This blog has been a strong supporter of Alexi Giannoulias staying in the U.S. Senate race against Congressman Mark Kirk. After all, where else would we find a candidate as deeply flawed and vulnerable, and whose family bank failure so far is the defining issue of the campaign?
But today a Politico article looks at the issue from the perspective of the difficulties that Chicago politics are causing President Barack Obama and other Chicago transplants to the Washington, D.C. scene. Among the other topics discussed, this little tidbit regarding a possible Alexi withdrawal was thrown in near the end of the article:
White House officials have privately told allies that the best approach is to see whether Giannoulias, the state treasurer, can resurrect his flailing campaign through an advertising campaign that takes direct aim at Republican Mark Kirk. If he cannot accomplish that in the coming weeks, White House officials have told other Democrats they hope Giannoulias concludes that he cannot win the seat and that it’s time to call it quits for the good of the party. [snip]
Part of the problem facing the White House is that there’s no clear consensus candidate aside from the state’s attorney general, Lisa Madigan, who passed up an opportunity to jump into the race earlier this year. The other candidates who several Democrats believe are on the White House’s radar include state Comptroller Daniel Hynes, the runner-up in the Senate primary; David Hoffman; and possibly Rep. Melissa Bean.
Wow. That would be interesting. After finally defeating long-time Congressman Phil Crane in the 8th Congressional District, Melissa Bean has held on through two election cycles on in a largely Republican-leaning district, but is untested on a state-wide basis (as is, to be sure, Mark Kirk), and has overcome only lackluster GOP challengers (David McSweeney and Steve Greenberg). Whether a Bean substitution late in the game would energize Dems, especially downstaters, is questionable. And how much stock we can put in this scenario is questionable, since Politico did not identify their unnamed sources.
But it would sure be a boost to beleaguered GOP candidate Joe Walsh's bid to wrest Bean's congressional seat from her.
Maybe we can make the U.S. Senate/8th Congressional District races a 'two-fer' for the GOP? In this political climate, anything may happen in November, folks.