Everything You Need to Know

If, like me, you’ve wondered how a corrupt, profane moron can become governor of one of our largest states, Michael Barone brilliantly explains the rise of Rod Blagojevich in the context of Chicago politics:

[H]e’s not crazy, but simply stupid, hugely stupid. I’ve long since come to the conclusion that Rod Blagojevich is clearly the stupidest governor in all of our 50 states, and he may be the stupidest governor I’ve had occasion to write about in the four decades when I’ve been co-author of The Almanac of American Politics. And a stupid man (or woman) in high political office can be very dangerous to all concerned.

Barone’s tour of politics, Chicago-style, takes full advantage of his encyclopedic knowledge of the nuts and bolts of American politics and is hugely entertaining, to boot. It also sheds light on the parallel rise of another product of the Illinois Democratic Party, Barack Obama. For those in need of good news (or speculation, anyway), Barone thinks there is some chance that the right Republican could win a special election for Obama’s seat, should there be one. He concludes with this observation on our President-elect:

Nothing is free in politics, but there is some question as to when you pay the price. Obama has profited greatly from his interactions with the Chicago civic establishment. Now he is paying a price.

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