I was walking home from the grocery store today and saw a familiar figure run across my path at the corner of Western and Wilson: Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. I've seen him run in the neighborhood before (our dog once lunged at him), but what surprised me today was his recklessness. Traffic on Western Avenue, one of the busiest surface streets in Chicago, had the green light, and yet Blagojevich ran across, dodging five lanes of traffic and at one point running along the double yellow centerline. His security detail, a state trooper on a bicycle, watched the governor's Frogger impression and waited for the light to change. He was shaking his head and smiling as if to say, "Man, that guy is crazy!"
On the other side of Western, the governor ran on Wilson Avenue instead of the sidewalk. Considering that Wilson is 3.5 lanes wide with parking on each side and two-way traffic (i.e., four lanes of cars on 3.5 lanes of pavement), that isn't a bright idea either. This behavior tells me that Blagojevich doesn't really want to be reelected. That is why he is endangering himself in this way. Someone looking forward to the future doesn't do things like that.
Political gadflies should note that this was a Saturday evening, so Blagojevich was not playing hooky from his gubernatorial responsibilities. On the other hand, he was crossing against the light and disobeying the "Do not walk" sign. Of course, that's not much of an offense compared to the crimes of his predecessors. It would be like busting the newest home run king for drinking Red Bull.
In Blagojevich's defense, I have to confess as a former runner that I've done some pretty stupid things under the influence of adrenaline. One night I came to a railroad crossing that was blocked by a stopped freight train. Without a second thought, I scooted underneath a coupling between two cars. Ten seconds later, the successive clang of couplings down the line told me the train was moving again. My already elevated heartrate doubled when I realized how easily I could have become human sausage. As if that wouldn't have been bad enough, no one knew I was there and I carried no ID. My scrambled remains could have spent eternity in a potter's field.