Friday, November 7, 2008

Rainy Day Political Speculation: What Does the Future Hold for Mark Kirk and IL-10? (UPDATED)

Let's use this space for some recreational political speculation about upcoming political races. We all know that on Tuesday, Congressman Mark Kirk rode his own self-manufactured wave of independence and a work-your-butt-off attitude to victory in IL-10.

Meanwhile, poor Dan Seals, the Dem challenger, who was counting on the Obama wave to wash him into an office he didn't deserve, probably didn't even get a consolation phone call from Ellen of the Tenth; at least, she hasn't publicly acknowledged him since he lost AGAIN. It's a tough crowd over on the Dem side.

In any case, speculation is rampant that with the governor's mansion open in 2010, Mark Kirk could be the best moderate candidate with state-wide appeal that the GOP could turn to. The fact that the Dems are scared that Blago will run again (and even more scared that he'll be indicted and they will get some of their own George Ryan medicine) ought to have them all very concerned.

Imagine what the Kirk fundraising apparatus could do if turned loose on the entire state. On the other hand, it does take time to build a state-wide organization; the state party has been criticized for years for being ineffective, and query as to whether Kirk would be seen by them as conservative enough for them to even help.

Then again, now that Obama will be President Obama, his Senate seat must be filled by appointment, and all of the Chicago Dems are in a feeding frenzy about who could (and will) be appointed. Will it be Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr., Dan Seals' Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky of the 9th District, or even Blago himself?

Would Mark Kirk run against whomever is appointed for the next Senator from Illinois? Traditionally, appointed Senators don't fare well for re-election. Again, there's that state-wide appeal/organizational question.

As much as I'd like to share Mark Kirk with the state (or the nation) and have him do for a larger constituency what he has done for the 10th District, I'd sure hate to lose him, and filling his shoes in the 10th District would be challenging (although you know we'll be right in the middle of it here, if that should come to pass).

Anyway, enough from me. Whaddya think about all this on a rainy Friday?

UPDATED: It's always interesting to find out what the other side thinks, especially if you are into strategy, such as we like to pride ourselves on here. Here's what they are saying over at Progress Illinois Blog (an SEIU project) on Jim Edgar's take on immigration as a state issue, as it relates to Kirk's supposed record on immigration and Kirk's potential postioning as a state-wide candidate. They don't mention that Kirk has a great relationship with many Latinos in the 10th District, but it's true Seals got a lot more of the Latino vote. Anyway, check it out, if you like.

Our new trial motto: "We troll the liberal trash so you don't have to."


Anonymous said...

While the sun is out right now here in the 10th, rain is predicted. Let's use that theory as the analogy to discuss what you're talking about today. Mark Kirk more than deserved his win on Tuesday night. Not sure the voters in Lake County deserve this spectacular guy because they didn't show the love he has earned and deserves. That said, it's fun to speculate. I know that Mark's heart and his aspirations would not be fulfilled running the State of Illinois. I don't think that's in the cards for him.
I think we have to wait and see who Rod appoints to fill the seat in the Senate. Lots of speculation out there about Jesse Jr. and some lame brain even floated the idea of The Pup because he's African American. I won't even comment on that kind of idiocy.
Once we know who will fill that seat until 2010, it's hard to speculate on what Mark might be thinking. It will/would require a huge financial commitment, likely 10 times what was just raised for this congressional seat, to make that kind of a run for office.
Selfishly I'd like to see Mark Kirk remain as our Congressman, doing things for our district that need to be done, doing for our State and our nation. I'd like him to remain here, one day become a Cardinal within the party in DC and be recognized for all that he so brilliantly has achieved. In short, no Governorship run, perhaps a look at the Senate in 2010, but strongly favoring keeping this guy right here continuing the great things he does.

Anonymous said...

Obama just raised $600 million and the democrats have taken 3 deeply red seats here in the last 3 elections. It sounds good on paper for Mark to run statewide, but the enviornment would kick his a--. There's not much of a state gop, and the white house would go all out to beat him.

8 of the people ahead of him on approps quit or were defeated so he's likely to be a ranking member on one of the sub-committees- a VERY HUGE deal so I expect him to do that and run for leadership.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:36, Frank Wolf is ahead of Mark on Foreign Ops. Mark is next to him. I agree with you on your well made points. To run statewide as a Republican from the northshore against any Democrat will be hard, if not impossible. That said, by 2010 I'm sure the landscape will change nationally as well as here in our State. Raising money, the kind that it takes to make that kind of run, might be a daunting task. There's a lot of time to think about all of this.

Anonymous said...

Money is power, and foreign ops has 1/15 the budget porter had on health and human services. Plus regula is gone and Mark is next up on the financial services thing.

Rumsfeld was able to rise in leadership and to the white house because he had a state party and a local gop powerhouse organization. Mark might want to get his buddy Andy McKenna assuming he isn't summarily fired along with his incompetent staff to work a little harder so he has a secure base to jump from.

If the democrats can elect idiots deep on our turf, what's holding us back?

Anonymous said...

As a moderate Republican, Mark is a rare breed these days though probably secure in his seat after surviving two perfect storms.

