In the course of this journey across the country, I have gotten reacquainted with a number of old friends via Facebook, including now three of my former colleagues as College Republican state chairman. I served as year as head of the Massachusetts federation in the (Jack) Abramoff era.
In our conversations, Jack invariably comes up. We all have our stories, some involving the man’s amazing charisma — how he could sweet talk almost anyone, other relating to the dirty tricks he authorized — how he convinced us to participated in some underhanded endeavors (none illegal at that time).
Now, recalling some of those underhanded endeavors, we could say that we all saw his illegal activities coming. But, then again, if he had been elected the first Jewish president (as some of us predicted) or achieved renown for some other great honor, we could also have said we saw that coming too. You see, Jack Abramoff was, in many ways, a lot like the Greek hero, Achilles, a man of amazing contrasts, accomplishing, in one moment, some pretty remarkable things and in the next, some pretty contemptible ones.
Given his charisma, I dare say we would still recall him as we do today. Despite his stature (he was pretty short), he had a powerful presence. But, had he not had his legal troubles, I wonder if we still talk about him as much as we do now.
RELATED: The Tragedy of Jack Abramoff.