Talk about your buyer’s remorse! Here are the opening lines of the Sun-Times’s, endorsement of Rod Blagojevich for governor on October 17, 2002, titled Vision, Leadership Earn Rod the Nod:
In times of uncertainty, a leader must be able to communicate a message of hope that is decisive and aggressive. Illinoisans, along with other Americans, are in such a time. Our next governor will be faced with a host of challenges, some arising from economic malaise and the ongoing threat of terrorism, and others from long-festering issues such as education, health care and transportation.
What a difference eight years makes! Here’s their commentary from today, titled We elected Blagojevich—what were we thinking?:
The headlines say, “Blagojevich trial,” but the former governor is not the only one who needs to explain himself.
If the latest farcical revelations from the Rod Blagojevich trial tell us anything, it’s that the people of Illinois — that would be us — twice elected a narcissistic goof of a governor who was all show and no substance.
The man was an empty suit, albeit a $5,000 custom-made Oxxford empty suit.
Blagojevich and his wife blew $400,000 on clothes alone in the six years he was governor, while he disparaged and largely ignored the actual business of governing.
It is a lesson we hope to remember (OK, yeah, we endorsed Gov. Rod twice) as we size up the current race for governor between incumbent Pat Quinn and state Sen. Bill Brady:
Character counts before all else. Real accomplishments count.
And all else, if there is anything else, comes third.
This can only be the editorial we. I never voted for Blagojevich because his shortcomings were obvious to me. Any of the Democratic candidates running in the primary would have been a better pick. Jim Ryan would have made a better governor.
Presumably what some number of us were thinking was that the Sun-Times could be trusted as reliable reporters and that the paper could offer solid advice.
The choices are quite limited. Either the Sun-Times editors were wrong then or they are wrong now. Their position is that they were wrong then. If they were wrong then either they were fools, dupes, or scoundrels. Which shall it be?