As you probably know, our disgraced former governor (the Democrat, not the Republican) continues to be an object of curiosity on national television. Currently he’s a contestant on “The Celebrity Apprentice” with Donald Trump. Just a few weeks ago, Blagojevich was on the Letterman show–again. All this seems to be part of an energized media campaign that keeps on going and going and going.
Those of us in Illinois may wonder why people keep putting out the welcome mat for him, why the national drawing power, why he seems incapable of fading from public view and instead keeps coming at you like some zombie Howdy-Doody?
It calls to mind the old quotation that “a prophet is not without honor except in his own land.” In other words, if you’re around all the time, nobody thinks you’re special. Most locals have probably heard his rap plenty of times and the novelty has worn off. But there’s a good chance those of us in Illinois may not fully appreciate the enduring entertainment factor the Governor holds for the rest of the country. It must be higher than we think.
Blago’s not the only ex-governor in the same spot. The good folks in Alaska may be scratching their heads over Sarah Palin’s ability to draw big crowds–and generous speaking fees–away from home (she’s currently booked at the Rosemont Theater for a high-profile speaking gig).
I once heard a self-deprecating speaker from out-of-town acknowledge that one reason he’d been invited to speak in Chicago was that “an expert is someone who comes from two time zones away.” He got a nice chuckle from the audience. Same phenomenon at work there, I think.
So if your career (or ego) needs a boost or you just want a little bit of face time, here’s some advice: hit the road. The farther you go and the less they know you, the more they’ll love you. Take it from Rod.