I don't get it.
Now, I'm certainly not qualified to advise the Republican Party on anything related to 'how to be a good Republican' but I really don't understand the blowback against Senator Dillard appearing in a Barack Obama television commercial for a primary election.
First, I think Senator Dillard has made it clear that he prefers a Republican candidate to Barack Obama in November.
Second, wouldn't we all benefit in Illinois if an Illinois resident were the President of the United States? Doesn't it make sense -- from the perspective of helping out the people of Illinois -- to prefer that the only Illinois candidate in either party primary get a nomination?
Third, if there's a Democratic candidate who has made a habit of reaching out to Republican colleagues and forging good, bipartisan solutions, wouldn't Republicans prefer that type of a Democratic President instead of one who governs like George W. Bush and essentially steamrolls the other side?
All of those good reasons for a former Republican colleague of one of the leading presidential candidates to appear in a primary campaign ad are apparently outweighed because, perhaps, in October or November (16 long months from now), if Barack is the Democratic nominee, then perhaps Senator Dillard's comments could be used to undercut the Republican nominee's chances, particularly if that Republican nominee doesn't have a history of forging bipartisan solutions.
Except, Senator Dillard's preferred nominee, Senator John McCain, does have such a history.
And to a certain extent, so do the other leading GOP candidates (Rommey who worked in an overwhelmingly Democratic state and Giuliani who worked in an overwhelmingly Democratic city).
If some New York City Democratic politician appeared in a Giuliani ad in Iowa or New Hampshire congratulating him for working well with the Democratic City Council (assuming that he did), who cares? Or if Senator Feingold appeared in an ad for McCain congratulating him for trying to lessen the clout of big business in political campaigns, so what? People deserve to get credit for their good work and if it means the politicians who work to reach consensus end up winning primary elections, that's a good thing.
I can understand why Republicans would be upset if Senator Dillard supported Obama's presidential campaign in the November general election. But to support the best candidate with a record of building consensus who is from Illinois and understands state legislatures in a primary election seems like smart politics rather than a partisan betrayal to me.