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Sizing Up the (Illinois) Special

UPDATE, 12:55 p.m. ET: The special election idea received another major endorsement today -- this one from President-elect Barack Obama. Robert Gibbs, the incoming White House press secretary, said that Obama believes Gov. Rod Blagojevich should resign and that the state legislature should "consider the issue and put in place a process to select a new senator that will have the trust and confidence of the people of Illinois."

UPDATE, 11:55 a.m. ET: ABC News is reporting that Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. is "Senate candidate 5", a report that, if true, badly jeopardizes the Congressman's chances at winning a Senate special election.

Original Post

A political junkie's dream -- a special election to fill a Senate seat (!) -- appears to be growing increasingly likely as Illinois Democratic leaders scramble to remove the power to appoint President-elect Barack Obama's Senate successor from recently-arrested Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

The two most important figures in the state legislature -- state House Speaker Mike Madigan and state Senate President Emil Jones Jr. -- signaled yesterday that they planned to call their respective chambers back into session next week to pass a law that would have the next Senator chosen by special election rather than a Blagojevich appointment. Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, the second ranking Democrat in the Senate, has also called for a special election.

Given the power players lining up behind a special, the only way it could be derailed at this point is if Blagojevich resigned his office within the next few days -- a move that would allow Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn (D) to ascend to the top spot and pick Obama's replacement. But, those who know Blagojevich best believe that he is not one to back away from a fight and, if his comments revealed in yesterday's criminal complaint are any indication, the governor is not well acquainted with political reality at the moment.

So, assuming a special election is in the offing -- the election calendar would suggest party primaries would be held on Feb. 24 and a special general on April 7 -- what would the field look like? Our handicapping is below but remember that we are still in the VERY early stages of this process. It's likely some of the names listed below will ultimately decide against the race and others we don't mention might jump in.

And, because several of the people listed below are suspected to be either "Senate candidate 5" or "Senate candidate 6" in the Blagojevich criminal complaint, it's possible that as the investigation into the governor moves forward they may face political (and possibly legal) peril that ultimately keep them from the contest.


* Jan Schakowsky: While we were always skeptical that Schakowsky would be Blagojevich's pick for the seat, her prospects improve considerably in a special election primary -- especially given the likely field. With state Attorney General Lisa Madigan now seen as the clear frontrunner for the governor's office in 2010, Schakowsky is the only prominent female elected official in the field -- a HUGE advantage in what is likely to be a seriously fractured Democratic primary electorate. (Schakowsky may not hold that distinction for long as we hear that Rep. Melissa Bean -- a strong fundraiser with a moderate voting record -- might well take a close look at a special election.) Schakowsky is also beloved by the labor community and liberals, two crucial voting blocs in a Democratic primary, and has shown an ability to raise considerable sums of money both for herself and for the party; as of Nov. 24, she had $421,000 in the bank.

* Jesse Jackson Jr.: No one was working harder for the Blagojevich appointment than the South Side Congressman. But, rumors flew around the Internet yesterday that Jackson was "Senate candidate 5" in the Blagojevich complaint, the person who sent an "emissary" (in the words of the gov) to discuss the possibility of a "pay to play" deal for an appointment. Nothing has been proven in that regard. If the speculation is wrong, then Jackson is one of the frontrunners for the nomination given his name identification, fundraising ($598,000 in the bank) and strong base in the African American community.

* Rep. Danny Davis: Davis has spent the last few weeks on a statewide tour designed to boost his profile in advance of a Senate appointment. Presumably, Davis, who is African American, would benefit from being the lone black candidate in the field; if he and Jackson ran, it would likely splinter that crucial demographic.

* Tammy Duckworth: Duckworth might have been the favorite for a Blagojevich appointment but a special election makes it MUCH more difficult for her to end up in the Senate. Unlike most everyone else in the race, she does not currently hold an elected office, which means she doesn't have an obvious political base or a foundation on which to raise money. Duckworth, who is currently the head of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, could well take a pass as a result.

