Thursday, July 9, 2009

Personal Asides: Many of Us Were Wrong About Lisa—but Not the Opportunity Facing the Republican Party Now.



So I was wrong about Lisa running for the Senate. Not the first time. But I was in interesting company—Barack Obama, Rahm Emanuel and the entire Chicago White House contingent among them. The only one I met who had it right was Jim Nalepa—and part of his prediction remains unfulfilled. He said correctly when we had lunch earlier this week that Lisa wouldn’t run either for governor or Senator but for reelection. Then he added that in the future she will run for only one thing more: the Illinois Supreme Court where she will spend her time waiting to later to be named to the U. S. Supremes.

I personally don’t fathom why Lisa Madigan is so popular. I would think that Joe Birkett would be able to make good headway against her by pointing out how derelict she has been as a prosecutor, turning a blind eye to her party’s corruption. The only reason people think she’s formidable is that the media have told us so. Baloney.

There is a good chance…maybe even an excellent one…that with Ms. Madigan out of the way, a Republican can beat Pat Quinn in 2010. I think that can happen. And as I said here earlier, I personally believe the best Republican for the task is State Sen. Kirk Dillard. I was at his announcement yesterday. We went first to the prayer breakfast at his Oak Brook church at 8 a.m. and then to his formal announcement in next-door Hinsdale. To my mind he is superbly equipped to be the next governor.

The door is open now for Chris Kennedy to run for the U. S. Senate to oppose the incumbent, Roland Burris. I have the feeling that the era when Kennedys have a claim on any office they seek has ended. I know and like Chris but he’s not the re-embodiment of his father, Bobby, nor of his Uncle John. It appears that the Illinois Republican Chairman Andy McKenna, Jr. was preparing to run for the post and was in Washington talking with the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee when Lisa made her announcement…which led Rep. Mark Kirk to hint strongly that he will announce. The NRSC bluntly favors Kirk because he is better known but the vote he cast on Cap `n Trade in the House will make it difficult for him since so much of the Republican base is on the other side. Much has been made about Kirk being able to appeal to independents and Democrats which is roughly true—but in order to win one must also hold his party’s base.

This much is sure: Mark Kirk ought to hope that he gets no meaningful opposition in the Republican primary—because an acceptable conservative making an issue of Cap `n Trade might well knock him off before he has a chance to face Chris Kennedy. That candidate might be McKenna notwithstanding he is unexciting, bland and colorless albeit conservative. But I doubt McKenna would do it.

The shakeup in the political kaleidoscope should warrant a re-capitulation of the Republican ticket. Let’s say the nominee for Senate is Mark Kirk. I would say the following would be a good state ticket: Kirk Dillard for governor; either Kathy Salvi or Demetra DeMonte (Pekin) for lieutenant governor (DeMonte is the Republican National Commiteewoman for Illinois and has been a stunningly effective GOP grassroots organizer); Joe Birkett for AG; Eric Wallace for Secretary of State; Adam Andrzjewski for Comptroller; Dan Rutherford for Treasurer. For president of the Cook county board: This will surprise you but I mean it. Judy Baar Topinka, the former state treasurer (her slogan could be: Topinka—Why Not?).


  1. You lost me with Judy. Tony would be the better choice.

  2. 1.Isnt Adam running for governor? and 2.You have got to be kidding with Judy

  3. John T, Mc GeeanJuly 9, 2009 at 4:31 PM

    Certainly, you jest!!!!!!!!!