Saturday, October 27, 2007

Jay Footlik Finally Wakes Up: He Has to Beat Dan Seals First

Well, well, after months of running what amounts to essentially a primary campaign against four term incumbent 10th District Congressman Mark Kirk, newbie Democratic candidate Jay Footlik has finally woken up to the fact that he first needs to beat his nemesis, Dan Seals, in the primary election in February 2008. If you can get past Seals, Mr. Footlik, there will be plenty of time to worry about how to defeat Kirk. But up until this week, the Footlik campaign was acting as if Seals did not exist.

On Friday afternoon (while Dan Seals was fretting over whether to continue his stand against Hollywood Video late fees, see post below), Footlik issued a press release chastising Seals for refusing to debate him, and rather cleverly dug up some old Dan Seals quotes from the last election cycle, in which Seals lobbied hard to get Mark Kirk to engage him. See the Footlik press release here. Among other quotes, Seals was noted as saying that "it is absolutely essential for the voters to hear our contrasting visions for America.” [Dan Seals for Congress Press Release, 8/4/06]. Footlik can't understand why Seals is running away from him at the speed of light, and refuses to engage in what would be sure to be a left-wing lovefest of a debate.

Well, Seals apparently didn't spend the entire last cycle not picking up a few tricks, at least, because according to the Footlik press release, Seals has already turned down two debate challenges. Of course, this is not to say that Mark Kirk gave Seals the complete stiff arm on debates last season, as even the Footlik press release acknowledges that Seals (while all the while ranting about Kirk avoiding him) actually blew off a scheduled debate in Waukegan in November 2006.

If I were Seals, I wouldn't be eager to debate Footlik either. First, as the Dem candidate with more local name recognition, why give the upstart challenger a platform? Good enough strategy for Kirk, good enough for me, figures Seals. Of course, let's see how fast Seals changes his tune if he does win the primary and goes on to repeat his uphill battle to get face time with the incumbent.

Second, from what I've seen of Footlik, he would wipe the floor with Seals in a debate. The only example I can provide of Footlik is not really debate footage, but does give you an taste of Footlik's fairly impressive command of foreign affairs (at least compared to Dan Seals), as shown in this video clip courtesy of our local videoguy Lee "peace at any price" Goodman. See the clip here. Some context for this clip is in order, as our friend Mr. Goodman no doubt intended to embarrass Footlik by challenging his position on the continued bombing of Hezbollah by Israel back in summer of 2006. The fact that Goodman posted this clip on his site shows that Goodman thinks that any politician that is willing to use military force in defense of anything, even Israel, is clearly deranged. But, if you watch the whole thing, I think Footlik comes off as pretty knowledgeable and convincing, at least in comparison to how Dan Seals responded to the question of whether the U.S. would support Israel in the event of an attack on Israel by Iran, as shown here. Also compare Seals' pacifistic view on the Hezbollah situation in comparison here.

It's clear that right now both Dem candidates ought to be pulling out all the stops to be able to emerge the victor against Kirk. Neither of them can afford to bring anything other than their "A" game in this primary war. So far, Seals has not been doing too well with his lackluster campaigning (see post below for his flub of a fundraiser in Chicago a few weeks ago) and futzing around with his new gig at The Point website. But, until yesterday, Footlik didn't appear to get the fact that he has to earn the right to make a run at Kirk. Maybe he's finally gotten the message and we'll start to understand why Footlik over Seals, or vice versa. But, a debate would help. Even TA would go to that. Seals and his former primary opponent last time around, Zane Smith, engaged in a number of debates in which they tried to out-left each other. See here, again courtesy of Lee Goodman.

Based on the evidence thus far, I'll take Footlik over Seals. But then, the question becomes, why Footlik instead of Kirk? It's not clear to me that Footlik's take on foreign policy is much different than Kirk's, even on the war, as both men seem to agree that the war should end, but that pulling our troops out immediately to leave an unstable situation and power vacuum primed for exploitation by Iran (heck, even the top three Dem presidential candidates refuse to say that they will be able to get the troops out in their first term if elected). But, that's a battle we can discuss in February, maybe.

20 comments:

Curious said...

TA,

I have a question for you. You seem to have the courage of your convictions, yet you do not reveal your real name. What do you have to hide? Most people who write blogs tell their names. Why don't you?

Biggus Dickus said...

Curious--Why don't you give your own name when you ask that question?

TA--It's interesting that the release you are citing does not appear on Jay Footlik's Web site. He's going negative with reporters but not with the voters yet. My guess is that local reporters already know Seals from the last election and have bought whatever line he's given them about Footlik.

Thus, in the end, this strategy of hidden press releases will fall on deaf ears. The key question that has yet to be determined--will Jay actually go negative with paid media and go around the blockade put up by the media?

Team America said...

Curious- in this day and age, I'm surprised you would really ask that. But, since you do ask, there are two basic reasons.

First, it's pretty accepted that on the Blogosphere, many people take on a persona and kind of run with it, which is fun. Team America, World Police started out on Ellen's Blog and took off from there. And over on Ellen's Blog, I wouldn't dare comment under my real name for fear of having my house firebombed by some of the nutcases over there. That's pretty much the second reason, although many local Republicans know who I am. Those that do know are the ones I trust not to firebomb my house.

old viking said...

TA, congratulations on your successful entry into blogdom. You may not have noticed this, but your blog is measurably more interesting than the 10th Dems blog. With your first seven posts, you've provoked 52 comments. Over at 10th Dems, the last seven posts have provoked only 20 comments.

Perhaps you are benefitting from beginner's luck or perhaps Ms. Gill is losing her edge after years of pontificating.

In any case, well done, sir!

Team America said...

Thanks much, Vike. I'm very gratified with the number of people that have found the blog and wanted to comment.

