Paul Simon Public Policy Institute
By Mike Lawrence, Director (retired), Paul Simon Public Policy Institute
Mike Lawrence was asked by his clients to write a supplemental column relating to the verdict in the Rod and Robert Blagojevich trial.
Calvin Coolidge made a typically terse observation that deserves attention now that a jury divided on 23 other counts unanimously agreed that former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich lied to federal agents. “No man ever listened himself out of a job,” the iconically laconic 30th president of the United States once said.
Decades later, the 40th governor of Illinois offered his own take on the perils of loquaciousness. “I’ve learned a lot of lessons from this whole experience and perhaps the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that I talk too much,” he said after ducking the sworn testimony he repeatedly declared he was dying to deliver. Blagojevich’s confession of fallibility reflected no bolt of introspection.
Visiting professor John Jackson has been an observer of Illinois politics for decades, but the consequences left behind by the Rod Blagojevich administration are a breed of their own.
Blagojevich, who was convicted Tuesday of lying to FBI agents in 2005, left office with Illinois suffering a $13 billion budget deficit, a change in the way business is done in Springfield and a black mark on the Democratic Party.
Jackson spoke to the Blagojevich legacy in this week’s video commentary…