Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Personal Aside: In Every Election Theres a Surprise. Where Shall it Be in This One?...Gary MacDougall Should be Convinced to Return as State Chairman.
In every election Ive participated in theres a surprisean occurrence that makes you say: Damn, if I had only been paying attention, I would have spotted it! Sometimes its the election of someone the newspapers have dismissed sometimes its the rather easy victory for someone the pundits had said would be locked in a too close too call effort. Remember the 1980 election of Ronald Reagan? I well remember Washington Week in Reviewcomposed of four liberals agreeing with each othersaying as all shook their heads solemnly that the race between President Carter and Ronald Reagan would be too close to call. That was because the pundits, dismissing the evidence, wanted Carter to pull it out. It was over relatively early on election night.
What will be the surprise this year? Write in Readers Comments and tell me. Let me run a few by you. Will it possibly be the Kirk-Seals race where Democrat Dan Seals who has impressed lots of people in the 10th who nevertheless say, hes a good candidate but-- will defeat supposedly one of the GOPs rising stars, Mark Kirk? Im told that in a recent debate Seals really trounced Kirk. He would be Illinois second African American super-star, the first to triumph in the Brahmin North Shore district since Abner Mikva. Will it be Dan Seals?
Or will it be David McSweeney who has always been touted as a very good candidate but whom some pundits say, with the political breaks running against Republicans, he cant pull it out. I would really, really-and-truly want to celebrate that one because I have been a fan of McSweeneys before he ran. His winning that thing would cheer me enormously.
I obviously hope Peter Roskam will win in the 6th to carry on the tradition begun by my old hero Henry Hydebut with the polls going, albeit slightly his way, I dont register that victory, even close, as a surprise but in a disastrous year Ill take whatever I can get. Of course a real surprise would be Andrea Zinga triumphing in the downstate 17th which would be cause of celebration by me well into the morningafter I finish celebrating for David McSweeney. Tony Peraicas victory would be inestimably good but am I wrong to imagine it wont be a surprise? Nevertheless it would indeed be wonderful to savor.
Dont tell me that the surprise will be the election of Judy Baar Topinka, God help us. Just dont tell me that. But if you must you must. (Incidentally, I never felt sorrier for anyone in my life than for Steve Huntley, the Sun-Times editorial page editor, who has always had a high regard for Topinka, who was told to sit down and craft an editorial supporting Rod Blagojevich. And after that support for the Democratic candidate for state treasurer. And after that support for Todd Stroger. That is a triple headed penance that no oneleast of all Steve who is a decent, moderate and I stress moderate conservative should have to endure. For those three things he should get a hefty pay raise.
Tell me where you think the surprise will come! And for those out of state, including Frank Nofsinger, go across the map, if you will. Does Frank even care if Connecticuts liberal Republican Chris Shays wins, I wonder? Its a game all can play and the winner will be celebrated in this web-sites Hall of Pundit fame!
Gary MacDougall was one of the best state Republican chairmen Ive ever seen and Ive seen a few in two states. He was unceremoniously dumped through Bob Kjellanders machinations for Judy Baar Topinka who refused to endorse a sitting, honorable, outstanding Republican U. S. Senator, Peter Fitzgerald, for reelection. Now that the worm has turned and Topinka is adrift in the wild, blue seas without a paddle and with no intellectual resources or knowledge of government to sustain her, there should be a just retaliationbut more than retaliation: the return of an outstanding party official with the highest integrity and acumen.
Just as an example of how highly hes regarded, I was attending a Dave McSweeney reception featuring Senator John McCain no one whom I have an interest in supporting for president but whom I had wanted to scout nevertheless. I was standing by the door talking to Gary and his family when McCain and his entourage enter and McCain makes a bee-line for MacDougall and spends a vast number of minutes conferring with him. Thats the kind of stature that an Illinois state chairman should have. Its my hope that after this is all over and I write in Randy Stufflebeam the GOP will wisely regroup and draft MacDougall! (I hope hes not committed irrevocably to McCain for president, however).