Gov. Tom Corbett declared yesterday that all flags on state facilities be at half-staff until Joe Paterno is buried. It's a decision that's generating plenty of opinions pro and con, given Paterno's complex legacy in relation to his towering stature in Pennsylvania. But it's curious that Corbett saw fit to honor Paterno in this way. Corbett, after all, was among those who decided two months ago to fire Joe Paterno.
While in office, each governor of Pennsylvania is an ex officio member of Penn State's Board of Trustees. It was the Board of Trustees who voted unanimously to fire Paterno in the days after the grand jury presentment against Jerry Sandusky was released. And it was Corbett who implored his colleagues on the board to remove Paterno with an emotional, unambiguous reference to the allegations against Sandusky.
This is from the beginning of Sara Ganim's story about Corbett's ties to Penn State in Sunday's Patriot-News of Harrisburg:
Moments before Penn State's board of trustees voted to fire Joe Paterno, Gov. Tom Corbett uttered a final thought.
"Remember that little boy in the shower," Corbett said via speakerphone, acting in his role on the 32-member board.
Two months on, Corbett likely did not forget "that little boy in the shower," either. He probably just remembered many Penn State fans still lionize Joe Paterno, and that plenty of them are eligible to vote in Pennsylvania.