* Alexi Giannoulias/Dan Hynes: Giannoulias, the state Treasurer, and Hynes, the state Comptroller, have long been mentioned as possible primary challengers to Blagojevich in 2010. But, with a primary likely now shaping up between Quinn, who, it is assumed will ultimately take over the governor's office when Blagojevich resigns or is impeached, and Madigan, Hynes and Giannoulias are likely to take a hard look at the Senate special. Hynes has already run once for the Senate in 2004; he placed a distant second in the Democratic primary behind a state Senator named Barack Obama.

* Blair Hull/J.B. Pritzker: In such a shortened election, the shadow of self-funders always loom. Hull, who was the 2004 Senate frontrunner until revelations about his divorce destroyed his campaign, and Pritzker, the scion of the Hyatt hotel chain, finished third in the 9th district Democratic primary (that Schakowsky won) in 1998. Both men have virtually unlimited amounts of money to spend -- a HUGE advantage in a short race where name identification is critical. At issue for Hull and Pritzker is whether either one if "Senate Candidate 6" in the Blagojevich filing and, if so, does it taint him in the eyes of voters?

* Emil Jones Jr./Jesse White: Jones and White were cast as potential "caretaker" appointments by Blagojevich given the fact that both men are in their 70s and would not likely have run for a full term in 2010. It's hard to imagine either man wanting to raise the millions it will take to win a special election.


* Rep. Mark Kirk: Kirk, who has held the North Shore 10th district since 2000, is, without question, Republicans' strongest potential candidate. Kirk has proven his vote-getting ability in a swing district over the past few cycles, has a decidedly moderate voting record, and is among the strongest fundraisers among House GOPers. (Kirk raised $5.5 million for his 2008 race.) Kirk's problem would be the Republican primary as his record on social issues is anathema to the party's base. But, will conservatives forgo a chance to reclaim the seat by working to oust Kirk in a primary? Time will tell.

* Rep. Ray LaHood: LaHood, who is leaving Congress after seven terms, always seems to be in the mix for statewide races. But, smart Illinois Republicans don't see him actually pulling the trigger this time around.

By Chris Cillizza  |  December 10, 2008; 11:03 AM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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Well at least we have a chance in the congressional special election in the 5th district (Rahm's former seat) to elect a non-crook, non-machine candidate if all of the decent people in the district go with an outsider with a history as an activist, instead of a career politician. My choice would be Matt Reichel, seems like a longshot, but not if we all get active.

Posted by: lightcityrebel | December 12, 2008 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Obama's Citizenship

This nation looks so shameful in the eyes of many because they are
displaying their true selves to a nation that is a land granted by
the Creator to all and they can't seen to accept and respect the fact
that Obama is the best elect. Why all the controversy behind Obama’s citizenship. He is an United States citizen. I feel so embarrassed to see that our
nation is still in such a mindset to destruct rather than to
construct and work together for the best for all. Reasons like this
only adds to why we can't establish a democracy in other lands
because we aren't doing it at home. Thanks for Obama that he has a
plan for true democracy to uphold our dignity, respect, love and
restore our democracy for all and not just some. Keep up the good
work Obama and together "Yes We Can" and together "Yes We Will" in
unity and on one accord forward a better today and tomorrow for all.
God bless America

Posted by: Nisey01 | December 11, 2008 7:40 AM | Report abuse

Sizing Up the (Illinois) Special

I firmly agree with Obama's decision on this matter. Where is our dignity for our country, for it appears to be in the gutter from what I see the media is trying to place it with all this procrastination on such mess, when Obama has respectful told them what to do with it. In the eyes of nations, such misfits of acts only make our country look less than what we are suppose to actually stand for. How could one expect any body to have respect for a country that has no respect for self with catering to such mess when we have so many other important and critical issues on the forefront to be dealt with. Democracy starts at home, then maybe we can establish it elsewhere with great acceptance from those other nations. Obama has incoorperated an excellent plan to restore our country. I have the upmost respect for him and myself, including the ultimate repsect for country as a result of Obama's restoration of it, and I am sure that millions of other Americans may feel the same, because he is a man that has shown and inspired millions with respect from all four corners of this globe. Get it together people, time is crucial, we are moving forward not backwards in our endeavors. God Bless America!