If he were to run for the Senate or governor, he would have to survive a Republican primary against a more conservative opponents(s) where a lot of the moderates in our district who support him would be casting Democratic ballots. Then he has to win state wide in one of the deepest of blue states that is the home of the President. That’s a tough assignment.

Now, if he wants to keep his job forever and make that statewide run one-day, he could become a Democrat and caucus with the likes of Bill Foster and Melissa Bean. Mark is more moderate than either of them and one of the smartest members of the House.

Anonymous said...

Kirk does seem like the extent of the republican bench in Illinois, lending a lot of credibility to a state-wide run. I think he's more likely to run for Senate, just because, honestly, he's more of a D.C. guy than a Springfield one. His success would depend on his ability to build an organization far south of his district (essential for a Republican in IL) and most importantly, the collar county appeal of his opponent. If he does attempt the jump, the bench in the 10th seems pretty weak, especially as it's essentially a Democratic district, and geting more so, held now by Kirk's personal brand that was built off of John Porter. There isn't another who could reasonably run off that brand, with the possible exception of Elizabeth Coulsen, who doesn't have a lot of organization outside of New Trier Township. Compare that to the long list of Dems who could concievably run for the slot with Kirk on to bigger and better things: Kotowski, Nekritz, Garrett, maybe Lauren Beth Gash again, or even Jay Footlik could make a re-run (he's a monster fundraiser, for all his faults). My point is, would Kirk all but sacrifice his district to run for Senate in a blue state?

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:37 you make some excellent, well thought out points as to why it might be harder than one thinks for Mark to attempt a Senate run. We're all a bit ahead of ourselves since this depends in large measure on who Blagojevich appoints to fill that vacant seat. I don't think that Garrett wants to commute to DC when her husband works in CA. Nekritz is not such a viable entity. And to think that Gash would want to try again is laughable but not out of the question. I'm betting her campaign manager would be her alter ego, Ellen Beth Shrill. You are right about Footlik. He will come back with a roar, with a lot of folks ready and willing to help him if Mark Kirk isn't on the other side of the ticket. Beth Coulson could never hold this seat on our side. How about Matt Murphy? As I said, all of our speculating is very premature since Blago won't make his choice until the end of this year at the earliest. I'd like to hear some other names of possible Republican moderates who might be thinking about a possible run to succeed Mark should he make a major move.

tikkunolam said...

Sorry, this is Anon 7:37. My apologies to our host for missing the nickname request: obviously, I have done so now. In regards to Anon 8:33- You could may well be right about Nekritz and Gash. The point I was trying to pass on perhaps deserves a chessboard metaphor. Right now, the GOP is down to it's last non-pawn in Kirk, and caution must be used in his movement lest other openings appear, especially a move as risky as a state-wide run. The best-taken point of yours, however, is about the Governor and his appointment. Anybody who can guess that right needs to be barred from Vegas, because it's just not possible to fathom that mind. That doesn't take the fun out of idle speculation, however, particularly on a rainy day.

Anonymous said...

Kirk would be the favorite for Gov. or Senate.


Publia said...

I don't think it is a good idea as I have heard that Mrs. Kirk likes her job in DC.

Anonymous said...

Kirk's "great" relationship with Latinos sure didn't translate into many votes. I think TA is right to point out that while the Congressman was quite victorious on Tuesday, many Latino voters aren't happy with his position on immigration. It seems to be the only social issue I can find where the Congressman is not moderate.

Anonymous said...

As hard is this is for me to admit, as I am hardly a Kirk fan, he is best suited serving this district. Kirk's brand of politics would not go well down in Springfield--then again, Springfield seems to get to even the best of political figures. The reason Kirk does so well in the 10th is because he gets Democratic, pro-Israel voters who are willing to live with the fact that he is a Republican because they trust him; I don't think that same brand can be sold on a statewide basis. You would not see Chicago democrats voting Kirk when they can have 1 of their own and you would not the further right Conservatives in the southern part of the state voting for someone who is pro-choice and pro-stem cell. In the end, moving the to Senate or to the Governor's mansion would not be possible for Kirk unless he raised an incredible amount of money to attempt to saturate the state with his moderate message. In all honesty, I hold our district's voters to a higher intellectual standard then many voters across the state and, unfortunately (or I suppose fortunately) Mark's message will never play with less educated voters statewide.

Until Next Time,
A Concerned Colonial

P.S. Even though Kirk's message is plays right into the hands of our district, I have no problem admitting that I will still work tirelessly to turn the 10th Congressional seat from grey to true blue.

Team America said...

I think this is a great discussion; the only point I wanted to really respond to is tikkunolam (thanks for picking a nickname, but did it have to be that hard to spell?) who sort of implied that Mark Kirk was a chesspiece of the state GOP. Trust me, Kirk doesn't owe anything to anyone, especially the state GOP. Everything he's built up, in terms of organization, fundraising, personal brand, etc., he's done himself. Mark is a great guy and a wonderful representative, but as far as political future goes, Kirk is going to do what's best for Kirk, not the state GOP or any other group, and who could blame him?

Team America said...

