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Obamarama - Fritchey: Obama announcement will be in Springfield *** Updated x23 ***

Tuesday, Jan 16, 2007 - Posted by Rich Miller

[Updated and bumped up for discussion purposes.]

*** UPDATE *** Obama has apparently announced, although the Trib story has no details. More in a bit.

In an announcement weighted with history and moment, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), who less than three years ago was serving in Illinois state senate, declared today his intention to run for president.

*** UPDATE 2 *** NBC5:

Sources close to Sen. Barak Obama have told NBC5’s Mary Ann Ahern that the senator will be filing the necessary paperwork Tuesday to begin a presidential campaign.

Ahern said Obama will file papers with the Federal Election Commission in Washington, D.C.

*** UPDATE 3 *** Press release just issued:

U.S. Senator Barack Obama today filed papers with the Federal Election Commission establishing the “Obama Exploratory Committee.” A formal announcement of his decision will occur on February 10th in Illinois.

*** UPDATE 4 *** You can watch a video announcement here.

*** UPDATE 5 *** From the announcement:

“It’s not the magnitude of our problems that concerns me the most, it’s the smallness of our politics.”

*** UPDATE 6 *** Full statement, in written form, can be found here.

*** UPDATE 7 *** The announcement video is now posted at YouTube.

*** UPDATE 8 *** A new campaign video is also posted at Obama’s website. The Hotline says it was produced by David Axelrod.

*** UPDATE 9 *** CBS2 has a “Special Report” video up.

*** UPDATE 10 *** Lynn Sweet had this post earlier today.

Supporters of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) are being told this morning there will be an 11 a.m. Chicago time conference call. Expected to be discussed is Obama filing papers to officially launch his 2008 White House run. Obama is expected to hit the road to travel to early primary states in the coming days.

The call is being organized by Nate Tamarin, who was the political director for Obama’s Washington D.C. based political action committee the Hope Fund. He now works with Pete Giangreco, the founder of the Strategy Group in Evanston, expected to handle Obama’s direct mail in the 2008 campaign.

*** UPDATE 11 *** I’ve created a special news feed on the announcement:

*** UPDATE 12 *** Thanks to Larry, I figured out how to embed the second video I referenced above.

*** UPDATE 13 *** The Tribune has an analysis video piece up.

*** UPDATE 14 *** Marc Sandalow at the San Francisco Gate’s blog makes some good points:

For a party which lost consecutive elections to George W. Bush by promoting well-known, well-regarded, and wooden speakers, Obama’s rhetorical skills alone will be hard to resist. […]

Will Americans elect a black man president? It boggles the mind that Obama is only the third African American elected to the Senate since reconstruction. Polls suggest the country is ready, but this is the sort of question where people lie to pollsters.

At 45, Obama is roughly the same age as Bill Clinton when he sought the presidency. But Clinton had served four terms as governor and one as attorney general. George Bush had served just six years as governor. But that was before Sept. 11. Is America ready to entrust its national security to a candidate whose experience amounts to two years service on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee?

*** UPDATE 15 *** Crain’s:

The widely anticipated showdown between U.S. Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential primaries next year is forcing Chicago’s top Democratic donors to choose between an old friend and a favorite son. […]

“It’s overwhelmingly going to be for Barack,” says Rep. [Rahm] Emanuel. “Overwhelmingly!”

*** UPDATE 16 *** There’s been some discussion in comments here and over at The Hotline blog about why Obama chose to announce on Saturday, Feb. 10. An aide to Obama e-mailed me the reason for a Saturday announcment is the “likelihood that US Senate would be voting” on Friday. “We’ve been told they could vote up til noon on Friday.”

I’m still kinda wondering why a Saturday and not, say, a Sunday, the usual day for stuff like this.

*** UPDATE 17 *** The Hotline blog noted that February 10th is two days before Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. Rep. John Fritchey participated in this morning’s conference call and fills us in on more details, including that the announcement will be held in Springfield.

He told the group that he and his family are eager for what the future may hold. He spoke of making an announcement February 10 in Springfield, and of the desire to focus on a grassroots campaign fueled by ‘excitement’ and the ’sense of possibility’.

*** UPDATE 18 *** Daley reacts:

Mayor Daley said Tuesday he’s “excited” Barack Obama has taken the first official step toward the White House and left no doubt about his plan to endorse Illinois’ favorite son.

“He gives a different viewpoint — a different voice…to the Democratic Party. He understands, coming from the General Assembly, the issues, especially in education. That is an issue that America is not doing well with as compared to other nations — the quality of education we’re giving to our children. He looks at it completely different than others,” the mayor said.

But Daley warned that once Obama takes the official plunge, the star treatment he has received in the national media will end and the scrutiny will begin.

“No one has a honeymoon. You think you have a honeymoon, [but] no one has a honeymoon. He understands that,” the mayor said.

*** UPDATE 19 *** More from Fritchey, via e-mail, after I asked what else was discussed during the conference call:

(T)here was nothing else really other than that he would be traveling extensively around the state. More of a feel good, stay connected type thing.

*** UPDATE 20 *** Another friend who participated in this morning’s conference call said Obama gave participants phone numbers to four campaign headquarters in New Hampshire, Iowa, DC and Chicago. He said, according to the friend, that his campaign “will begin in Illinois and end in Illinois.”

*** UPDATE 21 *** Chris Bowers at MyDD totals up the number of news media mentions (via Google News) of the various Democratic candidates during the past month.