Posted by: Nisey01 | December 11, 2008 7:35 AM | Report abuse

"You have to admit, though, compared to the birth certificate thing, this is almost credible."

Compared to the birth certificate thing, the charge the Barack Obama is my mother is almost credible.

Posted by: daveofthecoasts | December 10, 2008 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Blago out, Quinn in.
Melissa Bean as US Senator.
Madigan as Governor in 2010.

Posted by: TomJx | December 10, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

"What we basically have here is a guilty-until-proven-innocent situation. The fact that Blagojevich and Obama are part of the same political party and represent the same state serves as incontrovertible proof of far-reaching corruption"

You have to admit, though, compared to the birth certificate thing, this is almost credible.

Posted by: DDAWD | December 10, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Too bad Ray LaHood comes in at the bottom of the list. He's been my Congressman for seven years -- and he's a very good one. He'd make a great Senator.

Posted by: nathanirwin | December 10, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I find it fascinating that so many people are pointing to Rod Blagojevich's corruption and saying it proves without a shadow of a doubt that Barack Obama is just as twisted and probably eats babies in his spare time. Of course, investigations by the government and media will do no good, because any that dare to point to the total lack of evidence of a connection will be derided as evil liberals. Alas, there is no way to prove to the faction calling for Obama's head on a pike that there is no connection; any evidence that there is no connection will be ignored, with allegations of coverups and sloppy investigation being hurled about freely.

What we basically have here is a guilty-until-proven-innocent situation. The fact that Blagojevich and Obama are part of the same political party and represent the same state serves as incontrovertible proof of far-reaching corruption, and no amount of evidence to the contrary will ever be enough to convince the conspiracy-loving anti-Obama faction.

Did I mention before that I love this blog?

Posted by: GJonahJameson | December 10, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Obama didn't even make it to the swearing in before his factual past started to catch up with the hype and prove that he is even better and more honest than we originally could have hoped. Ultimately, he will be branded exactly as he really is, a hero, leader from the mean streets of chicago who will stop at nothing to drive back the forces of evil, never making a single cowardly decision or providing a substantial response to any right-wing mouth foaming dribble.

the Press will ignore it, of course, allowing the looney right wing chablis and bree swilling dingbats to see a blue dress conspiracy behind every effort to save the country from the last eight years of failed, flawed inanity.

Posted by: hiberniantears | December 10, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

The most sanctimonious, reformer, do-gooders are usually the most corrupt. And he hasn't even been inaugurated yet.

Posted by: leapin | December 10, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

The President and Vice President are just fine for examples of Republican corruption.

I guess you moonbats can continue to make your baseless claims with no evidence to support it. Meanwhile, actual criminals (AKA LIb office holders) are emerging every day. when you are surrounded by clinton retreads and come from chicago, you can expect to have a scandal a week, just like the clintons. I mean actual scandals, not fake ones. I predict you kooks will find a way to lay this at the foot of Bush/cheney. It saves you from coming up with answers or policies that do not include "Splurge and spend".

I am looking forward to my new position as light bulb installer or tire pressure checker. that will fill the bank account in line with Lib expectations.

Meanwhile back in the real world, still not a single decision of merit from the messiah. Can he vote PRESENT his entire term?

