News that Gov. Rod Blagojevich may well be Public Official A in the teachers pension scam could easily change the political landscape of Illinois. Blago may get indictedor even if not, may be so critically wounded he will not be able to put up much of a fight no matter how much money he has. This would lead to him either vacating the lists for re-nomination or getting red hot competition within the Democratic party. You must imagine that there is enormous pressure on Attorney General Lisa Madigan to run against him for governor. My guess is that she will do it. At the outset she may appear to be a tough competitor for Republicans in the generalbut that is not necessarily the case. Her disadvantages are for all to see including a stridently liberal social philosophy and heavy reliance on her old fashioned clout-heavy father.
Her entry into the race and likely victory as Democratic nominee would help the case of Joe Birkett to run for governor. Birkett ran against her for AG in a terrible year for Illinois Republicans2002and received 47 percent of the vote with a poorly funded campaign. As a prosecutor, Birkett is without peer and it will take a prosecutor to take the case against the entire Chicago-based Democratic ticket. Any thought that Rolando Cruz would be a serious factor against Birkett in 2006 with the preponderance of the Democratic party reeling under scandal is short-sighted. Birketts stock will rise with the entrance of Lisa Madigan into the race. If Blago stays in the race and has no primary opposition probably Jim Oberweis, an outstanding candidate, would be tops.