It's pretty clear that George W. Bush is politically radioactive and that 2005 has been a very good Democratic Party year.
It's unlikely to get much better for the Republican Party in 2006, as the Iraq occupation isn't getting any better (that's what happens in occupations -- people tend not to like having a foreign army, liberators or not, setting up permanent bases), the economy doesn't seem to be getting any better, the corruption around D.C. isn't getting any better and still, still, still the radical wing of the GOP pushes for even more tax cuts for wealthy people.
So, if the national Republican Party is not much help nowadays, how are they going to be in a position to help Judy Baar Topinka?
I can tell you this: George Bush won't be campaigning with her.
Neither will Dick Cheney.
Those are two unpopular people in Illinois.
The Republicans will likely have a lot of money (because they are the party of money), and I guess they can throw some of it at Topinka for Governor '06.
But I have to think that the downward spiral that the D.C. Republicans are in will be more of a cost to Topinka than the money they can throw at her campaign.
Too bad we don't have gubernatorial elections the same year as presidential elections. We'd never lose the governor's office.
(And Speaker Madigan said a few years ago that he wishes the same thing....he cited that move to create 'off-year' gubernatorial elections as one of the mistakes of our state constitution -- he was a delegate to the 1969-1970 constitutional convention known as con-con).
But back to the fun stuff: who will be our newest statewide Democrat?
The filing deadline is December 19th, and I'm betting that in the next 40 days, there will be at least one other candidate for Treasurer besides Paul Mangieri. And as of right now, Representative John Fritchey is "not out" of the race.