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Yet another explanation from Dillard

Friday, Mar 7, 2014

* Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard sparred last night over the now infamous Barack Obama ad

Brady went after Dillard for his appearance in a TV ad run by President Barack Obama’s campaign in which he stated: “Republican legislators respect Barack Obama.”

Dillard downplayed the ad. “I said 15 nice words about Barack Obama,” he said. “It was an Internet thing that ended up in an ad and I called him and I said, ‘You know you’ve got to pull that because I’m for John McCain.”

* It was an “Internet thing”? Really? From the June 27, 2007 edition of the Iowa Independent

Sen. Barack Obama’s first two Iowa TV ads hit the air Tuesday. Emphasizing Obama’s past, the ads are intended to deflect criticism of the Democrat from Illinois as inexperienced. […]

The centerpieces of both ads are interviews with two somewhat unlikely characters: Republican Sen. Kirk Dillard of Illinois narrates the first ad, called “Carry,” which chronicles Obama’s career in the Illinois Senate. And the highlight of the second ad, titled “Choices,” is a clip from world-famous legal scholar Lawrence Tribe, who taught Obama at Harvard Law School (although, despite Tribe’s fame, Iowa Independent was unable to reach any caucus goers who were familiar with his work).

On a press conference call held in conjunction with the launch of the ads, both Dillard and Tribe were made available to reporters. Each praised Obama unequivocally during their introductions on the call.

Dillard described Obama as “someone who really carried the ball well and was instantly respected” when he got to the state senate. Dillard said he and Obama formed an unlikely “tag team, of a caucasian, suburban senator” and an African American from the inner city. [Emphasis added.]

* So, Dillard not only wasn’t taken by surprise when the ad went on the air, he helped launch the TV ad with a press call. He knew it wasn’t an “Internet thing” back then. And he effused praise for Obama during and after that conference call

Dillard told the Associated Press today that while he expects to support whoever wins the Republcian nomination, “I would not lost a night’s sleep worrying about my young children’s future if Sen. Obama were my president because I know he would probably surround himself, like Ronald Reagan, with exceptionally experienced people.”

Oy.

Sen. Dillard has been all over the map on this issue. Eric Zorn ran a timeline in 2010 about Dillard’s various explanations and the way this ad has been used against him. It’s worth a read.

* Also, if you’d like to refresh your memory, watch that ad

- Posted by Rich Miller        


36 Comments
  1. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 10:43 am:

    Sen. Dillard, you are still “explaining” and you are still losing.

    Stop. Please. Just stop. Gotta “eat it”, but pick ONE lane to “eat it”.


  2. - Stones - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 10:43 am:

    Dillard should be emphasizing bipartisanship more than attempting to couch the endorsement by labeling it as intended as an internet ad. It is what it is - might as well make lemonade out of it.


  3. - Trader Vic - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 10:46 am:

    I count 40 words. It is the longest I have heard Dillard go without saying destination economy.


  4. - Pat C - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 10:47 am:

    One really has to wonder what he was thinking at the time?

    “I will never want a higher office?”

    “He has no chance against Hillary?”


  5. - Whatever - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 10:49 am:

    Why can’t Dillard just man up and admit he supported Obama, and no realizes it was a mistake. Or did he hope to get an appointment from Obama, a la Ray LaHood? Whatever the case, his equivocating hardly inspires confidence or projects strength.


  6. - OneMan - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 10:52 am:

    Yeah, it was supposed to be an internet thing, yeah that’s the ticket…


  7. - DuPage Rep - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 10:52 am:

    In this electoral climate, I think all of the explanations point to two words: Career Politician


  8. - wordslinger - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 10:53 am:

    I imagine Dillard at the time thought that nice words for the guy who got over 70% of the Illinois Senate vote would help him in a future statewide general election.

    I guess if you can’t get out of a primary, we’ll never know.


  9. - Pat C - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 10:53 am:

    Hmm, somehow I missed off my whole comment. Lets try again…

    One really has to wonder what he was thinking at the time?

    “I will never want a higher office?”

    “He has no chance against Hillary?”


