* He may yet beat these federal charges, or get them reduced. But Denny Hastert had better get used to feeling what this portrait shows because he’s now a pariah everywhere he goes and, barring a miraculously effective alibi, will forever remain so…
* Mark Brown…
A seething mass of news people swarmed the former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives on his way in and out of the Dirksen Federal Building like piranha drawn to a crippled calf.
Gawkers and protesters vied on the sidewalk for a mere peek at his hunched frame as he made his first court appearance since being charged in a federal indictment.
Inside the courthouse, Hastert found no respite either. Although the news media was kept at a more respectful distance, the eyes of an entire courtroom seemed to sear into his flesh as he squirmed self-consciously under the attention.
How would I describe Hastert?
Beleaguered. Humiliated. Frightened. Ashamed.
He should be all of that and more.
Hunched and tight-lipped, he was ushered into the elevator, ignoring shouted questions. There will be a lot of that in the months ahead, if the plan is to go to trial. But Hastert already looks like he’s doing time.