On the matter of Hot Rod's resignation:


After consulting my numerous advisors, I would like to amend that to : I agree with everyone else. as far as taxes, war, enviro, etc, I am looking at it and will do something eventually.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | December 10, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Ray LaHood would be a fine Senator. He was one of the best in Congress.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 10, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I saw Newt Gingrich walking down K St the other night, with an attractive woman (true). That was probably his wife, but since this is Newt we're talking about it could also have been his next wife.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | December 10, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

So Jesse Jackson Jr. has been outed as "candidate #5", surprise, surprise. It seems "Candidate #5" was in the running because he reportedly offered Democratic Party Gov. Rod Blagojevich $1 million for the open Senate seat left by Barack Obama. Jesse Jackson Jr., being "well--connected", won't be "thrown under the bus" and may still get the job. It's the way the Democratic Party works, just like Tony Soprano's mob.

Posted by: armpeg | December 10, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

You might even get two special elections!

The senate election recount in Minnesota has concluded, but there are still over 4,000 challenged ballots that will need to be reviewed by the Canvassing Board next week. Add to that the nearly 12,000 absentee ballots that may have been improperly rejected, and the margin of 192 votes seems even smaller.

They could have a special election (or a runoff, eliminating third-party candidate Barkley) to decide this one once and for all.

The political gods just won't let you rest, Chris.

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 10, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

"I also noticed that most of the names you mention as corrupt Repubs are actually not elected officials."

Well, most of them aren't elected officials ANYMORE. You know, 'cause of the corruption.

Posted by: DDAWD | December 10, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

I think many writers don't understand the Illinois Legislature and their leaders. Next week when they meet, if Blogo has not resigned by then, they will not pass a bill for a special election. They will vote to impeach him. Mike Madigan, the House Leader has already written a Manifesto months ago of what it takes to impeach the delusional low life.

Posted by: jensen50 | December 10, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Zouk: "I see you had to go back to Nixon to fill out your list. I only went back a month or two."

The President and Vice President are just fine for examples of Republican corruption. They're still in office, by the way. Nixon just set the bar for all-around negative behavior.

Corruption is bi-partisan. If you're not smart enough to understand that, and you see the world as good/evil like GWB, then I guess I'm wasting my breath. Republicans are good, Dems are evil, and the world cannot be more complicated than that.

But I can see that you righty nut jobs can't even see the center (where I like to stay) from where you stand. So spend the next 4-8 years attacking any possible Obama wrongdoing just like you guys did to the Clintons when you should be finding a vision for your party.

Corruption is bi-partisan. Accept it.

Posted by: Jimibristol | December 10, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I smell a liar:

Ill. governor meeting with Obama today

By Carol Sowers
Wednesday, November 05, 2008 at 10:39 a.m.

CHICAGO, ILL. -- Now that Barack Obama will be moving to the White House, his seat in the U.S. Senate representing Illinois will have to be filled.

That's one of Obama's first priorities today.

He's meeting with Governor Rod Blagojevich this afternoon in Chicago to discuss it.

Illinois law states that the governor chooses that replacement.

There's already been speculation about his selection...from Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. of Chicago's south side who co-chaired Obama's presidential campaign, to recently-retired state senate president Emil Jones, to the governor himself.

It's likely the governor will make his decision quickly so the new senator will get some seniority before newly-elected senators take office in January.

Part of the timing depends on when Obama officially vacates his senate seat.

KHQA's Alexis Hunt is speaking with Illinois Senator John Sullivan today about his thoughts on that replacement process, his time working with Obama in the state senate, and if there's a chance Sullivan might play a role in the Obama administration. Watch KHQA News at 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00 p.m. tonight to hear what he has to say.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | December 10, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure how anyone can consider the IL 10th district a "swing district." It has been represented by Republicans since 1980. The last two elections were fairly close but Dan Seals was always considered a long shot.

Posted by: Skokie | December 10, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I also noticed that most of the names you mention as corrupt Repubs are actually not elected officials.

Interesting comparison, if you count grasping at straws to avoid the obvious. I guess in Lib circles that passes.

Are you ever embarressed by your own stupidity or in your circle is ignorance and mindlessness considered cool?

