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Durbin upbeat on Dem prospects, defends on Walgreens, opens up new minimum wage front

Thursday, Aug 14, 2014

* RollCall

“I don’t see this Republican wave they’re talking about,” [Sen. Dick Durbin] continued. “To be honest, the public is not very enamored with either political party at this point. I went through the races yesterday with Harry Reid — the Senate races — and we feel good.”

* Meanwhile, Durbin fired back at Jim Oberweis for calling him a “bully” after Walgreens decided to remain in the US and not do an “inversion” to avoid federal taxation

Durbin’s November opponent state Sen. Jim Oberweis, R-Sugar Grove, blasted Durbin, saying he had bullied the company into staying rather than fixing a broken tax code and that Durbin deserved “scorn” rather than praise.

“You know, where I grew up, bullies picked on little people. When I’m doing these battles for the state, I’m picking some of the big people,” Durbin told Early&Often Wednesday. “You know, and I think that’s my job, to call them out. I’m a customer at Walgreens. I love Walgreens. They were about to make a bad decision and they straightened it out. When the CEO called me and said ‘let’s get together,’ and of course we will. We can disagree without being petty about it. I think they were about to make a big mistake and I’m glad they didn’t.”

* Durbin also opened a new line of attack

“Oberweis introduced a bill and said it should be illegal to give an increase in the minimum wage to anyone under the age of 26,” Durbin said. “You think I’m making it up, don’t ya? It’s a fact. Well, who did he exclude. All college students. Virtually all of them. A lot of struggling moms, struggling to keep their families together. And incidentally, returning vets under the age of 26 trying to find any kind of job. Jim Oberweis said no increase for them.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Under Further Review - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 9:38 am:

    Utterly clueless.

    This demonstrates how out of touch Durbin is. In addition to Quinn’s reelection, the Illinois Congressional delegation might flip back to the Republicans. Not a definite, but a real possibility.

  2. - Cassiopeia - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 9:40 am:

    Every time Durbin mentions Harry Reid he loses votes.

  3. - wordslinger - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 10:22 am:

    I don’t think Durbin had anything to do with Walgreen’s decision. They were worried about consumer reaction and that of their competitors.

    A couple of years ago, Walgreens got in a spat XPress scripts and stopped using them to process scripts.

    CVS, Walmart, grocery stores, etc., pounced with multi-media campaigns to switch prescriptions from Walgreens. It stung and they’ve been clawing back scripts ever since.

  4. - Todd - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 10:25 am:

    So Durbin, the guy that likened our soldiers/vets in a combat zone to stormtroopers of dictators and Nazis, is trying to make Oby the guy that doesn’t care about our vets?

    Did he start smoking the medical mary jane. . .

  5. - A guy... - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 10:25 am:

    ‘I went through the races yesterday with Harry Reid”

    Can you hear it? There’s a two point swing. Keep it up Dick. Stupid statements followed up by weak responses. Almost if he wants to see himself racked up in this one. Arrogance kills. Playing with fire on the Walgreen’s front too. Dick had to call out a successful private business on their decision making. Great line. This guy deserves to lose.

  6. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 10:31 am:

    Under Further Review:

    Durbin was speaking nationally.

    The economy was Republicans primary argument against Democrats.

    Nationally, the economy is looking pretty strong.

    Illinois is an anomaly.

  7. - Todd - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 10:37 am:

    YDD —

    then somebody should tell the real clear politics guys what the senate map looks like they have have a very different picture.

  8. - Under Further Review - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 10:40 am:


    The pollsters would tell you a different story. We will see who is correct in less than three months.

  9. - walker - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 11:04 am:

    Durbin has already won his race.

    He had better focus on avoiding the Dem losses in other races that appear on the horizon.

  10. - Madison - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 11:16 am:

    The Oberweis bill will be back to haunt him as a sound bite: “can you believe Oberweis introduced a bill to freeze the minimum wage?” Its hard to believe that someone in a blue state legislature would be so out of touch.
    Truly a peek into the mind of a nut job.
    A gifted ice cream man. Don’t quit your day job Jim…

  11. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 11:33 am:

    Todd you can condense Durbin’s log and distinguished career down to one regrettable speech on the Senate floor, for which he apologized, if you want. But I think most people know there is quite a bit more to him than the caricature you’re trying to paint of him.

    And Oberweis is going to be hearing quite a bit more about his minimum wage bill over the next couple of months, and none of it will be good.

  12. - ok... - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 11:33 am:

    He’s gotta be joking! the Republicans are going to win the Senate and Dems are in trouble. Pryor,Landrieu,Hagan, Begich might loose and the open seats in Montana and South Dakota have been all but lost, the open seat in Iowa can go Republican as well.