  10. - Not Rich - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 10:57 am:

    I say it is 50/50 that after March 18, Kirk does an internet ad for PQ


  11. - dupage dan - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 10:57 am:

    The primary election can’t come soon enough. Then maybe we don’t have to listed to Dillard anymore……until the next time.


  12. - anonymoose - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 11:06 am:

    At the debate last night, first spotted Sen. Dillard and no other candidates (pre-debate) and told a friend, “If no one else shows, Dillard has a record where he can debate himself.”

    The crowd did not seem swayed by Mr. Dillard’s “it was only a few brief words Internet thing and kinda ended up in an ad and I had it quickly yanked.”


  13. - And I Approved This Message - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 11:07 am:

    I agree with most here. Just own it. There once was a time when bi-partisanship and working across the aisle were considered good things. Now the water is so poisoned that Mitch McConnell has a Tea Party candidate in the primary. Who says that McConnell is too liberal for Kentucky. Because he has been playing too nice with the President. The same Mitch McConnell who said after the first inauguration that his number one goal was to see to it that President Obama was a one term president. I guess it’s the kiss of death in a primary these days but that doesn’t make it right.


  14. - zatoichi - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 11:07 am:

    So the push is for bipartisan cooperation, but if you actually say or do something largely or slightly positive with a member of the other side you get hammered. Yeah, that’s the ticket for working together. Stay ideologically pure otherwise it will come back to to bite you.


  15. - Wensicia - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 11:10 am:

    It’s amazing that Dillard gets trashed for supporting Obama, while the pro-choice candidate gets a pass on his relationships with other prominent Democrats. Dillard should have went after Rauner during the debate asking why HE’S not running as a Democrat.


  16. - John A Logan - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 11:14 am:

    Best example of “seemed like a good idea at the time” I have ever seen.


  17. - MissSmartyPants - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 11:15 am:

    Yes but did you know Dillard worked for Jim Edgar? Betcha didn’t!


  18. - Walter Mitty - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 11:15 am:

    Zatoichi…. If he owned that he was being bi-partisan… Then fine.. But like everything else… He changes his tune. That’s why he has earned this loss.


  19. - railrat - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 11:19 am:

    more flip flops than Target, sheesh


  20. - downstate hack - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 11:21 am:

    In Dillard’s case any publicity even negative may be helpful. He needs voters to register his name in the polling booth. To win he has to get the Rutherford vote and 60% of the undecided. A very tall task.


  21. - VanillaMan - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 11:22 am:

    Dillard got used by Obama, then got elected president. Since 2009, we’ve seen what kind of president he turned out to be - as a Republican who endorsed Obama at a crucial time in his climb into the Oval Office - Dillard should be embarrassed. If Obama turned out to be as good as say, a Kennedy or a Clinton, or even a Carter - then Dillard could escape this problem.

    But right now, heading into Campaign 2014, Dillard wants to be as attached to Obama as everyone else, especially Democrats.

    Dude - you blew it, big time!


  22. - Big Muddy - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 11:24 am:

    Dillard: “his ability to understand both sides would serve the country well” when speaking of Obama.
    How’s that working out for you Senator? Dillard is toast to most of the GOP base because they don’t know what he stands for anymore. All the union money pouring into his coffers is another example of that. He finishes second… again.


  23. - Raymond - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 11:25 am:

    === I count 40 words. It is the longest I have heard Dillard go without saying destination economy. ===

    Amazing that Dillard made it through the commercial without mentioning he was Edgar’s chief of staff.

    Seriously though, it’s unfortunate that compromise has become a four-letter word and that applauding the bipartisan work of a fellow legislator has become the kiss of death for a Republican. Let’s all retreat to our respective corners and hurl insults at each other.


  24. - Walter Mitty - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 11:29 am:

    Raymond… The kiss of death is not standing by your words and actions… At least on the Republican side…


  25. - Arizona Bob - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 11:34 am:

    This just shows how dysfunctional (for the citizens) politics is in Illinois.

    Illinois political power is largely based on doing favors for others, whether it be an endorsement, campaign contribution or vote, then being personally rewarded when you call in that favor.

    Illinois GOP legislators have been making political hay for themselves that way for decades.

    Want to increase taxes, Mr Speaker? Great. I’m sure I’ll run unopposed by your party in the next election, RIGHT?

