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Kirk to campaign for Oberweis afterall

Thursday, Apr 17, 2014

Posted by Barton Lorimor (@bartonlorimor)

* Sen. Mark Kirk has come a long way from withholding his endorsement from Jim Oberweis. The junior Senator told reporters yesterday he intends to campaign for Oberweis this year…

Kirk says he doesn’t believe the decision will affect his “very good relationship” with Durbin, who’s running for a fourth term.

Kirk and Durbin have worked together and have had a public friendship, particularly after Kirk suffered a stroke in 2012.

Durbin told IRN he wasn’t aware of Kirk’s turnaround.


* Durbin banks more than $6M for 2014 Senate bid

* Down-ballot fundraising shows big gaps: Democrat candidate Mike Frerichs of Champaign has raised $375,820 since January, giving him more than $1.08 million to spend. That’s compared to the $232,133 raised by his opponent, Republican Tom Cross of Oswego. He currently has $210,000 on hand. … Attorney General Lisa Madigan has an enormous fundraising advantage over her Republican challenger, Paul Schimpf. The Chicago Democrat raised $59,503 last quarter, putting her cash reserves at over $4.7 million. Schimpf brought in $22,135. After campaign expenses for the quarter, Schimpf reports having only $14,649 on hand.

* Quinn with nearly $9 million as Rauner reloads: Democrats held a campaign fundraising advantage in statewide races for secretary of state, attorney general and treasurer, but not for comptroller. In that contest, Republican Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka had $1.1 million left and Democratic challenger Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon had $399,000.

* Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka reports $125,000 in income, $20,000 in taxes in 2013

- Posted by Barton Lorimor        

  1. - PublicServant - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 7:01 am:

    Good move by Kirk. Maybe he can get Jim to give him a job after we boot him out of office when he’s up for re-election.

  2. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 7:11 am:

    Oberweis is down 14 points already. Durbin is over 50%, barely, but over, so Kirk “campaigning” for Oberweis is really about Kirk and his Primary, far more than Durbin and Oberweis.

    Plus, Oberweis will do something Dopey and then Kirk can disavow Oberweis, so it’s a “win-win”.

    The conservative flank Kirk is trying to head off could very well include Doug Traux, who was a darling on GOP circles after taking on Oberweis, so the moving parts here seem to point more to Kirk’s Primary worries, and not to Oberweis/Durbin.

    The picture of Oberweis with his Dopey fake phone call being peppered by the questions of Mary Ann Ahern is the Oberweis that is going to lose by 10 plus points, and even if Kirk goes 100% for Oberweis, Durbin probably wants Oberweis to talk as much as possible.

    Will the conservatives buy this Kirk support? Probably not, but Kirk only needs to keep it up until another “Michael Jordan was in College” Ad comes out, on TV this time, and is countered by Durbin with the black helicopter Ad and SSM quotes.

    I am 100% sure Rauner can’t wait to share face time with Oberweis too.

  3. - wordslinger - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 7:40 am:

    –Kirk “campaigning” for Oberweis is really about Kirk and his Primary, far more than Durbin and Oberweis.–

    Absolutely. It’s highly likely that Kirk will get primaried by a Club for Growth type.

    He added fuel to the fire with his previous “Durbin relationship” comments. He’s trying to tamp it down a little bit.

  4. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 7:42 am:

    More flip-flop double speak from Kirk. I can’t wait until Oberweis does the inevitable and says something really dumb, then we’ll get to watch Kirk flip back and pretend he never supported Oberweis.

  5. - Excessively Rabid - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 8:21 am:

    I misread the headline as “Kirk to campaign for Oberweis farewell.” Might be closer to what really happens.

  6. - Ahoy! - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 8:44 am:

    Kirk is either avoiding a nasty primary or found out that Durbin plans on running someone against him.

  7. - Almost the Weekend - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 9:18 am:

    =Kirk is either avoiding a nasty primary or found out that Durbin plans on running someone against him.=

    Most likely the first possibility. 2016 a Presidential year in Illinois, I think the Dem side of that primary might be one of the nastiest races we have seen in awhile. If I’m Durbin I wait until the Primary is over, then do what I can.

