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.
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