Final Thoughts on Illinois

I have just a few final things to say about today's Illinois primaries. -First of all, I'm more than a little ashamed that ...
by | February 2, 2010

I have just a few final things to say about today's Illinois primaries.

-First of all, I'm more than a little ashamed that I haven't written about the Democratic primary for Cook County Executive. Here are the basics from the Chicago Tribune:

Three Democratic challengers hoped to unseat incumbent President Todd Stroger, who is vulnerable after a sales-tax increase and a string of ethics missteps. The challengers in Tuesday's primary are Circuit Clerk Dorothy Brown, Chicago Alderman Toni Preckwinkle, and Water Reclamation District President Terry O'Brien.

...

Polls show Stroger trailing Brown and Preckwinkle badly.

His problems date back to how he got the job in 2006: Political insiders put him on the ballot after his father, the previous board president, suffered a stroke. Since then, the 47-year-old Stroger has faced one controversy after another, such as giving a top job to his cousin.

-I'll confess that I don't have the slightest clue who the most electable Republican candidate for governor might be, but I think it's a good subject for debate.

Is Jim Dillard's moderate reputation an asset or a liability?

How about Bill Brady conservatism?

Andy McKenna has money, but his tenure as head of the Illinois Republican Party is quite controversial.

Adam Andrzejewski is a darling of the tea parties and could be a huge boom or a huge bust.

Jim Ryan actually has won statewide before, but is he old news? And, is he running a lethargic campaign?

-For all the lines of attack that Dan Hynes has tried on Pat Quinn, why hasn't he played up the governor's connection to Rod Blagojevich? Rich Miller explained over the weekend:

Quinn is certainly on record saying nice things about Blagojevich, but Blagojevich is also on record time and time again saying how he loathes Pat Quinn. I heard Hynes has killer video of Blagojevich heaping praise on Quinn, but the campaign decided not to use it. The "beauty" of the Harold Washington ad is that there is legitimately divided opinion over what Washington really thought of Pat Quinn. There is no disupte that Blagojevich despises Quinn and has for some time. So, the push-back on a Blagojevich ad is far easier and far more believable. Perhaps because of this, the Blagojevich-Quinn hit has never tested well against Quinn, going all the way back to last fall. And, finally, it's more message dilution.

This point has me daydreaming about Quinn running an attack ad against himself. If Hynes had played up the Blagojevich angle, wouldn't the perfect response have been an ad that was nothing more than footage of Blagojevich ripping his successor? If Quinn wins the primary today, we could still see it in the general election.

-Finally, one big question is whether the Democrats will be able to stick together after their nasty primary. But, while Quinn and Hynes clearly loathe one another, I get the sense that their supporters don't loathe each other. Plus, the party will have plenty of time to unite thanks to Illinois' absurdly early primary.

Josh Goodman
Josh Goodman  |  Former Staff Writer
mailbox@governing.com

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