Barack Obama: 9,710
Joseph Biden: 6,475
John Edwards: 5,944
Hillary Clinton: 5,226
Chris Dodd: 3,218
Bill Richardson: 3,100
Tom Vilsack: 2,753
Dennis Kucinich: 1,862
Wesley Clark: 497
Mike Gravel: 22

*** UPDATE 22 *** I asked for a quickie quote from Governor Blagojevich’s office. Here it is: “The Governor is excited, hopes to help Sen. Obama in any way he can.”

*** UPDATE 23 *** More from CBS2.



[Original post follows…]

Apparently, Barack Obama’s people got the message. Embattled Harvey Mayor Eric Kellog was supposed to introduce Obama at a major Martin Luther King, Jr. Day event, but after it was pointed out that having Kellogg around might not do his image any good and might boost Kellogg’s reelection, the mayor was moved into the cheap seats.

Harvey Mayor Eric Kellogg sat in the audience while Obama spoke, keeping a respectful distance.

Obama, never mentioning the mayor specifically, said politicians in office for personal gain fail to adhere to King’s message.

“There are a lot things Harvey needs,” Obama said. “Some folks here in city hall think that maybe the office that they possess is because they are so special, it is supposed to be a place where they can help their family and their friends instead of helping the people who elected them.

“We don’t need that kind of leadership,” he warned. “You want to make a lot of money, go start a business. Don’t run for office.”

In the past year, the Daily Southtown has published several dozen stories that call into question Kellogg’s management of city finances and his appointments to the police department.

[Emphasis added.]

Meanwhile, my syndicated newspaper column this week was about Michael Madigan and Obama, and the Speaker’s recent attempts to make nice.

You’d think that Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan, who is forever being touted as one of the smartest politicians in Illinois history, would have realized long ago that Barack Obama was immensely popular and needed to be treated differently than others.

[Comments are now closed on this post. Let’s move to a fresh thread.]


  1. - uiucleader - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 9:26 am:

    Video is up.

    [Hat Tip: National Journal Blog]

  2. - uiucleader - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 9:29 am:

    Why would he officially announce his candidacy on February 10th, a Saturday?

  3. - amy - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 9:50 am:

    Don’t assume that everyone in Illinois is for Obama.
    There are plenty of people who want Hillary
    to be President, and not just in her home
    town of Park Ridge.

  4. - So-Called "Austin Mayor" - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 10:04 am:

    Amy is right.

    Many people in Illinois want Hillary Clinton to be the Democratic nominee for President.

    Of course, the vast majority of them are Republicans…

  5. - Boone Logan Square - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 10:07 am:

    Those already fatigued by the media’s coverage of Obama may find their heads exploding between now and February 10. Announcing an end date to the exploratory committee phase was a smart move. How else could he heighten anticipation even beyond what it is already?

  6. - Ali Bin Haddin - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 10:13 am:

    Time table for Obama’s announcement:

    1. Must time announcement with Bear’s Superbowl victory so the general public will notice. Chicagoland fans will be drunk until the third week of spring training.

    2. If the Bears do not win the Superbowl, Senator Durbin will introduce legislation to lure the Cardinals back to Chicago. This will cloud the issue for weeks, detracting from the annoucement.

    3. In either case listed above, Mr. Madigan gains time to further plot courses of action for his family members. Does she want to be a senator, governor, veep…? Lots of possibilities here.

  7. - Niles Township - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 10:24 am:

    This Dem is skeptical that Obama is really ready for to be Prez. I think that in the complex world in which we now live he needs more seasoning. I’m not sure why the party’s leading candidates are all inexperienced senators. Obama with barely 2 years, Edwards, a 1-termer, and Hilary just elected to a second term. Where are any experienced Dem governors, senators etc? How do any of them really stack up against someone like McCain with his years of military and legislative experience? I am indeed skeptical and worried that the party may be blowing a golden opportunity to take back the presidency.

  8. - Slash - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 10:29 am:

    This is the greatest day in the history of Illinois.

    Bar none.

  9. - Anon - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 10:37 am:

    So, the pressure is on now for Hillary and the man who, I reluctantly concede, is the “smartest man in US politics.” No, not Obambi. Bill. Don’t underestimate him.

    I personally favor Arnie Schwarzenegger for Prez.
    Universal health care. Environmental emphasis. European background in re social issues. Pro business. Can change his ways (unlike W). And the Kennedys in the background with their magic.

    The Dems will likely fight a resolution to make the foreign-born eligible for the Presidency, but isn’t Jennifer Granholm Canadian? And she’s a rising Dem star. Tit for tat.

    Obambi is already a washout. And using illegal drugs as a young person is the least of it. No experience. The Rezko Vacant Lot affair (has Mrs. Rezko sold it yet? Or is she, in effect, still living next door?). The Eric Kellogg Harvey speech misstep. The very thin executive resume. The no foreign policy experience. The waffling on the Iraq war. The failure of ethics reform. Maybe someday. But he is going to flame out this time. Let’s hope it’s fast so he doesn’t waste too much of our time.

  10. - Bill - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 10:42 am:

    I feel so proud to be an American and from Illinois. I have not had this much hope for our country since Clinton(Bill)won his first nomination. I like Hill and wouldn’t be too upset if she was president but she is no Barack.
    This is really gonna be fun!

