In today's Sun-Times here Debra Pickett has a Sunday lunch with Dan Hynes. This is a feel-good story, because things worked out better for Dan Hynes in the Senate primary as well (his wife is expecting, and Hynes believes that she wouldn't be if he won the primary).
We should have a lot more of this kind of journalism that delves into the human side of our electeds, as it makes 'understanding politics' such a richer, more interesting thing to do. Politics and government is a drama that never ends, and the more citizens who are engaged with it, the better our public policy will be. This is a lot more interesting to be a part of when you can see the personalities of our electeds.
Also, it's insightful to see how Obama's campaign pulled ahead of Hynes campaign. It wasn't until two and a half or three weeks out that Obama's campaign started to move. Hull's campaign imploded, and the expected movement from Hull supporters would be to Hynes, not Obama. But somehow that didn't happen. Part of that is because Hynes is naturally reserved (a trait he shares with John Kerry, somehow). But part of that is Obama became, surprisingly, a 'political phenomenom' in Hynes' words. Here's a great anecdote from Hynes:
"Three days before the primary, I opened the newspaper and looked at the picture from the St. Patrick's Day parade," he says. "I mean, St. Patrick's Day, that's my day! And there was Barack Obama surrounded by every single Irish politician in town. I'm cropped out of the picture. And I thought to myself, 'That's not good.' "
Maybe Dan Hynes and John Kerry are very similar. They are both uncomfortable about promoting themselves. They are both reserved. Both Irish Catholic. Both from a strong Democratic organization (though Kerry is more of an adopted son). And they are both driven more by public service than a connection to people. Maybe a lesson is that Clinton's genius or magic was his urge and ability to connect with people. I think Blagojevich has some of that too.