Monday, February 13, 2006

Russ Stewart and I vs. Rod McCullough: A Lively Show

At the end of last night’s program I had to admit that Rod McCullough could play rope-a-dope—for political analyst-lawyer Russ Stewart and I slugged him unmercifully for his assault on Joe Birkett, but the end product was a good show. The idea that Birkett indicted him because he worked for a candidate that Birkett beat handily doesn’t wash—but that’s Rod’s case and he’s stuck with it. Basically, though, he was a very good guest: controversial and exhibiting a street-smartness that helped the show roll along. My thanks to both for doing a great job.

o Both seemed to agree that Judy Baar Topinka is ahead not just in polling numbers but in actuality.

o Stewart, more than McCullough, was more positive about Topinka because, as he says, he wants a winner. On the other hand, Stewart felt that Topinka made a purposeful strategy of trying to glide through the Channel 2 debate without contributing much substance which, he felt, hurt her.

o Both feel that Edwin Eisendrath is on the lip of being a lost cause—as do I. The fact that the primary date is coming up and the candidate’s rich family hasn’t contributed much money is a deciding factor. Neither man understood the enigmatic posture of the family anent his campaign—nor do I.

o On the issue of how the governor made out by his appearance on the Jon Stewart show which ridiculed the morning-after pill controversy, both generally agreed. Russ Stewart thought the governor definitely didn’t help him. McCullough was more ambivalent. My view is that the pharmacist, Rep. Ron Stephens, may have benefited from the comic interrogator looking elitist for yukking it up on traditional values, especially in his own district.

I rather think the governor was disadvantaged by the slick double-entendres.

o As befits one who is the consultant for Sandy Wegman, McCullough feels that the Lieutenant Governor’s race is wide open. Stewart scoffed at the idea.

o On the Ozzie Guillen matter (the White Sox coach declining to go to the White House to be received by President Bush because Guillen is on vacation in the Dominican Republic, Stewart thought he was slightly harmed by the snub but McCullough, a Cubs fan, thought not.

o Both participants ridiculed Mayor Daley for renewing his call for a no-fly zone over Chicago, especially over the Loop, following Bush’s announcement of a foiled plot to crash into an L.A. tower. Stewart was particularly harsh, befitting his Northwest Side constituency.

o On the issue of Obama and McCain (McCain taking umbrage at Obama’s declining to work on a special bipartisan committee on lobby reform, both hit Obama, McCullough declaring that Obama has gotten away with murder by pretending he’s an independent but coming down as a partisan. I’m the only one who believes that the senseless tiff is more important than it seems—showing that McCain’s blow-torch temper is something to watch as his emotional fitness is considered for the presidency.

o And finally on the momentous issue of John Cox running for president—not president of a school board or of anything local but President of the United States, McCullough observed that he knew Cox when—when he ran for Congress with McCullough as consultant, the first election he lost of many to follow.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Tom, Russ Stewart is one of the most intelligent Political Analysts in Chicago. I also consider him one of the best attorneys in Chicagoland. I am looking forward to more great shows. Patrick McDonough.