  11. - True Observer - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 10:44 am:

    Greatest day in history of Illinois:

    1. Statehood.

    2. Election of Lincoln as President.

    3. Stevenson nomination for President 1952.

    4. Election of Richard J. Daley as Mayor of Chicago.

  12. - C$ - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 10:57 am:

    I’ve been preparing for an Obama presidency by living recklessly for the last year. I’m uninsured, but I figure by the time it all catches up to me, Obama (or Hillary for that matter) will have instituted universal health coverage and I won’t have to pay one cent for my lifestyle. GO OBAMA!!!!

  13. - NW burbs - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 11:07 am:

    I hope conservatives will contribute a nickel to the Red Cross or something for every time they bore us with their goofy “Barack Hussein Obama” malarkey…

    Niles Twp, Perhaps you’d prefer someone with a few years as governor of a large southern border state with one star in its flag?

    Think quality, not quantity. Besides, the things Sen. Obama has already done in the Senate during two years in the minority party are fairly impressive (whether or not you are a Democratic-leaner).

  14. - Carl Nyberg - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 11:10 am:

    Congratulations, Senator Barack Obama. Good luck.

  15. - Bill Baar - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 11:13 am:

    It’s great news for Illinois bloggers.

  16. - Objective Dem - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 11:20 am:

    I think it is great that he is running. I don’t think Obama is perfect and don’t agree with him 100%. However, he is smart and reasonable, which beats our current president on two counts.

    He is also charismatic. While, I personally would be happy with someone who is highly experience but boring, our media and political system want charisma.

    I think almost anyone will stack up well against McCain. There was the Keating scandal. His campaign finance legislation, the McCain-Feingold Act, was a dismal failure. Worst of all, his inability to understand the world in non-military terms is leading him to call for a continue escalation in Iraq. Then there is his courting of the wacko right. The media too often calls him a “maverick” when the reality is he is an opportunistic flake.

  17. - Justice - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 11:24 am:

    He is charismatic, well spoken, knowledgeable, …….and untested. If he can stay on topic and remain focused on his agenda, he might, just might make it through the vileness of the hate machine and spin doctors. This level of campaigning is brutal. Like many, I want to believe in him but must look at his connection to Rezko and his mill and a half home. That gives me pause. Who is he really for…himself, or all of us, the American public? We wish him luck.

  18. - NW burbs - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 11:25 am:

    Anon, get real.

    You wrote: “Obambi”

    Cute. Does your kindergarten teacher realize you’re using the class computer?

    You also wrote: “I personally favor Arnie Schwarzenegger for Prez. … The Dems will likely fight a resolution to make the foreign-born eligible for the Presidency, but isn’t Jennifer Granholm Canadian? And she’s a rising Dem star. …”

    Granholm didn’t do as well as expected in her reelection campaign. Knocked that ‘rising’ star down a bit.

    I say we leave the Constitution alone.

    You went on: “Obambi is already a washout.”

    What?!?! How so?

    And on and on: “And using illegal drugs as a young person is the least of it.”

    Do you care whether or not Bush 43 snorted coke? Bush has always given a non-answer (saying he doesn’t ‘want to give kids bad ideas’) when asked about his drinking and drugging days. At least Sen. Obama owned up to it and explained what was happening in his life that led him to do it. And he has directly said it is a bad idea, etc.

    And still you carried on: “No experience.”

    …Look at our current president, someone who had ‘more’ experience as a governor. Sen. Obama has already been doing quite a bit as a junior senator in the minority party and has a healthy portfolio of legislation already under his belt. It’s quite bizarre that his detractors keep relying on this ‘no experience’ crutch.

    And, still, like a leaky toilet, you don’t stop: “The Rezko Vacant Lot affair (has Mrs. Rezko sold it yet? Or is she, in effect, still living next door?).”

    I’m much more concerned about the war profiteering being committed by the President’s and Vice President’s executive-level friends - and I have a hunch the rest of America is too.

    Still more: “The Eric Kellogg Harvey speech misstep.”

    Did this keep you up at night? Kellogg ended up way out of camera-shot and Sen. Obama lobbed a bow shot against the guy during his speech yesterday while he was in the audience.

    Drip, drip: “The very thin executive resume. The no foreign policy experience.”

    Now you’re talking like you’re from a different planet: “The waffling on the Iraq war. The failure of ethics reform.”

    How has the guy waffled on Iraq? He was against the war at the start.

    Now that we’re there it’d be irresponsible to simply walk out wholesale, so he (and I agree) is recommending phased withdrawal.

    If the Iraqis aren’t past the ‘toddler’ stage at this point why should we keep holding their hands?

    And his ethics reforms are still being discussed - how did they “fail”? In fact, he was instrumental in co-sponsoring last year’s Senate “Truth in Pork” bill. I should think conservatives would be happy about that. I certainly am.

    And finally, you conclude: “Let’s hope it’s fast so he doesn’t waste too much of our time.”

    Actually, let’s hope you and your ilk stop wasting our time.

  19. - Niles Township - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 11:26 am:

    NW Burbs, I really resent the insinuation that you make regarding racism in my comment. If you actually read my entire comment, you will note I criticized three of the leading candidates of my party with same critique. Don’t play that card with me. You are way off base. If criticism of Sen. Obama is going to met with that kind of response, he is not going very far. It is legitimate to raise questions regarding any potential president with respect to experience, policy views and achievements. While Sen. Obama (and Edwards) are both fine orators, I am not sure that is the only requirement to be president. Don’t be so quick to label other commenters!

