*** UPDATE *** A couple of updates on Saturday’s speech from the SJ-R…
The Obama campaign says the event will happen rain or shine.
The current approximate time for Obama’s speech is 2 p.m. As previously reported, the gates to the speech site, located at Seventh and Washington streets, will open at noon. A handicapped-accessible gate will be set up just to the north on Seventh between Washington and Jefferson streets.
* There are invitations and then there are invitations. I doubt this was one of those “We really want you there, please, please, please” invitations…
Hmmm. Is this a classic case of tit-for-tat? Sneed is told Gov. Blago, who was snubbed by the Dem convention by not being given a speaking role by the Obama folks, was just invited to attend Barack Obama’s nationwide speech at the Old State Capitol Saturday — but he ain’t gonna go!
• • The pitch: Blago, who was the first governor to endorse Obama’s presidential bid, has opted not to go for two reasons.
• • Reason one: Sneed hears Gov. Blago didn’t want to muddy the Obama waters with pesky reporters asking him questions about convicted influence-peddler Tony Rezko, who was this/close to both Blago and Obama, despite Obama’s protestations.
• • Reason two: The gov has decided to keep a previous commitment to watch the deployment of 200 troops to Iraq on Chicago’s South Side Saturday . . . despite the invite to history.
Senate President Emil Jones is also skipping the Springfield event.
* Like the super-cold temps during the 2007 campaign kickoff, Saturday’s weather will be an issue…
The weather Saturday afternoon is expected to be warm and humid, with highs around 90 and a 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. The Obama campaign made it clear back in early 2007 that an outdoor event was greatly preferred to going indoors, so any switch in plans this time would likely be only for very severe weather.
Mike Coffey Jr., chairman of the board that runs the Prairie Capital Convention Center downtown, said people associated with the Obama visit “kind of checked … out” the facility this week, possibly for use as a bad-weather location. If all seats are used and there is standing room on the floor, Coffey said, the building can fit about 8,000 people.
* Meanwhile, because of all the stuff going on, I haven’t had time this week to take a look at this “partial birth abortion” controversy involving Barack Obama. I’ll have something soon. Illinois Review got the ball rolling, but Zorn and Larry have offered several rebuttals. I’ll try to post something tomorrow or later today.
* Also, notice the date on Tony Rezko’s delayed sentencing hearing…
A federal judge has postponed the sentencing of convicted political fund-raiser Tony Rezko by nearly two months, pushing his sentencing hearing back to Oct. 28 — one week before the presidential election.
Obama usually has pretty good luck. Not this time. This will put Rezko back in the news bigtime right before the voting begins.