Posted by: king_of_zouk | December 10, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

There is one issue that everyone is ignoring regarding the scheduling of a special Senate election, asusming the Illinois General Assembly enacts the legislation next week. Under the Illinois Constitution, the Governor can take up to 60 days after any bill is passed by the legislature to decide whether to sign the bill into law or veto it. Until he signs it or vetoes it and the veto is overridden, the legislation is not law and no special election can be scheduled, let alone take place.

If Blagojevich really does want to play hard ball, he could wait until mid-February and then veto the bill that would abolishing his authority to appoint the new senator and require a special election. (He could also make the appointment while the legislation was sitting on his desk and then sign the bill after the new senator was in office.)

Even though the legislature would almost certainly override a veto within a day or two of its being rendered, if Blagojevich waited until say February 17 to veto the bill, something he could legally do if the bill passed a week from today,it would obviously be too late to have a primary for the Senate on February 24 and a general election on April 7. If a special Senate election were held on those dates, there would be little costs to the state or local eleciton authorities, other than those in Chicago, because in almost every town in the state, except Chicago, municipal elections are already scheduled to take place on February 24 and April 7. In that event, the special Senate election would just be an additional ballot item. But if Blagojevich sat on the bill, every election authority would have to pay for two extra elections, the Senate primary and general, in addition to the already-scheduled municipal elections.

In addition, there will also have to be a special election in Illinois' 5th Congressional District to replace Rahm Emanuel. That election has to take place within 120 days of the date that Emanuel formally resigns. So it is possible that the suburban residents of that district, albeit a small number of the primarily-Chicago distict, could have six elections to vote in, two for the municipal, two for the special congressional, and two for the special Senate, all in a four or five month period. This is a lot of elections and a lot of expense.

Perhaps, the legislature should consider trying to lite on a senior stateman, such as former Congressman and federal appeals court Judge, Abner Mikva or Dawn Clark Netsch, the former State Comptroller and 1994 Democratic gubernatorial nominee, and pass a resolution next week urging (telling) the Governor to appoint one of them. Both of them are in the late 70s or early 80s, in good health, and of impeccable integrity. Thney would only serve the remaining two years of President-elect Obama's term and there could be a regular election with an open seat in November 2010.

Posted by: Ummm | December 10, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Special Election???

I really believe that Pat Quinn will make the pick - probably someone from out of nowhere.

Meanwhile - this scandal has tainted Obama and dropped his image.

The story in the media is that Rahm Emanuel made the call to the Feds - so he knew what was going on with the dealings as they were going on - Valerie Jarrett? Extremely difficult, OK, impossible to believe that she was negotiating with Blagojevich without Obama knowing what was going on.

I hope all you Obamaniacs out there are beginning to open your eyes.

Scandal after Sandal - sounds like the the third Clinton administration.



Posted by: 37thandORules | December 10, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I see you had to go back to Nixon to fill out your list. I only went back a month or two.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | December 10, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Here's an interesting point made by the only news reporting station on TV one can trust, Fox News, that was made this morning. When the Washington Post first reported the Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich scandal in their newspaper, there was not one mention anywhere that Blago was a Democrat. Media bias?

Posted by: armpeg | December 10, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Ah yes, now that he has something to crow about king_of_zouk comes out from under his rock casting stones while ignoring his own side.

Profiles in courage? Bush promised to fire anybody responsible for outing Valerie Plame. Who lost their jobs because of it? Nobody. Asked if he has any regrets or made any mistakes, he only regrets the mistakes others made. He also rather infamously stated with some pride that he gave up golf to show solidarity with the troops.

Liberals a bunch of liars, perverts and whatnot? Sure, some of them. But what about conservitives?

Bill O'Reilly: Sued for sexual harassment, settled for several million out of court.

Ted Haggard: Likes gay prostitutes.

The Jack Abramoff pyramid of corruption: You know, guys like Ney, Cunningham, so on and so forth.

Vitter: Likes prostitutes

George Allen: Closet rascist with a rather impressive repertoire of international racial slurs.