  20. - Carl Nyberg - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 11:28 am:

    If Obama is nominated will it affect Illinois Congressional elections?

    Will it affect who runs against Durbin?

    Does it mean Tim Johnson, Shimkus, Biggert and Weller will draw stronger challengers?

    Will it make Kirk, Roskam or IL14 more vulnerable?

  21. - Bombers91 - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 11:33 am:

    Sorry, I just can’t seem to get excited about this. Wake me up when it’s over.

  22. - (618) Democrat - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 11:54 am:

    This is great news for Illinois and the USA. Senator Obama will make a great President.

  23. - Anon - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 11:57 am:

    Sorry Charlie -

    The black vote is already spoken for.

    Bill has it and he will give it to Hill.

    There aren’t enough of the hippie Hyde Park crowd to make up the difference.

  24. - Backyard Conservative - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 11:57 am:

    The Devil’s in the Details.

  25. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 12:00 pm:

    Anon 11:57, you wanna make a little bet on where the black vote will go?

  26. - Anon - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 12:03 pm:

    Barack looks/sounds great and has huge potential, so let’s not waste any time here. Who will be his VP candidate?

  27. - NW burbs - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 12:05 pm:


    Wow. What are you talking about? Who brought up racism (or even race for that matter)???

    I wasn’t insinuating you were racist at all (the thought hadn’t even crossed my mind).

    My reply dealt specifically with Obama, but it applies to Edwards and H. Clinton also.

    As for my governor quip, I was talking about George W. Bush. He was guv of a southern border state with one star in its flag. He (in my mind, in the minds of about 2/3rds of America) ain’t doing so hot as prez.

    As for my note about Sen. Obama having actually done quite a few accomplishments during his first two years in the minority party, I was referring to the fact he has had some worthwhile legislation passed (nuclear nonproliferation, “truth in pork”, etc) despite the fact the Dems were in the minority during that time.

  28. - Anon - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 12:13 pm:

    Rich 12:00

    If Hill believes the same, she’ll fold her hand.

  29. - ZC - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 12:23 pm:

    It’s happening. And really, I’m happy. I haven’t decided yet between Barack or Hillary - I take very seriously the idea that Hillary has a lot more practical experience in the ways of actually getting things done in D.C., versus Barack’s ability to inspire the masses. In truth, the idea that a charismatic leader can effect widespread change - that just because Barack is so incredibly persuasive in person, he can inspire widespread policy changes in D.C. - is way overblown. We’ve been down this road already once in my lifetime, with Bill Clinton. I’m thinking here in particular of a recent book by George Edwards called _On Deaf Ears: The Limits of the Bully Pulpit._

    So I worry somewhat that while Barack will go to the mountain, Hillary will go to the meeting.

    But that said - what a surplus of riches. Either one of them is a great person to have on your team. Speaking as a long time Saints fan, it’s like having Deuce McAllister or Reggie Bush as your running back. Hillary might be able to move the chains a bit more down the middle, but check out those moves on Barack! Dems are lucky to have two such solid candidates leading their field right now. Either one of them would do the Democratic ticket proud.

    And yes, that other sound you hear from Illinois is of every Republican who thought of maybe challenging Dick Durbin hanging up his / her hat. I’m sure Durbin always had his sincere motives to boost Barack’s bid, but now putting Barack on the top of the Illinois ballot - game, set, match. Managed like a true political pro.

  30. - Wumpus - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 12:28 pm:

    Will he resign his senate seat? I am tired of these politicians running for bigger and better seats while still getting paid to do their current jobs. It is a little easier statewide, but as we saw with the dems last go round, they missed votes left and right.
    It was a no lose situation for the statewide slate of GOPers runing last year as with the group of dems that ran in 04. They all get to retain their jobs, those of them who had jobs and aren;t doing a lick of work.

    His entry should make the race interesting.

  31. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 12:30 pm:

    Anon, you didn’t answer the question.

  32. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 12:33 pm:

    And Wumpus, what about incumbents who are running for re-election? Should they resign, too, since campaigning takes up so much time? I really don’t see your point here.

  33. - Stuck with Sen. CPA - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 12:42 pm:

    I’m glad he’s making a run at it. He’d be foolish not to. The time is right for him.
    I’ll admit there was a time not so long ago that I was completely starstruck by him. The Rezko dealings reminded me that he is all too human. I’ll still support him as the best shot to take out Hilary.

  34. - Bill Baar - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 12:46 pm:

    Saw does Clinton shut down any effort in Illinois?

  35. - Lovie's Leather - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 12:47 pm:

    Oy, for me, this is like the stock market. When expectations are high, the stock goes up. When the true numbers come out confirming the expectations, the stock stays the same. We knew this was going to happen. I don’t see where an Obama announcement makes you so excited. Now, if Al Gore announced, that would be a hell of a suprise.

  36. - Jeff Trigg - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 12:48 pm:

    Does Barack believe in democracy yet? Too bad Barack can’t make it 5,000 times harder for Hillary to get on the ballot. And tell me again exactly what Barack has done and said about the corruption in Illinois and in his own party and in his own State Senate district.

  37. - Anon - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 12:48 pm:

    Rich 12:30

    Illinois doesn’t allow unlicensed gambling so have to pass up the bet.

    In a black audience more people will surround Bill than Obama.

    Obama’s support really comes from whites who see him as a uniter of the races.

    Only problem is that hispanics aren’t enamored of blacks. Hillary isn’t exactly their candidate either.

