Well, I missed it yesterday, but Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn told CBS' "Face the Nation" that he thought Governor Rod Blagojevich would be ousted by February, and Quinn, once installed as Guv, would call for a special election to fill Barack Obama's vacant senate seat. Read the AP report here. Note that Quinn may be trying to have it both ways, as he also told CBS he would do an interim appointment... so unless he appoints someone who vows not to run in a special, Quinn would be giving whomever he appointed a serious leg up in the special election.
I can't keep track of how many times Quinn has gone back and forth on this, and nothing's sure until this all goes down, but at least for now it looks like the GOP may be back in the running to take that seat, with 10th District Congressman Mark Kirk still leading the pack of most likely GOP contenders, with 6th District Congressman Peter Roskam also getting more than a few mentions.
On Obama watch, lots to think about as his presidency starts to kick into gear in advance of his inauguration on Jan. 20th. Obama (through David Axelrod) is back to his pledge of middle class tax cuts, despite the worsening economy, and ending tax cuts for the so-called rich, that is, families earning more than $250,000 per year. Well, as we predicted during the campaign, there are going to be a lot of dual-income families on the North Shore who are going to be crying in their Lattes at Starbucks once the effect of those increased taxes hit.
Also, as we noted last week, Obama's very first internal investigation (mind you, this is before he has even been sworn in) has cleared him, because his own lawyer says he's cleared. Well, Obama may have overreached yet again, and perhaps he will get called on it this time, as there is a factor that no one can predict or control in this mix, even Obama, and that's Governor Blagojevich.
As syndicated columnist Rick Horowitz (published locally in the Tribune) notes, incoming White House counsel Greg Craig said of Obama's staff, "No one was approached with any kind of deal." However, that's not what Blago seemed to suggest as revealed by Patrick Fitzgerald, which was that Obama's staff refused to offer anything for the senate seat except "appreciation."
As Horowitz points out, at first blush, this clears Obama's staff, but if you really think about it, why was Blago so sure that Obama's people weren't going to make a 'deal' if a 'deal' wasn't offered? And that's what Craig said: "No one was approached," not that no one took the deal, which seems to be what Blago's taped comments implied.
Horowitz seems to dismiss the obvious conclusion, which is either that some of Obama's staffers, or Craig himself, are shading the truth. But he does note that if such is the case, Mr. Fitzgerald has not been known to take kindly to liars. Perhaps the truth will come out if the Blago tapes are made public, at some point.
Locally, the official Lake County Young Republicans group is getting a boost as Collin Corbett, formerly campaign manager for congressional candidate Steve Greenberg's campaign, is taking the lead in rejuvenating the group. Official elections for officer positions will be held in April/May. Contact the Lake County YRs at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.