Larry Craig: Cruises for jollies in the stalls at airports.

George Ryan: Former governor of Illinois who is in jail for corruption.

Clarence Thomas: Anita Hill on line 1.

Alberto Gonzalez: Politicized the Justice Department. Or at least he forgot he did it.

Karl Rove: Please see profiles in courage above.

President Richard Nixon: Somebody call the plumbers!

Yup, a regular bunch of card carrying communists that bunch. If you're going mock one side, be prepared to admit the sham that is your own side.

Posted by: alkuth | December 10, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

You are forgetting that the Illinois Governor has 60 days to sign a bill. If the legislature passed a special law providing for a special election, the Governor could wait the full 60 days to veto it. So without the Governor's cooperation, assuming both houses of the legislature came in next week and sent the governor the bill by Dec. 17th, the earliest the bill could become law is in mid February.

Posted by: SMVT | December 10, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

armpeg writes
"I find it hard to believe that Barack Obama's rise in Chicago politics didn't include the pay-to-play politics we all know is how all things work in Chicago"

What we need is a good investigative reporter, who's willing to go to Chicago and start digging. I nominate you. Let us know how it goes.

Posted by: bsimon1 | December 10, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I find it hard to believe that Barack Obama's rise in Chicago politics didn't include the pay-to-play politics we all know is how all things work in Chicago, and involve Illinois Democrat Gov. Rod Blagojevich, Mayor Daily, the crooked unions, and "players" like Tony Rezko et al. Chicago politics is, and has always been, run like Tony Soprano runs organized crime. If you're not a "made man", and in the clique, you're not going anywhere. Obama's fortunate to have the Democratic Party--controlled MSM working for him, so his past involvement in similar Blago--like wheelings and dealings are not investigated and reported on. They'd crucify any Republican who had similar "connections".

Posted by: armpeg | December 10, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

"This will probably come out soon. I'm sure its a strategic reason that Fitzgerald is keeping them a secret. I don't think he is doing this to protect them."

Its fairly typical, particularly if investitgations are ongoing. If you go back to the Scooter Libby indictment, reporters were not named in that document, but were referenced similarly to the potential senate candidates here.

Posted by: bsimon1 | December 10, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

That is why the democrats are headed to 65-Senate Seats in 2010.

Posted by: bobnsri


I think the voters wil now recognize what unfettered Lib/Dem power leads to. Politics like we see in Illinois and an economy like we see in Michigan. throw in Massachusetts or NY taxes and the picture is complete.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | December 10, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

"I believe the US Attorney should release the names of all of the mystery bidders for the Senate seat.

Let the voters decide if they are clean or not."

This will probably come out soon. I'm sure its a strategic reason that Fitzgerald is keeping them a secret. I don't think he is doing this to protect them.

Posted by: DDAWD | December 10, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

The GOP will waste a golden chance to pick up this seat, because once again, the loony-right will attack the moderate middle of their own party over social issues that no one, except plumber joe and his new best buddy, sarah care about.

That is why the democrats are headed to 65-Senate Seats in 2010.

Posted by: bobnsri | December 10, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

President-elect Barack Obama is calling for Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich to resign

From the profiles in courage files. tee hee. took over a day and an entire committee to finally arrive at this.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | December 10, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

I believe the US Attorney should release the names of all of the mystery bidders for the Senate seat.

Let the voters decide if they are clean or not.

Otherwise everyone is under a cloud. A

The fact that someone asked to be considered is NOT a crime.

If someone offered to pay-to-play they belong in jail.

Posted by: bobnsri | December 10, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

"Obama haters have found their "2nd shooter behind the grassy knoll"

For the next 8-years of the Obama Administration, the unhinged-right will regale us with fantasy tales of "un-recorded" phone conversations between Mr. Obama and the wacky governor that the FBI "mysteriously erased""

It's cute, isn't it? The thing is that while the cottage industry of Republicans making up outlandish charges has been pretty cultivated over the years, now we have seen a pretty good internet force in fighting against this sort of slander. That's bad news for those people. Four years ago, the Obama's fake birth certificate might have gained more traction. Now we have to just put that whole thing to rest.

