Robert Dold, one of the top candidates for the GOP nomination for the 10th Congressional District race to succeed outgoing Congressman Mark Kirk (who of course is running for U.S. Senate) is criticizing an apparent decision by President Obama to re-schedule the State of the Union address for Tuesday, February 2, which is our primary election day. This does seem especially inconsiderate, at the least, given that the whole reason why our primary election is so early was that the Dem-controlled state legislature wanted to give favorite son Obama a leg up last year in the presidential primary battle against Hillary Clinton.
The Dold campaign told Team America, "The primary season was already shortened to the dead of winter after the holiday season, giving voters little opportunity to learn about the candidates. Now Obama is trampling on the days leading up to election night by scheduling a historic State of the Union address to compete with the election."
Dold's complaint is getting some attention from The Hill; we'll see how many folks pick this up as a cause célèbre.
Here's the Dold press release:
Dold Calls on Obama and Congress to stop the State of the Union from Interfering with the Illinois Primary
10th District Republican Congressional Candidate Robert Dold Thursday called on Obama to hold the State of the Union on a different day than Illinois’ Primary Election. Dold said the decision to hold it on February 2nd is not only intended for political gain, but it tramples the Illinois Primary Election.
“The 10th District sits directly in President Obama’s backyard, and of all people, he should know February 2nd is Illinois’ Primary Election Day,” Dold said. Either he’s living and breathing in the Washington bubble and doesn’t realize the significance of the date in Illinois, or he’s acting with complete disregard for the Illinois voters.”
Dold continued, “In the best interests of our voters, I am calling on Obama to keep the date as originally planned and not to push it forward to February 2nd."
UPDATED 1/9/10 8:30 a.m.: THIS WILL TELL YOU SOMETHING ABOUT THE COMMON VOTER: From what I can see, people are more annoyed that the tentatively rescheduled State of the Union Address may interfere with the premier of "Lost" than the Illinois primary. Now, to be sure, "Lost" plays nationwide and only people in Illinois care (assumedly) about the Illinois election, but I found this to be pretty typical.
As the poet Juvenal said in ancient Rome, all the people want are bread and circuses. Sad.