    In retrospect MLK is regarded as a shining light. But at the time, blacks supported Malcolm X types over MLK. It was the whites who built up MLK as a buffer. The fact that MLK was a great speaker, like JFK, overcame everything.

    Barbara Jordan and Mario Cuomo were great speakers too. Look what became of them.

  38. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 12:59 pm:

    Anon, Bill isn’t running. Hillary is. We don’t have to bet money. If the governor can bet BBQ and corn dogs on the Bears, we can surely bet something.

    The rest of your post is a bit uninformed. Remember this, in Illinois at least, black voters always break late, but when they do break they are usually pretty predictable. They didn’t break to Obama until the final few weeks of the Senate campaign. Read all you want into the current situation, but when it comes time to vote, barring any very strange craziness, black people will almost assuredly be with Obama.

    I heard the same arguments here about that Stroger-Peraica race and found them all to be foolish.

  39. - Leroy - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 1:02 pm:

    So this is what D-Day must have felt like! After living under cruel, non-lawful oppression for so long, the forces of good have finally landed on the beach! Yay! Things are finally going to be good.

  40. - Momma Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Republican - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 1:18 pm:

    Wow! Is the Nation really ready for someone who is charismatic, intelligent and articulate to be President?

  41. - RickG - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 1:23 pm:

    Not sure, but I bet the fact that people buy newspapers on Sunday — and that there are Sunday talk shows on which to promote his message — had something to do with the Saturday decision. Just my theory.

  42. - Anon - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 1:26 pm:

    NW burbs, you sound a teensy bit defensive. Afraid your candidate might be facing a bit of competition? After all, we don’t even know who the Repubs will putup. By the time the Repub candidate does emerge, we’ll be so tired of the Democrat race we’ll support the Republican candidate out of exhaustion.

    As to Granholm, she had a struggle but Michigan is facing huge problems because of the auto industry meltdown and other economic problems. Plus her oppenent came from a well known local family. Considering these and other challenges, she did really well. A younger Hillary without the baggage.

  43. - OneMan - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 1:29 pm:

    First: Austin Mayor my man — As a Republican I would have to say right on. I would much rather Hillary as the nominee than Sen. Obama

    As for a big day in Illinois History, assuming he runs some of us (or our blogs) will end up as either footnotes in someone’s master thesis (if he loses) or in someone’s book (if he wins).

    Reguardless I think Rich gets to write a book.


  44. - SouthernILRepub - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 1:35 pm:

    This also marks a great day for Republicans all of the Democrats in the state will be able to move to Washington DC on Jan 20th 2009. Thus with all of them having federal jobs we will be able to take back the State yet again even before the new map or the magical coin flip.

  45. - Commonsense in Illinois - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 1:39 pm:

    The Senator has experienced a plethora of good news, hype and encouragement over the past few months. But let’s remember one thing, folks, running for the presidency is a marathon, not a sprint, and November 2008 is a long way away.

    That said, I think at the very least, Barack Obama will raise the level of debate in this country. He seems to possess a high level of empathy and, from comments I’ve heard from those who rarely follow politics, is able to articulate what people are thinking.

    Can Obama go all the way? The key ingredients right now are getting the right staff and making no mistakes between his formal announcement and Super Tuesday.

  46. - LETSEE - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 1:54 pm:

    He may prove to be the next Lincoln, or….not. I do think without a doubt he has not seasoned in the fertile fields of big time politics long enough. There are many practical reasons for him to jump in now, but being experienced in the critical areas of the presidency is not among them.

  47. - Anon - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 1:59 pm:

    Whether he captures the brass ring or not, Obama will likely be a huge force in Illinois politics for the foreseeable future.

    And what does that mean, boys and girls, given that he and Madigan don’t get along very well.


    Maybe future Demcratic porkers should be shoveling their cash into Alexi’s trough, not Lisa’s.

  48. - Establishment Republican - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 2:08 pm:

    Since this has become a bit of a topic of conversation with references to bets, etc, I would like to say that I think the general consensus once the real voting starts will be that Obama will be doing better among white liberals than Hillary, but Hillary will be performing slightly better among African-Americans than Obama will.

    Hillary will ultimately win the nomination on the strength of the female vote in the primaries.

  49. - QC Examiner - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 2:08 pm:

    All this media hype and lemming-like adoration of Obama by Democrats makes me think the Dems are partying like it’s 2004.

    Remember that media darling, Howard Dean? He was a slam-dunk to win the Dem POTUS nomination until—–Democrats actually started voting. Ooops! Oh well.

    The most intelligent (and non-emotional) comment I have seen about Obama was this: “…the shine will wear off when he is forced to take positions on divisive policy issues, taking away people’s ability to think that he thinks just as they do.”

    And for those who worry that Obama doesn’t have a back-up plan should calm their fears—-Obama also has a website called 2010 Senate ReElection Website, so that those inclined can donate to both efforts.

  50. - Objective Dem - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 2:51 pm:

    QC examiner and others have commented that once Obama takes positions, he will alienate people. With a few exceptions, I don’t think this is true. People do not vote for an executive office with a long series of litmus tests. Yes there are single issue voters, but even they tend to ulitimately align with parties. The vast majority of people who vote are wise enough to understand no one will ever line up with them 100%. People who want 100% alignment don’t vote, because no one ever satisfies them.