Oh, and interestingly, no one has really mentioned redistricting yet as a possible influence on Kirk's future. It may just be that Illinois loses a congressional seat in the 2012 redistricting based on the 2010 census. If that happens, the 10th district could simply cease to exist, swallowed up by the adjoining districts. Given that overall most areas have trended more Democratic, and Dems like Bean have morphed somewhat to better fit their district, who knows what Kirk's competition and constituency might look like on the next map. If Kirk ended up in what is now largely the 9th, his problem would be even worse.


Anonymous said...

Again, TA, you bring up a point that has to be considered. Redistricting which comes in 2 years is a major issue, as much so as if Mark would or could run for another office. Mark and Melissa work well together. If IL is to lose a district all bets are off. She would want to remain in office and that would then pit Mark against Melissa in the 'musical chairs' bit. I see more of a swath cut from east to west rather than north to south, but who knows. If the district goes from the lake west you'd have one set of issues to deal with. If the new map is gerrymandered so that it weaves around from the lakefront down deep into the 9th, that's a totally different district. Mark Kirk's moderate positions, his strength within the various constituencies would hold nicely. Remember, Lincolnwood and
Skokie have very large pro-Israel numbers so that would be a plus. With Democrats in control of everyting in the state, with them drawing the map, who knows what 2 years will bring. It's fun to think about it. But you are 100% on target, TA, since the new order of this area is equally to be considered when we speculate on the future: Mark's and ours.

tikkunolam said...

Apologies about the name, it seemed like the right sentiment. Even more apologies if my metaphor was misunderstood: it was an awkward one. Like most of you I'm sure, I haven't had much sleep this week. The point I was trying to make was that there aren't a lot of guys like our Congressman and he can't hold every office. Looking back at the post, I can see the flaws in the metaphor.
In regards toConcerned Colonial, I tend to disagree. The republican base would reliably turnout against most democrats, especially against a blago appointee. The swing areas of the state are the collar counties, where Kirk might be the only GOPer with an advantage as those areas are increasingly blue, but kirk has his own branding away from the state party. With an anti springfield message he might get away with it, but it would still be a longshor with the abhor that is the city.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused.

If Concerned Colonial thinks that Mark Kirk is best suited for the 10th, then why work tirelessly against him?

And why is the catwoman counting rainy days and claiming that Kirk fails us when it rains?

The speculation is fun right now but let's wait and see what the chain reaction creates when Obama's seat is filled and Emmanuel's seat is filled. The Mell family, after pushing out a long time Democratic State Representative for Deb Mell to get the spot, suddenly wants Emmanuel's seat for Deb? We accused Obama of running for the next seat as soon as he took office over the years, but do you think that Deb Mell should first take office, then seek a next seat?

Democrats! The "me first" in all of them comes out the day after the election. Too bad the nation rejected "country first."

Louis G. Atsaves

Anonymous said...

Again lets look at the reality. Obama just raised 600 million dollars, and his new cos got rid of 30 republicans in 2006 while being outspent 2-1. Mark struggled to beat an intern and a deranged catwoman, and has a state party backing him that has lost 3 very conservative house seats in the last 3 elections. Democrats tried to do what Mark wants to do in 2002 in texas with a moderate named Kirk taking on the white house, raised a lot of money and got walloped.

Do the math, it's a waste of time. Most people in d.c. particularly in the prestige issue area of foreign affairs look down on state capitols the way their staff look down on constituents unless they want to run for President so Governor is out.

If Mark were to abandon ship Dan would be the favorite since Jay is now lobbying for foreign governments and therefore permanently out. From our side I would prefer to see former Peter Fitzgerald staffer Jim Rohner, a foreign affairs expert and new trier grad unblemished by the failures of team mckenna.

Paulie said...

Blago won't be the Dem candidate in 2010, Lisa Madigan will. If he manages to not become George Ryan's cell mate by then, he will either excuse himself from the race or loose in a primary. Either case it's Lisa.

I rather see Mark run for Senate if in fact his challenger would be Jesse Jr. or Comrade Jan. He would defeat either of them.

Anonymous said...

Again Reality has to set in.

1.Mark beat an intern, a catwoman, and the worst political team in Chicagoland. I said on this blog 8 months ago that Durbin's people were openly bashing Dan's team. Mark won't get to run against such losers again.

2. A lot of campaigns is the advisors and Mark's team will be lead by the losers that have been beaten every single cycle statewide and nationwide by the chicago democrats. Hastert's people can't do it.

3. Mark outraised Dan, but Obama can raise more in an email- 3 million bucks give or take, than mark can raise in a quarter.

4. To win, Mark will need social conservatives who are going to eat him alive for being pro-abortion and pro-gay. They will stay home or at least not turnout big.

5. Every Democrat leaves the city with a 1 million vote advantage with only 4 million votes being cast. That means Mark will have to win the remainder at least 2-1 to remain competitive. That's tough.

6. A year from now we'll see a sacrificial lamb and Mark in a foreign ops markup with a fundraiser at the capitol hill club wondering if he'll be a cardinal by 2014.

Anonymous said...

I see she's already demanding a First Cat instead of a First Dog for the Obama White House.