The metaphor is already cliched, but more dominoes in the Illinois political scene fell yesterday as Sneed reported that Senator Roland Burris had decided not to run in 2010 for the seat he currently holds through his appointment by former governor Rod Blagojevich. No money, says Burris, and no hope of winning, as we all knew.
But darn, I was really hoping that other Dem contenders would have to really do an impressive tap-dance around Burris, who currently is the nation's only African-American senator, and has not been afraid to scream 'racism' at the merest hint of criticism (after all, how else you you think he was able to shame the Senate into admitting him?). That includes Obama, who would, for now, be a lot freer to declare his support for State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulis. There was always the outside hope that Burris might actually survive by carrying the black vote in a heavily contested and nasty primary among the likes of Giannoulis, Chris Kennedy, Cheryle Jackson, and probably others. But that dream is gone, and it looks like if Congressman Mark Kirk runs for that seat, the Dem field may be a little clearer, and the ultimate Dem nominee won't be Burris in any event.
That's too bad for Kirk. I think it's no secret that Mark's biggest challenge (aside from the blue-leaning voters in this state) is the Obama White House coming down like a ton of bricks on Mark. The Dems wasted no time by putting up a video on YouTube compiled by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC).
However, the Republican senate shop (NRSC) quickly responded with an e-mail noting that Kirk already had the Dems running scared.
Hey, all you right-wingers, you paying attention to how conservative the Dems think Mark is? Put that in your cap n' trade pipe and smoke it.
I have to say, though, that if the Kirk=Bush thing didn't work for Dan Seals in the liberal 10th District in the middle of the unpopular Iraq war, the DSCC is going to have to do a lot better than that.
Anyway, Mark still hasn't officially announced even IF he's going to run for Senate, and I would not expect an announcement on a Friday, so I'll see what I can find out over the weekend.
As to who is setting their sights on the 10th District Congressional seat currently held by Kirk (assuming he leaves to run for Senate), lots of names are being kicked around here and elsewhere, but I think it will take quite some time for a clear front-runner to emerge. Illinois Review posted yesterday that IL GOP Chairman Andy McKenna was potentially part of a deal to clear the Senate nomination for Kirk and have McKenna run in IL-10. (h/t commentor FOKLAES) The Daily Herald has a story on possible contenders and states that only one GOP candidate has announced her intention to run, Patricia Bird. Patricia who? Wonder if she has the first clue about the 10th District (not to mention Team America).
Well, goofier things have happened.
And, I saw a comment on Capitol Fax Blog yesterday that indicated that State Rep. Beth Coulson said she was going to run again for her state house seat. Sorry, Phil Collins.
Wow, this is going to be a busy, busy 18 months on this blog. Fasten your seatbelts, ladies and gentlemen, you're in for a ride.