    When electing an executive, people are looking for leadership and sound decision making. Obama projects these qualities. Obama is very good at displaying the fact that he considers issues as a whole and does not have knee jerk answers. Even if you don’t agree with him, you respect his opinions. This is a welcome contrast to our current president.

  51. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 3:14 pm:

    Announcing on a Saturday puts him in all of the Sunday newspapers and on all of the Sunday morning talk shows. A good idea.

    There are alot of non-patriots out there putting their own partisanship above the need to heal and unite our nation. Come election day, I think you will find your pessimistic, divisive view of America is out of step with the electorate, while Obama’s message of hope and unity resonates. It sure worked for Reagan.

    But, in response to claims of Obama’s inexperience and his impending meteoric fall, a few points. First, as scholars Newt Gingrich and Rich Miller have pointed out, Abe Lincoln served only one term in Congress before becoming our greatest President ever. The lesson: vision and character trump experence.

    Secondly, I’ve been listening to folks predict Obama’s fall since the Democratic National Convention almost three years ago. Instead, he’s risen only higher. John McCain tried to bring him down a peg or two and Obama came out looking like a statesmen and McCain like a freshman state rep. The point is, nobody has figured out how to land a glove on this guy yet; what’s Hillary going to do, attack him as a liberal in the Democratic primary?

    Third, Rich is right, Obama will have a virtual lock on the black vote. He’s one of them AND he represents their hopes and values. It’s like Ali running for President.

  52. - Anon - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 3:21 pm:

    “Some folks here in city hall think that maybe the office that they possess is because they are so special, it is supposed to be a place where they can help their family and their friends instead of helping the people who elected them.

    “We don’t need that kind of leadership,” Barack Hussein Obama warned.

    Barack Hussein Obama then entered his Lear jet (paid by campaign donations) to go to his Million Dollar Home with a lot that was gifted next to him by Tony Resko.

  53. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 3:25 pm:

    Good point.

  54. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 3:29 pm:

    Fair point, but I think he prefers to fly in Gulf Streams, not Lears, which are way too small.

    Also, I think he was probably driven from Harvey back to Rezko-ville.

    The Hussein thing though, sort of negates whatever else you were trying to say. Please though, keep it up.

  55. - Objective Dem - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 3:37 pm:

    I think Anon 3:21 was a series of cheap shots.

    I don’t know if Obama left on a Lear jet, but it doesn’t make any sense for him to travel from a south suburb to his home on south side via plane. Yes he has a million dollar home, but unfortunately that is not uncommon in Chicago and he did make the money legitimately through book sales. The third comment that Rezco “gifted” the land to Obama borders on slander. Obama purchased the land at market rate. It was clearly done by Rezko as a favor to Obama, but to say it was “gifted” implies it was an illegal gift.

  56. - ArchPundit - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 3:42 pm:

    ===Barack Hussein Obama then entered his Lear jet (paid by campaign donations)

    Of course, Obama is one of the guys to stop taking corporate jets at discounted rates as well. The question then is how should one travel if not by chartering flights during Presidential campaigns?

    And, as someone already noted, the middle name thing just gives me the notion that you aren’t exactly arguing on principle.

  57. - ArchPundit - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 3:44 pm:

    ===The most intelligent (and non-emotional) comment I have seen about Obama was this: “…the shine will wear off when he is forced to take positions on divisive policy issues, taking away people’s ability to think that he thinks just as they do.”

    Like several years in the State Lege and a book that’s a bestseller in which he takes on all sorts of divisive policy issues?

  58. - Cassandra - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 3:52 pm:

    I ask, is Mrs. Rezko still effectively living next door? After all, the property must have gone up hugely in value. She could sell it at a huge profit now, to a nice apolitical doctor or somebody. So, if she hasn’t, and she’s a real Obama fan, why hasn’t she. Hmmmm…

    Anyway, I notice that Obama (nor, to be fair, Hill) has not made a decision on Senator Kennedy’s NONBINDING resolution on cutting off
    money for sending more American troops to do the Iraquis’ work. Not cutting off money for the ones who are there, just the additional ones.

    If he can’t even decide what to do about that,
    what happens when a real foreign policy decision comes along?

  59. - cermak_rd - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 4:02 pm:

    The thing that I think will hurt Hilary in a Democratic primary is her support of the war. Times have changed and support for the war is at a nadir right now. Even if the voters are in the same position as Clinton (having been for it at the outset and now having changed their minds), politicians tend to be held to a higher standard.

  60. - Objective Dem - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 4:06 pm:

    I haven’t heard formal endorsements, but it looks like Obama is building a great team. He has the Daleys. Both Bill and Rich have strong national connections. He has Rahm, who has a lot of IOUs around the country. He also has Lou Sussman who raised mega bucks for Kerry. He has the Strategy Group. In DC, he hired Daschel’s ex-chief of staff as his own. It is a pretty impressive start.

    I think his background in a state as diverse as Illinois helps Obama. He has worked with rural, urban, mid-size city, and suburban people. He has everyone from the far right to the far left. Hillary can match him here, but Dodd, Biden, and Vilsack can’t.

  61. - ZC - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 4:12 pm:

    This whole “Obama is Lincoln thing,” my take on it is this:

    WE are the ones who will decide whether Obama is like Lincoln.

