I have to say, not being from Chicago, the whole Blagojevich scandal took me by surprise. That was some really brazen shizznit up in the Governor’s Mansion. Governor as straight-up gangsta. Have you read the complaint (thanks TalkLeft)? Blagojevich sounds like a mafia don and his wife sounds no better. Behind that sweet mom and wife image was a lady who fiercely advocated with aides for having the editorial board of the Chicago Tribune fired en masse for daring to suggest her husband might be unfit for office. A maneuver btw that was almost successful. Paging Lady Macbeth!

I’m really looking forward to the movie. I think Tom Cruise should play Blago — or in a dramatic potential Oscar nod: Jack Black or Ben Stiller. Reese Witherspoon or Kate Winslet would be perfect for the role portraying the sweetly benign feminine facade that masks vicious ambition and steely manipulation.

This is the latest in a series of a younger, attractive, charismatic group of Democratic governors who have been unseated through their own excess and corruption. Who could forget Jim McGreevy, former Governor of New Jersey, forced to resign after well, I’ll let Wikipedia do the talking:

He served as the 52nd Governor of New Jersey from January 15, 2002, until November 15, 2004, when he resigned from office. McGreevey coupled the announcement of his decision to resign with a public declaration of his homosexuality and an admission to having an extramarital affair with the Israeli man he had appointed homeland security adviser. McGreevey was the first and, to date, the only openly gay state governor in United States history.

The problem wasn’t that McGreevey is gay. It’s that he used his position (right after 9/11 had directly impacted NJ suburbanites of New York, mind you) to appoint his unqualified yet super-fine lover to an important security position and then (allegedly) sexually harrassed him.

Then there’s Kathleen Blanco, formerly governor of Louisiana. Heck I’ll let WaPo educate us on her fate:

Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco (D) announced last night that she will not seek a second term this November, bowing to a political reality created by her handling of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Her handling of America’s worst humanitarian disaster was so inept and corrupt (i.e. ordering over $500K in remodeling for her offices in 2006 at a time when people were still homeless and living in trailers) that it led to the unleashing of GOP wonderboy Bobby Jindal on the national scene. Wow.

Then there’s Client No. 9 AKA former governor of New York Eliot Spitzer who committed felonies in his pursuit of discreet and illicit poontang. This: a man who’d made his name busting up prostitution rings among other achievements. Ew.

And now this. For black politicians who don’t want to go out like Marion Barry (former mayor of DC) and Kwame Kilpatrick (former major of Detroit), the lesson should be clear. Don’t let the illusion of absolute power corrupt you absolutely. Deval Patrick (current governor of Massachusetts) and Barack Obama — don’t let the security detail & flash bulbs blind you to the fact that you are not Republican nor are you white. You will not get away with it (whatever “it” is – especially if it’s sexual), not even for as long as the characters above. And unlike these characters, you won’t get a slap on the wrist or a federal prison camp. They will send your black behind to real jail just like Marion Mayor-for-Life and Kwame the Thug. As the 2008 presidential campaign showed: your conduct will be held to a higher standard than other politicians who are looking even now for any gap in your game, brother. Any gap at all. Deval & Barack – keep your pants zipped and your noses clean. Look at what happened to Jesse Jackson Jr. AKA Senate Candidate No. 5. Whose name was revealed first? Who overreached & got greedy? Whose promising career has just taken a pretty hard gut punch? He’ll probably wiggle out of this one, but not the next.

The same goes for the other Democratic governors. We need strong leadership in state governments now more than ever. Obama will need strong partners able to roll out reform across the nation. We can’t afford to have the concept of a Democratic governor leading a state become a joke or perceived danger. Governor shouldn’t equal gansta and thug life can’t co-exist with a sincere interest in the people’s welfare. Cuz thugs only take care of their own.

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