Are all ex-governors jerks?

I’m not talking about James A. Rhodes or Orval Faubus who were clearly jerks (at best) while they were governors. I’m talking about guys that got to run states, popularly, for multiple years and terms, then retired to become completely nasty, disgusting, coprophagic, jerks.

I’ve only actually encountered two ex-governors, but they are batting 1.000 for nastiness.

My first encounter was years and years ago when I was serving time in retail in Michigan. I had two cashiers with a third scheduled at 11:00. Just as the third cashier walked in the door, one of the first two got violently sick. The new cashier and I are in the office counting in the new drawer, with the ill cashier’s drawer on the counter waiting to be counted and the safe wide open to exchange the cash drawers. The ex-gov throws open the door to the office without knocking and says “I need to get a refund.” I look over his shoulder and see that the remaining cashier has twelve people in line. The new cashier is about 30 seconds from finishing the pre-use count. I say “Certainly, I’ll be with you in a second.” and go to put away the sick cashier’s cash drawer (not yet counted) and lock the safe. He starts getting huffy and demands to know why I won’t help him right away. (This clown made a big deal about how he came from business and was not a professional politician. You’d think he would have a vague notion of cash control and security issues.) twit

Now I’m dealing (not face-to-face) with a former governor of Illinois. He was on the board of the company that bought the company I work for. Just after the purchase, he decided that he didn’t like the CEO and arranged for a coup, claiming that there were irregularities in the way the CEO operated. He then headed up a committee to “investigate” the ousted CEO to show the stockholders that the company was completely on the up-and-up. (Amazingly, the investigating committee discovered that the ousted CEO had done nothing wrong. Duh. Every one of his actions had been board reviewed and approved–and the “irregularity” had been suggested by the board.) The guys he (supposedly “the board”) put in charge began taking their bonuses in cash (where the old CEO took his in stock) while the stock plummeted from $55.00 to $4.50. Now that the company is thoroughly messed up, several small companies that they purchased have had their employees fired off and their names trashed. My boss wanted to take his company back, so they told him he could, but that they would keep all the lines of credit they had initially taken from him as part of the original company. They have also filed false statements with the SEC about our purchase. The really stupid thing about the whole mess, is that it appears that all the actions were prompted by vanity. It was not even a matter of raping small companies for the money, the ex-gov just wanted to keep his hand in as a power broker.

Tom: I’l bet Mario Cuomo would have waited politely to be served. I’ll bet Mario Cuomo wouldn’t have stabbed your CEO in the back. I just love Mario Cuomo; I wish he was the President right now.

Here in Illinois, our ex-governors are often convicts. We had a nice stretch where they alternated, Kerner jailed, Ogilvie not, Walker jailed, Thompson not. Edgar seems to have broken the pattern by staying out of jail, but Ryan is showing lots of promise.

Personally, I think Colorado’s done pretty good with governors. But then I’m too young to remember anyone other than Roy Romer.
– Sylence

dropzone, I would truly like to see one of your (as yet) un-imprisoned ex-gov’s do some hard time. He has hurt a lot of good people.

Oh, for the days when people like FDR left a governorship to get elected president seven or eight times, only to die in office. No jerk, he.

Well, OK, he was having an affair with this woman, but it was all very discreet, so at least he wasn’t a public jerk.

tomndebb – Which one? Certainly not Dick Ogilvie, since he’s long dead. Edgar was boring but innoccuous. That leaves sleazy lobbyist Jim Thompson and sleazy former-secy-of-state George Ryan, not to be confused with sleazy Atty General Jim Ryan. (We sometimes elect people who are not Irish, too. But not often.)

In a moment of pique have you exposed an Achilles heel?
A belief in justice?
You’re still not a cynic?
God Bless You!
You use the word “vanity.”
When folks in power destroy people and ideas, feel free to use the word hubris.
And hope that the managers who finally pick up the pieces
will be better.

Hmmm, I can think of a long list of many-time re-elected governors who were/are just cretinously evil, but not of any who converted after their public service.

I don’t know the gubernatorial history of the Illinois jerk, so I won’t speculate on him. (He can remain anonymous unless this winds up in court.) The Michigan governor was not, in fact, a bad governor and had a reputation for fairness, niceness, etc. in both his professional and personal lives. Obviously, I didn’t see that same side of him.

As to vanity vs hubris: It does not appear that the twit has actually done anything out of a sense that he is above the law. I guess it would be analogous to “the banality of evil.” Nixon had hubris. He felt that he was called to take whatever actions were necessary, even those outside the law, to consolidate his power so that he could exercise his destiny. This twit appears to have simply reacted to questions from stock market analysts to cover his butt. The lies filed with the SEC may have been below his radar, for example, although they were deliberate actions by his hand-picked minions.

I guess, I would not even grant this slug enough credit to be capable of hubris. He is not a tragic hero, he’s a vain, stupid twit.