    Lincoln is great for keeping the nation together and winning the Civil War. Thing is, though, Lincoln didn’t win the Civil War. The nameless, faceless, thousands of soldiers who were willing to leave their homes, families, fight and die under miserable conditions in the name of abstract values and a greater good - they were the true great heroes. They were willing to make that final and fateful sacrifice. Lincoln was great, because they were great first. Ditto for FDR and WW II. The reason I am always hesitant to put Reagan on the “Great” list was that he relatively asked for so little, compared to some of his predecessors.

    Whether Barack can be Lincoln is not up to Barack, except whether he has the courage to ask us to make some sacrifices that have been a long time in the coming - deficit spending, anyone? Tax hikes? Looming shortfalls in Medicare and Medicaid? Grotesque inequalities in the way we fund education? For any liberals out there, too-dogmatic oppositions to the difficult yet vital rewards that free trade brings this nation? - and we as a people are willing to rise to meet his challenge.

    Barack has the capability to be Lincoln-esqe. But, really, it’s not in his hands. Wasn’t in Lincoln’s eithers. We as a nation will decide, through our willingness to sacrifice, whether we want Barack to be great.

  62. - (618) Democrat - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 4:15 pm:

    After reading some of the comments on here it appears many of you paid no attention, or are unable to come to grips with what happened in the election that occurred a little more than two months ago. My prediction is Senator Obama wins the Democratic primary and goes on to become President of the USA.

  63. - Pat Hickey - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 4:18 pm:

    Brack Obama will make Illinois proud! That said; The Jacksons and the Clintons are looking for soft tissue.

    Watch your kidneys, Senator!

  64. - Squideshi - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 4:44 pm:

    Obama introduced an Instant Runoff Voting bill (SB1789) when he was in the Illinois Senate. I wonder if he is willing to promote IRV for federal elections.

  65. - Jaded - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 4:44 pm:

    I watched Obama run committees(both Health and Human Services and JCAR) and all I have to say is that he was average at best at that. Now we are saying he is ready to run the country.

    Now I know George W Bush is not a rocket scientist (heck I am not even sure he qualifies to be the guy who shoots them off on the fourth of July) but at least he tried to run a state (a relatively big one at that) before screwing up the country. I prefer my Presidential candidates to have a little executive/administrative experience before giving them a seat in the oval office, and until this most recent occupant, that theory has held up pretty good.

    Although he has already won this state, he has a long way to go to convince me. I will, however, continue to keep an open mind because no matter who it is, a president from Illinois is good for ALL of Illinois.

  66. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 4:54 pm:

    Some friends of mine and I were e-mailing each other this morning about Obama’s announcement.

    My prediction is as follows:

    John Edwards has entered the race and probably isn’t going to drop out. That said, I see Senator Edwards winning the Democratic nomination. Doesn’t make sense? If both Hillary and Obama run - and taking into account that Vilsack and Dodd are non-factors - Edwards will steal votes from Dems who don’t want to vote for a woman and don’t want to vote for a minority. I don’t know if voters are willing to truly select a woman or a minority as the nominee for president, and that’s not a racist sentiment. Colin Powell would have made a great president and an even better statesman, but part of his decision boiled down to the concern over whether or not voters were “ready” for a black man to win a major party nomination. I not only worry about Senator Obama facing that sad reality but I also worry about his safety.

  67. - RMW Stanford - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 5:01 pm:

    Like several years in the State Lege and a book that’s a bestseller in which he takes on all sorts of divisive policy issues?

    Yes but even with his record in the State legislator and his book, how many people in the general public and elector do you really think are aware of the position that he holds on most issues? I am guessing that not all that many are and that is part of the reason that he is as popular and well liked as he is right now. He is a bright articulate man and since people do not know a whole lot about his positions they can project what ever they want on to him. That not to say that when they know his positions that they wont still support him, but November of 2008 is still far off and a lot can happen and come out in the time till then. I am sure that all of the potential Democrat candidates for President will be digging up what ever they can use against him in the primaries.

  68. - MIDSTATE - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 5:03 pm:

    What I want to know is how Tony Resko got the power plant contract in Iraq???? Did the good Senator help his neighbor???

    NW Burbs is this the kind of thing you were talking about “I’m much more concerned about the war profiteering being committed by the President’s and Vice President’s executive-level friends - and I have a hunch the rest of America is too” Maybe you should insert the Senators name here too.

  69. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 5:09 pm:

    Here’s something that really bothers me about some of the comments on Obama. Not just today, but every day we have something about him.

    “Just wait until Clinton, Gore, etc. start going after him.”

    This assumes that Obama’s people can’t fight back, or that they have no Oppo team. Who the heck do you think tubed Blair Hull? These same guys.

    And do you really think people like Axelrod and Giangreco don’t know how to play with the big boys and girls? Think again.

    Political battle is almost never a one-way street. You’re all forgetting that.

    Try to come up with something new and original for a change, please.

  70. - Disgusted - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 5:42 pm:

    ENOUGH, already. You’d think this was the second coming. A politician is a politician is a politician. Altruism is not their strongest suit.
    Nor is honesty. I guess it’s jump on the bandwagon time. Those who supported Milarod the first time are experiencing deja vu.

  71. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 5:42 pm:

    Via Larry, look at this team and tell me they can’t fight back.

