point choked up as he talked...

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