WashPost article re:John Rowland, ex-con gov of CT

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Hilary the Touched
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WashPost article re:John Rowland, ex-con gov of CT

Post by Hilary the Touched » Sun Jun 17, 2007 11:48 am

Article here

Today's Washington Post has an article about John Rowland, three-term governor of a small East Coast state. I thought it offered some interesting insights into the mind of a guy who ends up disgraced and serving time--and it reminded me a lot of Tommy Caffee:

..."He played cards with Bush, who called him "Johnny R" -- which John Rowland loved for its coolness and the hint of a swagger.

The nickname seemed perfect for Rowland -- a fast-talking and even faster-moving shaker who had been elected as a moderate Republican to the Connecticut state legislature at 23; to Congress at 27; and then as Connecticut's youngest governor in history at 37, a political phenom who, in 2002, became the first governor of his state elected to a third term since the late 1700s. Infused with limitless confidence, he relished living on the edge of things, believing in the power of his impulses.

"What I wanted, I went after," he remembers. Just a year before becoming governor, in the midst of his troubled first marriage, he became reacquainted with a high school sweetheart. One night, while dancing together at a public event, he quietly suggested to her that they immediately tell their respective spouses that they wanted divorces so that they could be together. Soon they were married.

In his job, he denied himself virtually nothing. "I did some stupid things," he says now. "It started with my sense of entitlement, the belief that I deserved whatever came to me, that everything was about me."

...During a weekday evening in Hartford, he is drinking a brandy in a hotel restaurant when he says, "Everyone was always blowing smoke at me and I wanted to believe it." He has donned one of his natty dark blue suits from the good days, having just come from a banquet for a women's group. His crisp white shirt has a monogrammed R on the breast pocket. He is musing about the culture of graft.

"From the time you arrive, the job of everybody in the office is about making you look good and feel good, and after a while you believe that is the way your life is supposed to be -- people doing things for you. The sun is rising with you -- that's what everybody believes. You end up believing it, too. The people in your office and the lobbyists, they're all saying the same thing: how great you are, and how hard you work for the state, and how much everybody appreciates you, and how you deserve to be rewarded. It starts there."

He motions for another brandy. "Somewhere around then is when the sense of entitlement takes over. People wanted to give me things, make my life easier, allow me to relax. A night on vacation for $100 less at somebody's house who had a contract [with the state]? It never crossed my mind to worry about that, the ethics of it, the wisdom. I told myself, 'I've earned it. I work hard. I'm often away working, my kids suffer, and I only make $78,000.' At the time I was paying about -- whatever it was -- close to $45,000 in child support to my ex, which left only 33 [thousand] for me before taxes or whatever it was. I was living on 15 to 20 grand [a year].

" . . . A lot of people in state government made more than me most of the time. My chief of staff made $125,000 or something like that. I think my press secretary made a buck ten. You begin thinking, 'I'm making nothing compared to a lot of other people, and I'm working all the time.' . . . My sense of entitlement was the evil -- the feeling that everybody owes you. After a while the favors took on a life of their own. . . . You're just doing your job and more people are telling you that you're great and wanting to help you in any way. And you have financial people telling you that one day you're going to be president, that there's no stopping you."


very interesting post!

Post by malfoygrandma » Sun Jun 17, 2007 1:35 pm

:bat That was really a good look at those type folks we elect, and I see what you mean about it reminding you of Tommy Caffee! Thanks.

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