Of course, the response of those people is to say that is liberally biased.

Perhaps its just a reflection on how the country is center-left.

Posted by: DDAWD | December 10, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Obama didn't even make it to the swearing in before his factual past started to catch up with the hype. Ultimately, he will be branded exactly as he really is, a croney, thug from the mean streets of chicago who will stop at nothing to advance himself, never making a single decision or providing a substantial response to anything.

the Press will ignore it, of course, right up until the blue dress comes back from the lab.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | December 10, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

wickerparkbob: Didn't J.B. Pritzker run for Congress a few years back?

Also, is J.B. Pritzker also known as Joby Pritzker? I knew Joby years ago when he was a kid. We went to the same summer camp.

Incredibly, another kid I knew from that camp was Matt Zell -- son of Sam (LOL)!

And no, not all of us were heirs to billion-dollar fortunes.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | December 10, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

"Why is this Illinois deal any differenct than what is going on right know in N.Y. "

the Clintons prefer their graft to be paid in chinese currency.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | December 10, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Obama haters have found their "2nd shooter behind the grassy knoll"

For the next 8-years of the Obama Administration, the unhinged-right will regale us with fantasy tales of "un-recorded" phone conversations between Mr. Obama and the wacky governor that the FBI "mysteriously erased"

Remember the "promised" tapes of Michelle using the term "whitey". THAT big fib is nothing compared to what the right-wing-nut-factory is cooking up.

There will be a whole cottage industry of Obama conspiracy books!

Lets face it.

The GOP has been reduced to a regional party, made up of the "lesser educated"

They'll believe anything.

Posted by: bobnsri | December 10, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

"Why is this Illinois deal any differenct than what is going on right know in N.Y. "

You're kidding, right?

Posted by: DDAWD | December 10, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Depends on the meaning of the word "is" redux. We see why the clintons have been revived:

Q: Have you ever spoken to [Illinois] Gov. [Rod R.] Blagojevich about the Senate seat?

Obama: I have not discussed the Senate seat with the governor at any time. My strong belief is that it needed to be filled by somebody who is going to represent the people of Illinois and fight for them. And beyond that, I was focused on the transition.

Q: And that was before and after the election?

Obama: Yes.

Q: Are you aware of any conversations between Blagojevich or [chief of staff] John Harris and any of your top aides, including Rahm [Emanuel]?

Obama: Let me stop you there because . . . it's an ongoing.... investigation. I think it would be inappropriate for me to, you know, remark on the situation beyond the facts that I know. And that's the fact that I didn't discuss this issue with the governor at all.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | December 10, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

why are Liberals such perverts, liars and cheats?

bill clinton - sex fiend
Jim McGreevy - turnpike rogue
Eliot Spitzer - money launderer
David Patterson - horny
Kwame Kilpatrick - txt msgs
Mahoney - my honey
Frank - I will fix that for you
Hastings - eeekkk

It is difficult to say these are Dems since the D magically dissappears in the newspapers.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | December 10, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Pat3, neither Paterson or you has any say as to which senator you're going to get. You're getting the senator that Obama and Uncle Ted decide you're going to get. Duuhhh, let's see..which Kennedy is it going to be? JFK, Bobby, John-John, or Teddy? Uh sorry, they're all either already dead or a murderer..guess you get Caroline! Have a nice day! You should be outraged.