  13. - votecounter - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 11:59 am:

    Wait until the clip of Durbin sicking the IRS on people hits the airwaves and watch his numbers fall. Durbin brings Chicago Ward politics nationally and people are sick of it. He uses government like a club to force people and businesses into line, it’s disgusting and has to stop.
    47th one speech? You think his comparing our troops to Pol Pot and Some of the biggest murders in history can be apologized away? The whole speech was intentionally used to lower support for the war in Iraq. Did he hit the Senate floor when Daniel Pearl was beheaded to opine on what animals our enemies were? An apology is not enough! Our enemies used his speech as propaganda to recruit. You may believe that we shouldn’t have been there but the US Senate and congress voted to put the troops into Iraq and don’t give me the lie stuff because I can post speeches by President Clinton his wife and Democrat leaders in congress saying that there was WMD’s there as well. Oberweis is running a horrible campaign but he could still win this thing! Durbin knows it you can tell by his reactions lately.

  14. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 12:04 pm:

    ===The whole speech was intentionally used to lower support for the war in Iraq.===

    I disagree. The speech was intentionally used to call out the illegal and inhuman treatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib. If you want to defend the tactics used there, go right ahead, but don’t try to rewrite history about Durbin’s speech and its intentions.

  15. - Votemall Out - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 12:05 pm:

    Durbin has to GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. - RNUG - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 12:31 pm:


    Yes, there’s a lot more and it isn’t pretty. There’s the public Durbin image (which occasionally slips), the back room dealing Durbin, and the private “I don’t need the little people” Durbin … and he’s been that way since the mid-70’s. Most people only see the public image.

  17. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 12:37 pm:

    Well RNUG, for me to believe you means you must know him much better than I do, and I know him pretty well. He made his enemies working for the Illinois Senate back in the day, and some of you guys can’t seem to get over it. That’s too bad. Life is too short to hold petty grudges.

    RNUG, do you really prefer Jim Oberweis?

  18. - RNUG - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 12:47 pm:


    Obie? Not really. I wish there was a “none of the above” choice on the ballot. But if it’s Durbin or Oberweis, I’ll vote against Durbin.

    And yes, over the years a couple of family members were in positions where they would have known the different images …

  19. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 12:50 pm:

    Hmmm, sounds like it could be Irish Alzheimers, where you forget everything except grudges. Do us a favor and just skip the race on your ballot. I’d hate for Oberweis to win by one vote.

  20. - RNUG - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 12:52 pm:


    And it goes back before he ever held office …

  21. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 1:33 pm:

    Please stop attacking Dick Durbin.
    He is a very old man who still thinks he is absolutely correct on every issue. The last thing we need to see is a bunch of you clowns stripping him of the feel-good fiction his very life depends upon!

    Leave Dick alone!
    Let him live his fantasy!

  22. - Demoralized - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 1:38 pm:

    == Dick had to call out a successful private business on their decision making. ==

    And it’s not acceptable to call them out and tell them that you think it’s a horrible decision? I would have done the exact same thing if I would have been in his situation.

    ==Arrogance kills. ==

    Probably should take some of your own advice occasionally A Guy.

  23. - Tom Joad - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 1:44 pm:

    RNUG stick to comments about the pension bills. You are out of your league talking about Durbin. Your blather about Durbin amounts to support for Oberweis. I am beginning to wonder about the value of your pension comments now.

  24. - A guy... - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 1:49 pm:

    Ettu Demo?

  25. - Demoralized - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 1:56 pm:

    Nah. It was just a quick jab.

    But I still think you’re completely wrong on the Walgreens thing. What Walgreen’s ultimately decided had zero to do with what Durbin or Quinn or anybody else said. I understand it was business. But I would not have sat by if I were in Durbin’s shoes and not berated them for what they were thinking. Can you imagine the uproar if Walgreens had left? Cue the “it’s Quinn’s fault” and “it’s the Democrats fault.” As far as I’m concerned they had little in their arsenal except to guilt them into staying.

  26. - A guy... - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 3:16 pm:

    No lasting scars Demo! lol.

    We’ve seen the outrage of people when Rauner talks about running Government like a business…now we see Dick Durbin, who I’ve never ever heard of even being in business, telling a very successful hometown favorite company how to handle things. The irony was just too delicious to pass up my friend.

  27. - Under Further Review - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 3:18 pm:


    I think that you have Durbin’s private character summed up correctly. The folksy Durbin is an actor performing for the public. When the cameras are off, the man seems to genuinely dislike people because he has never been wrong and we have all disappointed him.

  28. - Anon - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 6:36 pm:

    Another min wage front. And Jesse White accuses Rauner of trying to buy votes.

  29. - RNUG - Thursday, Aug 14, 14 @ 10:23 pm:


    We will just have to agree to disagree over Durbin.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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