As to Ellen's Blog, maybe someday soon she'll be sorry she summarily kicked me and other non-liberal bloggers off her blog without acknowledgement (so far we've confirmed El Rider and Badge of Honor have been banned) since for many months, the only real action on her blog was in response to the comments left by people with a different viewpoint than Ellen. After all, if you agree with her wholeheartedly, once you finish reading her daily manifesto, there's hardly any more to say, except "ME TOO" and that is pretty darn boring!

That's why I pledged never to delete anyone here simply on the basis that I disagree with them. In my view, that's what keeps the dialogue going. I kind of wish that some of my "friends" from Ellen's blog (I recall Blue Wind, Kevin R., Carl Nyberg, Hawkeye and a host of others) would find their way here where we can discuss the issues without Ellen imposing her editorial red pen. But I suspect they would rather hang out in the giant echo chamber that Ellen's Blog has become.

Curious said...

TA,

You flatter yourself. No one would firebomb your house. You are not that important!.

Team America said...

Curious: Neither are you, if you have nothing better to do than lurk on my Blog on Saturday night!

I Am Sparticus said...

Curious,

I wouldn't put anything beyond the fascinations of the insane. Let's not forget that DailyKos is riddled with crazy people who talk about "gassing the Jew Lieberman like the dog he is." TA--you'd do well to pull some of these dangerous statements made on Kos.

With TA's stated views on the Middle East, I would be afraid of a firebomb as well.

Anonymous said...

Ellen is a sad person with a cat and without a boyfriend. TA -- I like your blog -- its right leaning but at least its not like a Cuban Party Congress meeting of only the far left. You seem balanced, allowing the lefties and righties talk -- a recipie for success.

One of your normal Democrat readers

Anonymous said...

Saw Schakowsky yesterday in Chicago. She seems so angry, never getting over her husband's conviction for federal income tax evasion.

Is her hubby Bob Creamer still in jail?

Team America said...

Anon 10:45- thanks for the comment and I appreciate your opinions and readership. Let's try to stay away from the personal attacks, though, even against EBG. I've met her in person (although I didn't reveal my secret identity at the time) and she seems like a fairly nice, and definitely smart, individual. But regardless, while a person's opinions, politics and actions are fair game on this Blog, we shouldn't engage in ad hominem attacks at any time. It's juvenile, and doesn't get us anywhere.

Anon 10:50, Creamer got out a while ago and wasted no time going back to his roots as a Dem activist. For a future post, I want to research which campaign payrolls this guy is on. Jan herself ought to keep her nose out of the 10th District and mind her own area. And stop sending guys like Seals to try to blatantly infiltrate Kirk territory.

Anonymous said...

TA, don't worry. The 10th Dems already know who you are, and have known for quite some time.

We're not the firebombing type -- you must have confused us with the Christian fundamentalist anti-abortionists.

We're not surprised you're Phi Beta Kappa, however. No wonder you keep us entertained.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, TA and Ellen are becoming the Fred and Ethel of the 10th District.

Anonymous said...

So, who is Kirk? Lucy?

Anonymous said...

Seals and Creamer work very closely.

Team America said...

Anon 12:41- officially, TA will neither confirm nor deny any rumors of his secret identity, but if 10th Dems believe I was Phi Beta Kappa, who am I to complain?

Since you claim to have your finger on the pulse of the 10th Dems cabal, what are you guys going to do if Footlik wins the primary? Is it truly "anybody but Kirk", or will you guys be so livid at Jay that you'll never vote for him or support him?

BTW, my sources tell me that Rahm is a much bigger fan of Jay than Dan, so Footlik has a much better chance of getting significant DCCC coin after the primary.

biggus dickus said...

TA,

I've heard similar rumors. Actually, one source said be ready for another "Duckworth," referring to Rahm's support for Tammy Duckworth last cycle over the grassroots candidate, Christine Cegelis.

Keep in mind, though, all Rahm's backing can do is bring in national money to the Footlik campaign. If Footlik does not use that money to attack Seals publicly, Seals will win despite Rahm's wishes.

Anonymous said...

My only reservation with Mark last year was that he let his opponent define him-he needs to go on offense and rip the carpetbagging Footlik or Seals-connections to messes in Springfield/Cook County early so that people don't take them seriously.

Glad to see we have a Republican blog . Hopefully we can follow it up with a better GOP organization on the North Shore.

I am Sparticus said...

TA,

It seems your news reporting is already driving the Seals team nuts. Your girlfriend posted the following on her site, allegedly put out by the Seals campaign (though I've not seen any emails come out from the campaign).

"They're at it again.

Not only has Dan's Democratic opponent attacked him, but Kirk's cronies have ratcheted up their Rovian Republican rumor mill.

Their attack? That Dan Seals has a job and therefore might not run for Congress!

That's right, folks, because Dan isn't independently wealthy, still has student loans to pay, needs to help support his three young girls, pay a mortgage and taxes that benefit the Tenth District, and because Dan can't afford to maintain two residences at once right now- one in the Washington DC area and one in Illinois- like his opponents- they attack him for being a regular citizen candidate!

Here's the deal. Dan is a business consultant and adjunct professor at Northwestern University. Being a consultant- like Melissa Bean was wan she ran for Congress- enables Dan the flexibility to work directly with several clients AND run for Congress."

TA--have fun with your response. What on earth would Northwestern hire this guy to teach? Also, I don't believe TA ever attacked Seals for having a job--the questions were surrounding his being listed as a "former candidate" and the nature of the job itself.

And remember, Seals is an activist now--not a consultant.

Team America said...

Sparticus- thanks for the tip- I actually tuned in to Ellen when I got home tonight and saw her post, and put up a response before I saw your comment. You got it right, so check out the new post and comment away!