Whatever ‘long-shot’ chances some upstart politicians may have had
before in the upcoming Illinois primary, may have been significantly
boosted by the major upset in Massachusetts when Scott Brown beat the
Democrat for Ted Kennedy’s seat in the Senate.

After all, Chicago politics are a lot like Boston’s (and Illinois is
not unlike Massachusetts). But precisely because ‘politics as usual’
has gotten unbearable to citizens who are now engaged and activated,
anything can happen. If Ted Kennedy’s seat can go to a Republican, can
Barack Obama’s?

Democrats are nervous.

“The White House senior adviser [David Axelrod] has met with three
of the state’s Democratic candidates for the U.S. Senate. Cheryle
Jackson, David Hoffman and Alexi Giannoulias have all traveled to the
White House to get pointers on how not to lose the senate seat
President Obama occupied less than two years ago.”

(That’s remarkable, right there.)

“Axelrod doesn’t seem to buy the logic that Illinois voters could
buck the Democratic party and vote in a Republican the way
Massachusetts, voters did last week.

“This was an independent vote,” Axelrod said. “Not a partisan one. … Obama still has a 60-percent approval rating there.”

(That’s called spin. Axelrod mastered it many years ago in Chicago politics.)

“But a GOP win has got to be a concern for the White House.

“Recent polls suggest that Illinois Republican Mark Kirk could pull
an upset win over front-runner Alexi Giannoulias, who was also at the
breakfast with Axelrod, and win the Illinois Senate seat for the GOP.
Axelrod, says that Kirk will have a hard time pulling off a Scott
Brown-like upset, however, because he’s been a congressman and a
Washinton insider for 10 years.”

Both of which are negatives, among others for Mark Kirk. Though he’s
endorsed by the Chicago Tribune in the field of Republicans in next
week’s primary, and he backs liberal policies (for which this state is
known)…does any other Republican have a chance in their primary?

Inquiring minds are wondering aloud. Take this letter to the editor

“Mark Kirk has been advertising a lot, and if you listen to his ads,
he sounds like a strong conservative. He is not a conservative, he is a
liberal/progressive, and if he told you the whole truth in his ads he
knows you wouldn’t vote for him.”

Two things….One, if Kirk had this sewn up, why would he be spending
his campaign war chest money on so many ads right now? And two, more of
the whole truth on Kirk is coming out in his opponents’ ads, and
frankly, in some sections of the newpspaper. This letter is just one
example…

“This is the rest of the story about Mark Kirk: Kirk voted “Yes” on
Cap and Trade. Kirk voted for prohibiting oil drilling and development
in ANWR. Kirk voted against the surge in the Iraq War. Kirk is
pro-abortion. Kirk even voted against the ban on the hideous practice
of partial-birth abortion. Kirk voted against an amendment to define
marriage as between one man and one woman. Kirk joined left wing
Democrats in sponsoring hate crime legislation.

“Patrick Hughes has the best chance to beat Mark Kirk, but if all of
the conservatives don’t vote for just one conservative candidate,
Patrick Hughes, Mark Kirk will win because the conservatives have split
their vote!”

Which is the tendency in this state.

So….after I spent an hour on radio doing news analysis of the
politics and issues, I come out of the studio and flip through the news
channels and come across Glenn Beck at a screen talking about….Patrick Hughes. And the long-shots who have a chance when the ‘Undecideds’ decide on a candidate who best represents the people.

Where are the rest of the media on the Illinois race? They’ll come around on election day, when it’s in vogue.

The Coach didn’t bother to wait until it was politically correct. Fearlessly bucking the Chicago machine can only help his candidate.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....