We knew from Day One of this race that the Mark Kirk / Alexi Giannoulias match-up for Barack Obama's old U.S. Senate seat would be one of national significance. However, in a recent Washington Post article, Mark Thiessen points out that a new undercurrent of importance has arisen with the concern that a post-November 2nd lame-duck Congress could try to push through some major legislation that the Democrats were unable to finish off in the regular session. Given that we will now have a special election at the same time as the general election, to fulfill the remaining few weeks of interloper Roland Burris's term, this would give a newly-minted Senator Kirk not only greater seniority, but more importantly in the short term, give the GOP a 42nd vote in the Senate to filibuster and block any lame-duck maneuvers from the Dems.
If the Dem candidate, Alexi Giannoulias were to win the special election, that basically keeps the status-quo for the lame-duck session, so I don't see this issue being anywhere near as important to them as to the GOP.
Look to see even more national attention and money pouring into this race than ever before, campers.
MEANWHILE, what's Alexi up to? The latest is that former SNL funnyman and now Senator Al Franken is coming to yuck it up here in Illinois to raise money to combat Dem apathy at the polls. From the IL GOP, via Illinois Review:
“I’m sure Illinois residents could use a little humor right now, with double digit unemployment, skyrocketing debt and no leadership in the governor’s office,” said Chairman Brady. “The trouble is, Al Franken’s ideas on what would help our state are just ‘stinking thinking,’ as Al would say. Clearly, Pat Quinn, Mike Madigan and the other Democrats see this as one big joke.”
Well, TA thinks he knows who will have the last laugh in November.