Sunday, December 12, 2004

Roeser quotes a Downstate Dem legislator, and I think he made it up

Thomas Roeser has another well-written column here where he has a conversation with a "Downstate Democratic legislator" on how Blagojevich will have a primary opponent and this unnamed primary opponent will beat him.

I suspect that Roeser made the whole thing up.

Not maliciously. He just. . .took some liberties.

Read the column and you tell me whether anyone actually speaks that way.

And then listen to the pitch -- someone will beat Blagojevich and "what will emerge in the Democratic Party is a new moderate-to-conservative nominee, with fiscal integrity, respectful of gun-owners rights"

Yeah, I'll bet Roeser would like that. And maybe 1/3 of the Downstate Dem primary vote. But most of the votes in the primary are here, in the Capitol of Blue America, Cook County. And we're more annoyed with Blagojevich for keeping our 3% income tax instead of bumping it up to 4% of 5% and invest in poor kids with better schools. We understand where he's coming from (having run on a platform not to raise the income tax), but are not going to dump him from someone pledging to be *more* of a fiscal tightwad. Maybe someone who will spend some more money.

It's a fun read, but I think this "Downstate Democratic legislator" is a little bit fictional. Get Patrick Fitzgerald back to Chicago and subpoena Roeser to find out his source. . . .

My best guess today is that no one will challenge Blagojevich. Mayor Daley is likely to sit this primary out, and Speaker Madigan (I'm guessing) will do the same. A lot depends on how the 2005 session goes, but if I had to bet now, I'd bet the 2006 Dem primary for the constitutional officers will be a boring status quo election: Blagojevich, Quinn, Lisa Madigan, Jesse White and Dan Hynes all run for re-election, largely unopposed. Filing deadline is about one year from right now. Anyone want to bet? Chris Rhodes, you want to lose another dollar?

7 comments:

Jeff Wegerson said...

I went to post a comment and I think I just created my own blog. Oh well, it was relatively painless.

I agree with your assement about Rod and crew.

I forgot whatever else I was going to say. I think now I'll go see what I did by accident. Excuse me.

FightforJustice said...

What would happen if Jesse White ran for Guv?

Anonymous said...

Roeser probably took some liberties, but the animosity toward Blago from downstate Dems is real. Spend half an hour at a Democratic cocktail party in Springfield, as I did a few months ago, and you'll be struck by how deeply most downstaters dislike him. Hell, Blago doesn't seem to have a lot of fans among Cook County Dems either.

It is hard to remember a time when a governor or any other Illinois politician was viewed so unfavorably by many of his own party members. Sure, conservatives turned against George Ryan, but he was a dead man walking, mired and humiliated by scandal. And the right-wing was never thrilled with Edgar and Thompson. But the inner-party ill-will they faced was based on ideology. The growing contempt many Dems feel towards
Blagojevich has little to do with ideology. Instead, it seems to be inspired almost entirely by personality. Many Dems view Blago as a shallow, back-stabber with few core convictions. On almost every issue, he frames himself as a knight in shining armor and everyone else as a hack conducting business in the dark shadows of a corrupt system. This might play well with ordinary
folks sitting at home watching sound bites on the 10 o'clock news. But to politicians, political junkies, and cynical reporters, Blago's goo-goo posturing is laughable. They are keenly aware that he is a product of a notorious, rough and shadowy political organization. And they remember him as a lazy, albeit affable, state legislator who wasn't exactly hellbent on reforming the system during his previous stint in Springfield.

But pissing-off the political class won't beat Blagojevich, pissing of regular folks will -- and he hasn't done that yet. If he doesn't raise taxes or get caught up in a major scandal, Blago will be hard to beat -- particularly in a primary. Besides, he'll probably have close to $20 million in the bank by this time next year.

Of course, there's always the Dan Walker scenario. The parallels between Blago and Walker are striking. Walker was a first-term incumbent and self-proclaimed reformer, (as well as a gigantic egomaniac,) who was beat in the primary after crossing a mayor named Daley and several other important Dems around the state. Sound familar? I suppose it could happen again, except for the fact Walker never had 20 mill in the bank.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

As long as we're talking about political analogies, here's another one to try on for size: Governor Michael Dukakis's first term. Dukakis won, and then immediately turned on his base because he was a reformer and a do-gooder. Now, the difference -- and this doesn't help Blago -- is that Dukakis was actually smart and competent.

Dukakis lost big after his first term, in part because he failed to properly address the budget crisis in Massachusetts. He had no friends to back him when he finally had to raise taxes. Our current Governor with a funny last name and presidential ambitions may find himself in the same boat.

Anonymous said...

No way anyone beats Blago in a primary. Does it weaken him enough to give the Pugs a shot? Depends on who it is.

Look, you may not like Blago--He's annoying, unpunctual and has the political instincts of a rhino--but there really is no one else.

Jesse White is interesting, but he won't make a move without Madigan on his side.

You think Madigan is going to back anyone else? He wants that seat open for Lisa in 2010.

Anonymous said...

I am a strong advocate of nominating Lt. Governor Pat Quinn to run for Governor. He is very popular in downstate Illinois. I feel strongly about crushing the DLC wherever they rest. Currently, the GOP is not beating Dems, Dems are beating themselves.

Bloomington resident