[Guest post by DRJ]
Michael Barone thinks Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is the Stupidest Governor in the Country and that makes him dangerous:
“And a stupid man (or woman) in high political office can be very dangerous to all concerned. I have long said that as a political operative I would prefer a smart opponent to a stupid opponent. If you’re pretty smart yourself, you should be able to figure out what another pretty smart person will do. But whether you’re smart or stupid, it’s hard to figure out what a stupid person will do. That’s even more true when the stupid politician is your political ally. Stupid people do all sorts of things that are against their own interests.”
Barone’s article is an interesting survey of Illinois politics and how it has helped and hurt candidates like Obama, Blagojevich, and others. It’s well worth reading.
Barone’s point also resonated with me based on my experiences as a lawyer. One of the things I feared most was an incompetent opposing counsel. He’s unpredictable and may — or may not — prepare his case adequately. It’s hard to know how to prepare in that situation. Do you assume he will be unprepared and risk getting blindsided? Or do you assume he will be prepared and risk uncovering weaknesses in your own case that might not have come to light? The end result is often a middle ground … and heartburn.
As bad as it is, even greedy is better than that. At least it’s predictable.