I'm behind the times. . . now that Chicago link-master Eric Zorn has blogged about predictions for the GOP substitute here, I should explain my reasoning for picking Team Corrine.
First, after the sex bomb, I think estrogen plays well right now. Judy Baar Topinka is not interested, and I think will probably beat Governor Blagojevich in the November 2006 governor's race (she was at the Pride Parade and he was not, so look for a partial echo of the lakefront voting for George Ryan instead of Glenn Poshard as in 98). That leaves. . . no one else besides Corrine Wood.
Her fast elevation in the GOP ranks abruptly stopped after the 02 cycle. Remember, she was not Jim Ryan's Lt. Gov. candidate in 2002, as she ran against him in the 02 primary (and her campaign helped Rod Blagojevich to squeak by in the 02 primary, since reform-oriented women that would have voted for Paul Vallas crossed over to vote for Corrine Wood in the GOP primary instead). Anyway, that gamble didn't work out. She could have replaced John Porter (Mark Kirk now holds that seat), if she had run in that primary election (at least, she would have had a shot). So where does she go from here? I think the Republicans know that running against Obama is becoming more and more of a longshot, so the goal in this campaign isn't so much to win but to hold the line. And the candidate can get in a better position for a competitive 2006 statewide run.
Corrine is much closer to the future face of the statewide party than some of the other candidates, largely because she's a woman. That's the outreach that growth-oriented Republicans know they need to make. She's clean (no one suggests that she got caught up in any of the George Ryan corruption that I'm aware of), pro-choice and (I hate this phrase) a fiscal conservative.
Plus, her husband is wealthy and she's hooked up with other wealthy folks up there in Lake Forest.
Why not Steve Rauschenberger? Why not a very sharp legislator that's as clean as can be and a principled conservative? Well, he might want the slot more that Corrine Wood, and the person who campaigns the hardest usually wins, but I just have a hunch that the GOP Central Committee will go for a woman and a former statewide office holder.
This assumes, of course, that Corrine Wood wants the slot. I think she does, but hey: what do I know?
On this topic of "what do I know" -- I like how everyone just assumes that the GOP Central Committee has the legal authority to fill the vacancy in nomination, even though it is pretty clear that the state law is very vague on the subject. It's as if there is no problem whatsoever. Maybe they think that even if the state law is very vague (which it is), they think that no one will challenge it. But it would be nice if someone admitted that there's a little ambiguity in state law -- especially in response to a reporter's question. I mean, there's plenty of time to look into this issue. Where are you, Big Print Media?
Finally, on Danny Davis. I think he's getting a bad rap. Why? Because there are a lot of nutjob black nationalists in our country, and the reality is and black Congressman has to deal with them. Those nutjob nationalists are their constituents, and they are very active. There was a lot of talk in the early Obama campaign in the press about how he was merging the black progressives and the black nationalists, which is not an easy thing to do. Well, Danny Davis has to do the same thing, and if some of those nutjob nationalists are members of some crazy group led by Reverend Moon. . . kiss the babies and show up for the parade. That's what elected officials do.
I think the cultural horror most white, educated people feel when looking at Congressman Davis presenting a crown to a self-proclaimed Messiah is somewhat analogous to the cultural horror lots of white, less-educated, pious Christians feel when they see the leader of the Party of Moral Values in Illinois (that's Judy Baar Topinka) actually celebrating the 'decadent and immoral lifestyle choices' of homosexuals, lesbians and transgendered people, in a parade of sexuality! Down the middle of the street! Those culturally conservative people just can't comprehend how an elected official -- a Republican! -- could associate with condemned-to-hell people that flaunt their deviant acts that are going to bring down our Christian nation. You know what I mean? It depends on what cultural lens you view something. And I'm just suggesting that most white people don't ever deal with black nationalists, so have not built up any immunity to some of their weirdness.
I don't know if anyone is a member of the Masons anymore, or of the Elks, but the weird stuff they do is somewhat analogous to the crazy stuff that Reverend Moon was doing. Not the same, but similar.