(CNN) - During his search for a successor to fill President Obama's former Senate seat, then-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich considered picking talk show host Oprah Winfrey.
In newly- released transcripts of telephone conversations from 2008, introduced into evidence during his trial on Monday, Blagojevich made his case for Winfrey, saying she was "the king maker."
Speaking with his Chief of Staff Richard Harris, Blagojevich continued, "She made Obama."
Harris countered by saying, "So is it that you're tryin' to shed some grace on thee, by picking her?"
Later in the conversation Blagojevich returned to Winfrey, an Obama supporter, as a choice who would have mass appeal, saying, "There's nothing affirmative action about her. She's a huge success, a mega success in her own right."
He added, "Whereas some of these other candidates I put there are just clearly affirmative action. And I'm putting an African American in there... who's not nearly as qualified as some other white candidates you see what I'm saying?"
Elsewhere in the discussion, Blagojevich spoke about the potential to make history with his pick.
"You know, appointing the first African American woman U.S. senator is historic," he said, though not specifically mentioning Winfrey.
Throughout the conversations Blagojevich frequently advocated choosing an African- American successor to Obama.
CNN contacted Winfrey's office but has not yet received a response.
The ousted governor is accused of telling his former chief of staff, John Harris, that he wanted "a good gig" in exchange for an appointment to Obama's seat, either in Washington or with a lucrative private foundation.
Blagojevich was arrested in December 2008 on federal corruption charges.
– CNN's Charles Riley contributed to this report