Tuesday, September 27, 2005
The Hamlet of Charleston
Theres something mischievous, wanton, immature and undignified about a former governor who so loves the limelight after having been gone from it for years that he takes months to decide whether or not he will run again. Were all supposed to say, Please, Jim, please. Well, count me out of that dreary old game. The Illinois Republican Party has a bumper crop of excellent candidates: a policy wonk state senator, a brilliant entrepreneur and market analyst, a tough prosecutor and another state senator from downstate who has an admirable combination of policy expertise and sunny Reagan-like personality. (I discount one wealthy aloof candidate who has made not a dent in the polls despite lavish self-funding and an unannounced female candidate who, as state treasurer, tried to settle a states debt on terms exceedingly favorable to Bill Cellini.) To these we are expected to say, hold on while we recycle one who gave us a permanent tax hike, a minor scandal and has an earlier past of secretary of state tenure that is ready for negative research?
The best that can happen is that when Jim Edgar finally says, Yes, Im ready! have party leaders say, Well, were not! and continue about their business, allowing their party to nominate someone else. After a few weeks as a candidate, Edgarll drop scores of popularity points in the polls. You heard it here first.