Question of the Day: Why Did Paul Manafort Agree to Become Trump’s Campaign Manager?

As a side note on the Manafort indictment, this is yet another example of the peculiar arrogance of powerful men in Washington. The poster child for this has long been Gary Hart, who famously dared reporters to follow him around when he was suspected of having an affair with Donna Rice. That ended badly.

And now we have Paul Manafort. According to today’s indictment, he spent years engaged in a wide-ranging scheme of money laundering to the tune of $75 million. If you’ve done something like this, your best lifestyle choice is to stay very, very quiet. Attract no attention. Stay as far away as possible from reporters and FBI agents.

So what does Manafort do? He signs on as campaign manager for the biggest, loudest, brassiest presidential campaign in recent history. Practically his first actions were related to defending Russia for a candidate who was already suspected of being a little too simpatico with Vladimir Putin. He was almost literally daring reporters to investigate him.

Why? Do people like this figure that if they’ve gotten away with something for years, they’ll get away with it forever? Are they so smitten with their own brilliance that they can barely conceive of being outwitted by anyone else? Do they just not think at all? It is a mystery.