What some people might have initially dismissed as an idle fantasy has now become enough of a threat that some Dems are now seriously concerned about Congressman Mark Kirk's chances to win a special election for Barack Obama's vacated senate seat, if a special election is held in the next few months.
Over on DailyKos, one blogger raises the alarm with a story centered on this speculative headline: "Mark Kirk's Election to Senate Seat Blow to Obama Presidency" And, as you might expect, the chance that Kirk could follow Obama as Illinois' junior senator is driving Ellen of the Tenth absolutely up the wall.
Another interesting development is that some Dems are now concerned that the call for a special election might have been a bit premature now that they realize someone like Mark Kirk would be a serious threat, and much more consideration appears to be being given to having Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn make the appointment (assuming that Blago resigns or gets booted somehow). Mark Kirk, as you might expect, objects to that idea:
“At this point, everyone is tainted. In order to restore the trust of the people of Illinois in their representatives, this decision should not be made by people connected to a corrupt government,” said Kirk.
“We should return this seat to the people who own it — not the corrupt government. In this state, trust has been broken between the state of Illinois and its people.”
Kirk has not been shy about his aspirations. Watch some video here.
The buzz about Kirk's potential candidacy has gone mini-viral, to the extent where it's gotten tough to provide links to all the various news sources. I think from now on, we're just going to provide links and updates to news articles and sources that have something to add to this discourse, and not just "hey, didja know Kirk's a potential candidate, and golly, he'd be a good one" kind of article.
But as always, please chime in with your own thoughts...
THEORY: This is a good one I heard today- what do you think?
Step 1: Blago resigns/is impeached/whatever, Quinn becomes Gov.
Step 2: Quinn appoints himself senator.
Step 3: Jesse White says, I'm too old, no thanks
Step 4: Lisa Madigan becomes gov.
Bada bing, bada boom, Dems' problems are solved.
UPDATED 12.12.08: [TA's note: Rich Miller of Capitol Fax objected to our citing a factoid that appeared in Capitol Fax regarding Blago's potential strategy to deal with Pat Quinn's desire to appoint the next senator. TA did not realize that Rich considered the factoid itself proprietary information, as opposed to quoting from Cap Fax directly, so at Miller's request, we remove that information with apologies.]
Quinn lately has changed his tune and stated emphatically that he would appoint a replacement if he becomes governor, rather than putting the state through the turmoil and expense of a special election. While some Dems might still think having Quinn make the appointment is better than risking a special election, some sources suggest that Quinn might consider appointing a Republican. Well, who better than Mark Kirk?