  8. - Walker - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 9:36 am:

    Kirk is a master politician.

    He won’t lose this go round, regardless of real substance or positions on issues.

    Or until a giant appears on the IL GOP horizon — e.g. Rauner after one “good” term as Governor. (He’ll bail after one, before arithmetic catches up to him.)

  9. - A guy... - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 9:43 am:

    I really do read this differently than many of you. Kirk’s staff did horrible and shoddy staff work on this and didn’t protect their guy. Now they are compounding this with poorly devised and poorly executed damage control.
    They’re otherwise pretty capable people there. For himself, I believe Kirk concentrated so hard on his own health and rehabilitation that he just experienced a ‘void in time’ while all that was going on. He necessarily lost touch to concentrate on something far more important. His perspective was probably jolted by his near miss with his own mortality and his reassessment of priorities changed him. This is humanly good, but politically perhaps a disadvantage. His staff needed to do better.

  10. - Wensicia - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 9:56 am:

    Kirk needs the money people on the right, so it’s not surprising he’s walking back from the Durbin statements.

  11. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 10:13 am:

    Lord, Kirk is a piece of work, isn’t he?

    The only reason he did a 180 on Jim Oberweis is because he doesn’t think Oberweis can win and Kirk is concerned that he won’t win renomination if Doug Traux decides to run against him.

    Kirk finally heard that his attempted euthanizing of the Oberweis campaign harmed Mark Kirk among Illinois GOP faithful. So Mark Kirk hopes that appearing with Jim will cover his butt in two years when Doug Traux runs against him.

    I’ve got news for you Mark -
    Your endorsement of Dick Durbin was videotaped and left little for anyone to be confused over. You can appear across Illinois with Jim Oberweis this year, but unless you make amends with your voter base - you won’t defeat Doug Traux if he chooses to run against you in 2016.

    You have one year to fix this. If you don’t, my advice to you is to announce next year that you won’t run for reelection. You’ve exposed yourself as exactly what the Illinois GOP won’t nominate in two years.

  12. - Walker - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 10:32 am:

    VMan: You might be right.

    But Truax is the current flavor of the month. He just lost to a flawed candidate, while gaining needed public awareness. He will have to grow substantially in the public mind over next eighteen months, to be considered a real player vs. Kirk.

    How will he do that while out of office? Party officer? Radio/TV personality? PAC organizer/favorite?

  13. - Responsa - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 10:42 am:

    On the day he first made the statement in question Kirk knew Oberweis could not and would not win. Today he still knows Oberweis can not and will not win. Kirk made a big mistake and an absolutely amateur unforced error when he uttered those “my friend Dick Durbin” type words. Everything since then is pure damage control. I don’t think the politician Mark Kirk of the previous decade would have made that mistake. That’s the concern for many on the right.

  14. - Anonymous - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 10:45 am:

    =Kirk’s staff did horrible and shoddy staff work on this and didn’t protect their guy=

    Well, I’m just glad that entire “undermisestimastanding” with “the media” has been clarified.

  15. - A guy... - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 10:47 am:

    VM and Walker, VM is absolutely right. Truax has a year to cozy up to the same money crowd Kirk has turned off. They’ve never been sure about Mark, but they absolutely despise Durbin. Saying you don’t want to harm your relationship with Dick was a fatal mistake. I don’t know any GOPers who are worried about a relationship with Dick. Truax has taken a couple of spins around the golf course which will help him next time around. I’ll wager that Obie will even be a contributor to that effort.

  16. - Anonymous - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 10:49 am:

    Wow. And Responsa, how nice to see you so suddenly concerned for “those on the right.” That’s two now, though your last one was um…a bit “odd.”

    I don’t believe I’ve ever even seen you reference them before within any context other than strategy. To win.