Posted by: flintston | December 10, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

jan schakowsky has very little name recognition outside of her north shore district, and no real appeal in the conservative downstate area. jesse jackson junior has lots of name recognition, which is both good and bad, but again, he suffers downstate. both will run, and both want to be senator. i doubt that either blair hull or j.b. pritzker would run, the latter because the family is notoriously publicity-shy, and this election would shine a huge light on them. giannoulis is fairly new on the illinois scene, a self-styled obama protege, but with shady family business connections (so shady, in fact, that senator obama wouldn't endorse him for his current position until very late in the game). given that it's a fairly highprofile seat, i doubt the people of illinois would elect someone who doesn't quite measure up. hynes comes from a powerful political family and is close with obama, is generally well-viewd, but has the personality of a wet rag. emil jones won't run because in my view, it is he who is "senate candidate number five." a dark horse could be someone like alderwoman helen shiller, a much respected reformer on the city council who is independent of the establishment machine

the missing factor : mayor daley. whoever runs will need his blessing. shakowsky and jackson don't have particularly warm relations with him; the giannoulis and the hynes are part of the extended machine, which officially doesn't exist. if there is to be an election, he's probably already got in mind who will win, someone like, perhaps, hrmmm, his brother bill daley, who, at least, is qualified. lisa madigan should also be factored into the mix in the event of an election.

as to the republicans, there are more than you mention. both ex-governors, thompson and edgar, are very viable candidates, as is jim ryan. it would be great to have the chain-smoking, hairy-dying, accordion-playing judy baar topinka in the senate ! oberweis will certainly run and lose again. tony peraica could take a stab at it as well, though that wouldn't go far.

in brief, an election would be complete chaos, and would probably make illinois look even worse than it already does, because all candidates would be dragging the skeletons of others out of the closet... and there are plenty of skeletons. the field would decimate itself. so actually i hope that blago steps aside and that quinn can appoint someone, hopefully a caretaker like jesse white, who has state-wide respect and credibility, and we can wait until 2010 to decide democratically

Posted by: wickerparkbob | December 10, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Obama says he didn't talk to "the governor" about selling his senate seat. That's probably because he talked to the governor's wife instead. You have to think like a slick-Willie dimocrat to catch this stuff! He's a word-parsing, lying lawyer just like slick Willie was. I can't the wait for the FBI audio (video?).

Posted by: flintston | December 10, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Agree, mnteng. LaHood doesn't have the COH and though he might be able to raise it, so could Kirk. If Ray's out, then I can't think of a credible pro-life candidate to call out Kirk for being pro-choice (won't stop the pro-lifers from jumping up and down in the primary and threatening to sit on their hands in the general).

So here's the real question: Is the Democratic electorate really dumb enough to nominate someone as liberal as Davis?

Posted by: LandofLincoln97 | December 10, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Can't talk right now. I am waiting for my e-bay bid on a certain Senate seat to close.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | December 10, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

"Salva" doggit1? He is the savior!

Posted by: hiberniantears | December 10, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

They definitely need a special election, not the governor naming someone after all the law breaking we have had so far. They need to lock him up! Check out

Posted by: GloomBoomDotcom | December 10, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

I get it...Obama doesn't connect with his Gov., Pastor or Friends(Ayers)...clean as a whistle....oh yea whistles are full of salva....

Posted by: doggit1 | December 10, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse


Given the compressed timeline of a special election, I think you can pretty safely exclude those candidates that don't have money in the bank or can't self-finance. Since Schakowsky and JJ Jr. have bucks to spend, they probably should be considered the D front-runners, were a special election to occur. I can't see LaHood running, so Mark Kirk should have smoother sailing.

I'm surprised you didn't mention perennial loser Jim Oberweis. He probably needs to chalk up another electoral loss to his resume soon -- he only lost two elections last year.

Posted by: mnteng | December 10, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Why is this Illinois deal any differenct than what is going on right know in N.Y. with three downstate senators-elect blackmailing the legislature for bigger jobs or thy will turn Republican. The Illinois was for money but this in the long run is about power and money. They have been threatening the senate everyday for their demands and it is hardly being covered nationwide. We the voters in NY also are not getting a say in the Kennedy for Senator scam,is that not blackmail when Uncle Ted is pressuring Paterson to appt. her. By the way I am a Democrat.

Posted by: pat3 | December 10, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

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