Saturday, March 04, 2006

Never Underestimate the Power of an Idiot(in the Governor's Office)

Never underestimate Rod Blagojevich. He is a superb politician.

Sound like a line from a campaign circular? It may as well be. In a column from earlier this week, the Sun Times's Carol Marin writes that she was "reminded once again that, love him or hate him, you can't ignore him and probably can't out-campaign him." (See here) Chicago journalist Jeff Berkowitz added that, "In terms of charm, glibness and being personable, Gov. Blagojevich is a 10." (See here) Are Ms. Marin and Mr. Berkowitz suffering from amnesia? Have they not read the newspaper in the past month?

The Governor suffers from a complete inability to relate with the public and the Legislature. The point is underscored by the recent controversy over Claudette Marie Muhammad's appointment to the Hate Crimes Commission. In the days after the story broke, the Governor had first defended Muhammed, and then denied knowing about her ties to Louis Farrakhan and put the blame on his staff. "I... oppose guilt by association," he said, adding that her Nation of Islam connection did not diminish her ability to act objectively. (See here)

Even the Governor's allies are deserting him over this. Other Democrats, including Jewish legislators and Lisa Madigan, called for Muhammed's resignation. "If Ms. Muhammad holds views that are anti-Semitic or prejudiced, she should resign from the commission," the Attorney General said. State Rep. Lou Lang was tapped by the Governor to replace the ADL's Lonnie Nasatir on the Commission, who had resigned in disgust earlier tis week. Lang lasted exactly one day, saying that his appointment was drawing "unnecessary controversy." Many think that Blago did not tell Lang that Richard Hirschhaut, another member of the board, had resigned. (See here)

The Governor's recent "Daily Show" appearance didn't show a pol who was "charming" or "personable." Blago stumbled over kidding remarks about his sexual orientation and last name. After his mediocre performance, he claimed to have been expecting a serious interview. "It was going to be an interview on contraceptives ... that's all I knew about it," he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Superb? The Governor's gaffes make him a superb idiot, and don't rate a comparison to the King(Bill Clinton, that is). The man who didn't "pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel" knew how to relate to people. While Blago may have Marin and others painting fences, you can't whitewash the past(even in blue suede shoes).


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