  17. - wordslinger - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 10:53 am:

    –I’ll wager that Obie will even be a contributor to that effort.–

    Better odds that Obie will challenge Kirk, himself.

  18. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 10:57 am:

    The partisan outcry against Kirk and the words should be also taken from someone who appreciates a colleague.

    Sen. Durbin, and his office, carried a heavy load and burden when Sen. Kirk was rehabilitating. Durbin is the 2nd rannking Democrat, while also trying to assist is junior Senator’s office, from the other side of the aisle, and making it more about Illinois and less about Republican or Democrat from Illinois.

    Durbin, and frankly Durbin’s staff in concert with Kirk’s staff too, carried his load of water, and Kirk’s load with nary a sound of resentment, partisanship, anger, or frustration. Colleagues do that for one another, and Illinois is better for it.

    I would like to think that is where Kirk is coming from, besides the idea that Oberweis doesn’t help Rauner, not one bit.

    Kirk sees the poll, Oberweis trails by 14 and Durbin over 50%, and marry that with guarding against Club for Growth, and recruiting Traux, who now does have name ID, and would need help to win, a good combo for a Club for Growth applicant, it’s important for Kirk to support Oberweis, until his Dopey antics will allow Kirk to peel off.

    Jim Oberweis will become Sharron Angle to the ILGOP. Oberweis is toxic. Support Jim Oberweis now, get your “we’re behind you, Jim”, out of the way to appease the Slytherin flank, and worry not, the Self-Destructing Oberweis will more than obliged your departure with a black helicopter ride, if need be, or a quote or two defending intolerance.

    Kirk and Durbin show how being colleagues of different parties matter little, when a colleague needs a friend when it matters most.

  19. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 11:03 am:

    ===Better odds that Obie will challenge Kirk, himself.===

    Exactly. That is why the “Brain Trust” Ron Gidwitz wanted Oberweis to run, so the Oberweis brand will again be tarnished, and will be weaker to take on Kirk.

    Can’t tell the players without a program …

  20. - Responsa - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 11:05 am:

    “Anonymous”, your apparent dislike of me and focus on me and my comments here is starting to look plain creepy. Just sayin’. If you’d like to discuss some particular policy issue, or candidate, or how the right might achieve a big tent party in IL which could possibly win some elections, I’m always willing to participate. Your cryptic digs and sarcasm contribute little to the conversation and I’m pretty sure leave even the inside baseball people here confused about what you’re trying to get at and why.

  21. - A guy... - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 11:07 am:

    ====wordslinger - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 10:53 am:

    –I’ll wager that Obie will even be a contributor to that effort.–

    Better odds that Obie will challenge Kirk, himself.====

    Always possible, but I don’t think so. He’d have to give up a bird in the hand to do it. He doesn’t have a lot of pride, but he’s got a shred. The party should be smart enough and mature enough to stop him from that mission. If Rauner’s Gov, I can assure you Obie will be content to run for re-election to the State Senate. Heck, you still get called Senator. lol.

  22. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 11:10 am:

    ===* At first, lots of GOP insiders were grumbling that Republican money bags Ron Gidwitz was somehow pushing Jim Oberweis for US Senate. The theory that Gidwitz was supposedly operating under was that Oberweis would burn himself out and so discredit himself that he wouldn’t be able to challenge Mark Kirk in the 2016 Republican primary.===

    Again, can’t tell the players without a program …

  23. - Anonymous - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 11:12 am:

    =“Anonymous”, your apparent dislike of me and focus on me and my comments here is starting to look plain creepy.=

    “Oh, baby,” I think you’re blowing it all out of proportion. I’m just making and returning some of the same observations and advice you’ve made to me over the years.

  24. - Anonymous - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 11:15 am:

    But without politely addressing you with such nomers as “Oh, baby.”

