Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Illinois governors not riding high

The Land of Lincoln has produced recent governors, who, according to many, were, to put it charitably, un Abe-like. Commentators from the right and left, Tom Roeser and Eric Zorn, take aim at Jim Thompson and Rod Blagojevich, respectively.

On Thompson, Roeser writes:

Disillusionment and mysterious abandonment of a goal that he had set early on for himself-the presidency-led to disillusionment that precipitated excess, a love of influence and trappings that have soiled a once brilliant career. If there is any idealism remaining from a once illustrious career, it is hard to visualize. I am sure in Jim Thompson's private thoughts he feels his potential has been wasted by either unavoidable circumstances or his inability to change them. The mystery of why he abandoned thought of high office which led to his sad denouement is unanswered and will always be so.
Zorn, on Blago:

He uses his bully pulpit to propose giving babies one free book a month, stopping minors from getting tattoos, banning violent video games or importing pharmaceuticals and vaccines. But he runs and hides from one of the main challenges of his office -- issuing timely rulings on clemency and pardon petitions -- and he's been inept, at best, at policing corruption in hiring and contracts.
And we haven't even brought convicted felon George Ryan into the conversation.

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