* Without offering up any actual evidence, other than black people will likely vote for Sen. Kwame Raoul instead of Gov. Pat Quinn if Raoul runs for governor and the lack of a finished product from Raoul’s pension reform committee, Laura Washington writes…
Now the consultants and operatives are whispering in Raoul’s ear, and telling him what he wants to hear.
You can do it! They urge: You are a black legislator who occupies the state Senate seat once held by Barack Obama. You are respected by Chicago’s black leadership and progressive activists. You’re a WTTW regular, gee whiz!
You are smooth and suave, you’ve got a 1,000-watt smile, they coo. You can raise bucks and show off your policy resume, they wheedle. You can drum up enthusiasm among black voters in Cook County and downstate. Geez, you even have a funny name. Look where that got Obama?
Where will it get Raoul?
Two words: stalking horse. […]
Raoul can’t win, but he could be a spoiler.
That’s the role Bill Daley and Co. are praying he’ll play.
* Sneed piles on…
The Kwame corner. . .
The big question: Will State Sen. Kwame Raoul, who replaced now-President Barack Obama in the state senate, run for governor in the Dem primary and split the vote by siphoning off the African-American and Hispanic votes?
◆ Here’s the deal: If Raoul does run, it’s because he got the green light from his boss, powerful Senate President John Cullerton, who is no fan of Gov. Pat Quinn.
* First of all, as subscribers already know, the polling shows that Democrats aren’t just hungry for another candidate to run, they’re practically starving for it. From an August 12th, Capitol Fax/We Ask America poll of 1,536 likely Democratic primary voters…
Currently, two Democrats have declared their candidacy for governor: Former White House Chief of Staff William Daley and current governor Pat Quinn. We’d like to know whether or not you’re satisfied with your choices, or if you’d prefer additional choices on the ballot.
Not satisfied 47.50%
Not sure 9.25%
So, a strong majority is either dissatisfied with their choices or aren’t sure. The voters clearly want somebody else.
*** UPDATE *** I forgot to mention that the poll found 57 percent of African-American Democrats were dissatisfied with their choices and another 12 percent were unsure. Just 31 percent were satisfied with their current choices. Whites were split 45-45.
[ *** End Of Update *** ]
* Also, both columnists may have forgotten that Cook County ain’t everything. Quinn is despised in Downstate and Daley isn’t trusted there. A Downstate running mate for Raoul as well as assistance from his fellow state Senators could help him put together the plurality needed to win.
And it’s not just Downstaters. Sen. Daniel Biss brought Raoul into his Evanston-based district for a forum earlier this month…
Raoul said the governor has the “luxury” to act “ignorant of the negotiations that took place in the months prior to the amendatory veto and come in and say, ‘If I had a chance to partake in it, I would have done this.’”
“Well you did have a chance to partake in it, and you did partake in it, and those things fell,” Raoul noted.
He’ll be getting that sort of help from lots of his colleagues all over the state should he decide to run.
* Next, what does a stalking horse look like? A good example would be Roland Burris, 2002. He received one big contribution, hardly campaigned at all, and siphoned enough black votes away from Paul Vallas to allow Rod Blagojevich to win. If Raoul runs a non-credible race, then, yeah, he’s little more than a stalking horse. So far, at least, he doesn’t appear to be doing so from this vantage point.
In any event, don’t you think you’d have to look at the campaign he puts together before you decide he’s essentially just shilling for Daley? C’mon.
* Raoul’s response…
Raoul said he was offended that Sun-Times columnist Laura Washington suggested his running for governor would help challenger Bill Daley, by undermining Quinn’s support among black voters.
“The notion that I would be characterized as a spoiler — it’s a bit of an insult,” he said.
* And, yes, Cullerton is working hard for Raoul, but it’s not up to him to give Raoul a final “green light.”
* By the way, Raoul also told the Sun-Times that he would be deciding on a run in the next ten days…
“I give myself 10 days or so to make up my mind,” Raoul said. “This is something that’s spiraling out of my control. I don’t think it does the party or the state any good to let it linger very long.” […]
Raoul’s remarks came at a South Side park where Quinn signed a new gun-safety law that Raoul sponsored. At a news conference, the governor said Raoul did more than anyone to win the measure’s approval.
When asked in an interview to rate Quinn’s record in office, Raoul replied, “I think the governor came into office under very challenging circumstances . . . He shouldn’t get all the credit. He shouldn’t get all the blame.”
* And, finally, a trip down memory lane. Washington once wrote this about then Senate President Emil Jones’ remarks regarding another Hyde Park Democrat…
African-American leadership, Jones says, must get past “the crabs in a barrel syndrome. Every time one of us pulls up, we want to pull him down.”