Rod Blagojevich appears at Columbia College Cinema Slapdown

It’s Viva Las Vegas, the 1964 teen-idol vehicle, starring the King and Ann-Margret, which Blago defended during last night’s Cinema Slapdown at Columbia College.

Besides doubling as a signing for his deluded memoir The Governor, the event, of course, was a PR stunt, an opportunity for the former governor to shore up his public image while he awaits trial on federal corruption charges. When it comes to hamming it up, Blago’s no slouch. I gotta hand it to the guy, no matter how slimy. If his goal was to endear himself to the largely twentysomething crowd—to make them think, “Gee, what a shame it would be to lock up this lovable goofball”—the night was a success.

After a screening of the film, Blago faced off against Columbia film and video factulty member Dan Rybicky. “Let me begin by telling you, I hope you all do great on your finals,” Blagojevich began. “Let me also tell you all what I told the kids at the University of Chicago: I believe in grade inflation!” The student-packed theater roared. The man may not have moral compass, but he certainly knows his audience.