    Mr Obama, I’d certainly like to endorse you so that even though you’re just to the left of Stalin politically, some will see my endorsement as making you more “moderate”. I’m not going to be in this legislature gig forever. I’m sure I could be of service in some fat adminstration job after you win, RIGHT?

    That’s the way things are done in Illinois with Dillard, Brady, and Rutherford. The discriminator with Rauner is that he’s been the one DOING the favors up until now, and he’s owed a lot more than he owes. Perhaps that’s the best reason to support him instead of Moe, Larry and Curly Joe.


  26. - Sunshine - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 11:45 am:

    Burnt Toast!


  27. - A guy... - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 11:52 am:

    Don’t cry for Kirk, Argentina. When he loses next week, unlike the two others, he’ll be picking up some consolation parting gifts. A new washer, a new dryer, a new pay grade at a law firm he doesn’t spend a lot of time in…and a Federal Judgeship that was worth every last one of those 14-40 words that were only meant for the internet. Nice investment by the public unions on this guy. They are merely the latest in the trail of people used by this guy…you know, Jim Edgar’s COS.


  28. - wordslinger - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 11:56 am:

    –and a Federal Judgeship that was worth every last one of those 14-40 words that were only meant for the internet–

    You can’t be serious.


  29. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 12:05 pm:

    ===…and a Federal Judgeship that was worth every last one of those 14-40 words that were only meant for the internet.===

    Being a Raunerbot makes you delusional … too?

    Pathetically unreal. What do you base THAT statement on?


  30. - A guy... - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 12:07 pm:

    Boy, that was fast for both of you OW and WS. Bookmark this page and just watch. The sidewalk in my brain for your transit is closed. I said it. Now we’ll see.


  31. - Raymond - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 12:09 pm:

    === Raymond… The kiss of death is not standing by your words and actions… At least on the Republican side… ===

    Dillard clearly is terrified of defending or reiterating his comment supportive of Obama. Why is that? I’d suspect it’s because Obama is deeply unpopular with the Republican base, and expressing support - let alone admiration - for Obama is not politically acceptable.

    I agree that Dillard should stand by his words and action. We all should. But I’m speaking above to what I believe is his motive for dancing around his own words, and I think that motive is predicated on a belief (at least as I see it) that is unfortunate.


  32. - wordslinger - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 12:44 pm:

    –Bookmark this page and just watch. The sidewalk in my brain for your transit is closed. I said it. Now we’ll see.–

    I see. In a public forum devoted to discussion, you put out a nonsensical allegation of political quid pro quo with no basis and it is not to be questioned.

    What were your expectations? Applause?

    You might want to shovel that sidewalk.


  33. - Walter Mitty - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 1:00 pm:

    Raymond… He stands for nothing… He fell for everything…. He made a gamble, he lost. He lost the election long ago… They didn’t think the farmer could win… It’s called arrogance. Just like thinking this ad would not come back… The ad is the least of his worries. Being DLard is his biggest problem. Understand, I am frustrated that this was not a race. I blame the other 3… All of them.


  34. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 1:08 pm:

    This is not “your Dad’s newspaper blog”.

    Canned responses, tin foil hat conspiracies, and just made up hypotheses are met here, head-on, and you, - A Guy… -, have had some if the “Best” Raunerbot apologies, conspiracy theories, and talking point comments that beg for responses.

    They are what they are. If you want an echo chamber or a place to comment and let your… theories… sit, this might not be that place. I have asked for rebuttals to my responses, and that is part of what makes this place outstanding.

    Participation, thoughtful participation, and keeping each other honest is why I know I enjoy hanging out here.

    It’s not “your Dad’s newspaper Blog”. Thank goodness.


  35. - wordslinger - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 1:14 pm:

    –They didn’t think the farmer could win… It’s called arrogance–

    That is strange, isn’t it? Even if, inexplicably, you didn’t think Rauner was going to be a factor, what about The Other Other Guys?

    None of the Other 3 locked down anything the last four years, as far as I can tell.


  36. - Walter Mitty - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 2:17 pm:

    Word… My head hurts… I really think the farmer has struck the tone so well is found in your question… Arrogance that it was “their turn”…That is clear to me by the campaigns they ran.


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