  25. - A guy... - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 11:17 am:

    Willie, points well taken, but I think you might be overestimating the cooperation that might have taken place. The US Senate is a more collegial place than just about any place in elective politics. Senator Johnson (?) of SD experienced the same courtesy as did the ailing Senator in GA. There’s a history of that there. Don’t kick a guy or take advantage. Even appointments which can often result in a Caucus Shift are handled with great care. They rarely don’t show deference to one another (John Tower is one of those very rare ones I remember)It also causes them to tolerate some of the goofy things said by Robert Byrd and Strom Thurmond. They work to not make it personal in that body. But they are partisans and must be. Traitors are not loved by either side (Jeffords, Shelby) Gidwitz made a tactical mistake with Obie in a moment of dopiness. Might be why he’s had trouble in elections; his judgment. To ascribe this to strategic thinking is to overestimate him IMO. Truax surprised a little. Obie made it easier. But Truax can build on it. Accidents sometimes turn out OK. Truax/Kirk would be a barn burner IMO. Kirk might not be up to that. Durbin wouldn’t be a lot of help in that happens.

  26. - Wumpus - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 11:42 am:

    How is Obie going to challenge Kirk when he is in the senate himself? Is that legal to occupy two senate seats? I think not!

    Joe Walsh must have put the fear into Kirk.

  27. - wordslinger - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 11:44 am:

    Wumpus, the assumption is that Obie won’t beat Durbin.

  28. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 11:46 am:

    There is always Florida… for Mrs. Oberweis.

    Maybe she will have better luck than Jim?

  29. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 11:51 am:

    A glaring mis-step by Kirk from the second he made those comments.

    One of the few he has made.

    It’s kind of hard to wrangle a cat like that back into the bag once it is out, but good for him belatedly trying to play nice.

    The real question is, will this be enough to serve as his “penance”? Or will he have to actually help Oberweis in order to cool the fires of his “traitorous” comments among the “true believers”?

    Oberweis did the classy and necessary thing by turning the other cheek, but he’s only 1 vote in a 2016 primary. This has less to do with Oberweis than it does with visions of anonymous primary challengers gaining strength from Kirk’s comments.

  30. - A guy... - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 12:04 pm:

    If by some miracle Obie does beat Durbin (pardon this crazy idea, I’m waking up from a nap), Kirk would be vindicated and extolled. That’s lottery type odds.

  31. - Keyser Soze - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 12:22 pm:

    Do the mind sets of either of our Senators even remotely coincide with that of the average Illinois citizen? Un uh.

  32. - wordslinger - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 12:27 pm:

    –Do the mind sets of either of our Senators even remotely coincide with that of the average Illinois citizen? Un uh.–

    How’d they get elected, then?

  33. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 12:32 pm:

    - Keyser Soze -,

    Elections are choices. Voters chose Durbin, voters chose Kirk.

    If you ran them against each other, that would be an interesting choice for Illinois, but since they both are not spitting images of the other, it is an interesting dynamic Illinois has representing her in the US Senate.

  34. - Johnny Q. Suburban - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 1:41 pm:

    Surprised Kirk would “change his mind” like this. Maybe my compass is off, but I just can’t see any Republican mounting a credible challenge to Kirk in 2016. Certainly none of the young ILGOPers (Schock or Kinzinger) would challenge him when they could wait another few years for Durbin’s presumably open seat. Roskam wouldn’t do it for a number of reasons. It’d have to be someone who’s just A Guy like Truax who benefited tremendously from being listed on the ballot as Not Jim Oberweis. It seems to me that while Kirk will definitely be challenged it’ll be by the flotsam and jetsam that he ran roughshod over in 2010.

  35. - Anonymous - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 2:20 pm:

    I’m the other Anonymous, and I’m not part of the fight. I’m a lover, but (hang on……..), …….my wife just told me to delete that ‘lover’ thing. Jeez, what a complicated freaking world, eh?

  36. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Apr 17, 14 @ 2:23 pm:

    ===I’m the other Anonymous…=== and ===…Jeez, what a complicated freaking world, eh?===


    ===And please take a half second to come up with a nickname. It makes following the posts easier for everyone… Thanks===

    Doesn’t sound too complicated.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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