Thursday, December 13, 2007


Character is a funny thing. Essentially, I think of it as the very core of who you are. It is, ultimately, who you become when the chips are down. There have been a few examples of character in the last few days.

First, we see that Hillary Rodham Clinton is turning back into the nasty, cynical politician she seems to become whenever times get tough. Now that our Hometown Kid has caught Hillary the New Yorker in New Hampshire, her campaign is pointing out that Obama used cocaine and marijuana when he was younger. That, apparently, makes him unelectable. Of course, Obama wrote about the drug use in his own book, and has mentioned it in speeches to young people, so it was not really a secret. It was more a matter of something to say to slow Obama down. Notice, Hillary and her campaign did not say anything positive about themselves. They are cynically using Obama's own admissions against him. That is an insight into Hillary's character, and it is not good.

We will talk some other day about how a half-Kenyan, half-Kansan, raised in Hawaii and Indonesia who went to school in Boston became Chicago's Very Own, while the kid from Park Ridge, Illinois is the outsider. It seems to all be about the last place you hang your hat. And whether you ever made some idiotic statements about being a Yankee and a Cub fan.

Anyway, in another clear example of a person's character, the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons quit yesterday. Lots of people quit jobs, but Bobby Petrino did it in spectacular fashion. First, he quit with three games to go in the season. Second, he quit during his first season in the NFL. Third, he slid out of town without even meeting with his team. Mr. Petrino did this to take over the football program at the University of Arkansas. Dear Arkansas, this is like marrying someone you started dating while they were cheating on their spouse. That's a character issue, and it won't go away just because the scenery changes. Petrino will, some day, turn back into the weasel coward who snuck out of Atlanta with you too. Nice hire.


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