    * David Plouffe: likely campaign manager, senior strategist for Gephardt in ‘04 and former executive director of the DCCC.
    * Steve Hildebrand: accompanied Obama to Iowa and has been reaching out to potential staff behind the scenes, Daschle’s campaign manager in ‘04 and Tim Johnson’s in ‘02. Ran the Iowa caucuses for Gore in ‘00.
    * Robert Gibbs: communications director, a campaign veteran.
    * Lou Susman: - will fundraise for Obama if he runs, Kerry’s national finance chair in ‘04, formerly worked for Vilsack.
    * David Axelrod: chief strategist and media consultant, formerly worked for Vilsack and Edwards.
    * Paul Harstad: pollster, formerly worked for Vilsack.
    * Matt Rodriguez: “friend” of the campaign who helped staff Obama in NH, political director of Gephardt’s ‘04 pres campaign.
    * Jim Demers: “friend” of the campaign, NH lawyer and strategist.
    * Devorah Adler: likely research director, recent research director for the DNC.
    * Shauna Daly: likely deputy director, recent deputy director for the DNC.
    * Julianna Smoot: finance director, DSCC finance director in ‘06 and Edwards’ finance director in ‘04.
    * Valerie Jarrett: part of inner circle, friend of Obama’s and a veteran of Chicago Democratic circles.
    * Bill Burton: likely to join staff, press secretary for House Democrats’ midterm campaign.
    * Pete Giangreco: direct mail, media consultant and veteran of Iowa caucuses.
    * Larry Grisolano: direct mail, Giangreco’s West Coast partner.

    Not to mention that Rahm will be neutralized, if he knows what’s good for him.

  72. - Stomp Da Yard - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 5:44 pm:

    >Who the heck do you think tubed Blair Hull?

    Umm…he ‘tubed’ a wife beater. Not exactly a challenge, Rich. Then he ‘tubed’ Alan Keyes. Again, not exactly a challenge, Rich.

  73. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 5:47 pm:

    Nobody else stood up to do it to Hull, which is my point.

    Also, for those who think the coverage in Illinois is a bit much, try to remember that we have a former state Senator and a current US Senator running for president. That’s big news here, anyway you slice it. If you can’t stand to see the coverage, you’re gonna have a long year or two.

  74. - Papa Legba - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 5:49 pm:

    Perhaps Madigan hasn’t treated Obama differently because he knows a few things that we the people don’t know yet?

  75. - Squideshi - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 5:51 pm:

    I still think that Al Gore is planning on entering the race. He has invested far too many resources in branding himself as an environmental champion, which incidentally he is not, not to enter the race.

  76. - Way Northsider - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 5:53 pm:

    A breath of fresh air.

  77. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 5:55 pm:

    Point well made on the campaign team, Rich.

    I think another non-issue that has been run into the ground and should stay there is the vacant lot deal. Think it’s safe to say that neither Rita nor Tony will be selling any assets, especially that particular one, right now, with out a whole bunch o’ federal “scrutinazation” of the transaction. Assuming, of course, that the land isn’t multiply mortgaged like same of the other Rezko realty.

  78. - Objective Dem - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 5:55 pm:

    People keep talking about Obama’s lack of executive experience. I don’t think it will matter.

    Do a quick review of his opponents. I don’t know of any executive experience for Clinton, Dodd, Biden, and Edwards. Kucinich’s experience as mayor of Cleveland was a disaster. Gov. Vilsack has the executive experience, but he is an asterik in the polls.

    Now look on the Republican side. Guilianni has executive experience, but has too many other weaknesses to be a contender. McCain doesn’t have executive experience. Even in the military he was a pilot not a commander. Sen. Brownback doesn’t have executive experience. Bloomberg has outstanding executive experience in both private and public sectors. While I think Bloomberg would make a good president, he is too mainstream to get the party nomination.

    The other part of the equation is the next president will be elected in response to the current administration. This administration is loaded with executive experience and look where it got us. They are so confident in their executive abilities that they implement their own agenda regardless of the facts and realities.

  79. - Way Northsider - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 6:02 pm:

    People are looking for a leader - energy and vision will trump experience every time. Obama inspires people and gives us an idea of what we can be when we look to the best in ourselves. Hope, not fear.

  80. Pingback ArchPundit » Blog Archive » They’re Too Soft - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 6:27 pm:

    […] Rich takes on some of the claims that Obama’s team can’t handle what Clinton and others will throw at them. […]

  81. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 6:37 pm:

    More from Larry:

    ===Giangreco was central to Rod’s reelection–you know, the one where he ran against George Ryan…uhhhh…Judy.

    Let me add as I briefly mentioned below. Gibbs worked with the team that torpedoed Dean with the terrorism commercials in Iowa. That might not ingratiate him to others, but he’s good at fighting. He just had an embarrassment of riches in 2004 with Keyes.

    Hildebrand ran a brutal campaign against Bradley in Iowa. Every damned event Gore people were there mucking it up.

    Burton was working in a very effective press shop at DCCC this cycle. They turned out good work the entire campaign keeping the Republicans off of message.

    I don’t know if this team will win, but it’s certainly a group who can handle a punch and hit back. ====

  82. - NW burbs - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 6:46 pm:

    Anon wrote, “NW burbs, you sound a teensy bit defensive. Afraid your candidate might be facing a bit of competition?”

    How is making fun of a petty post in any way “defensive” (was it your post? hard to tell with the bevvy of posts from “Anon” in this thread)?

    Besides, how can I be defensive if I’m not planning to vote for the guy?

    For that matter, just who is my candidate? I haven’t decided yet since I don’t even know who they all are (nor have I seen any of their campaigns in action)… Maybe it’ll be Obama. Maybe not. Don’t know yet. I don’t have Rumsfeld-like magic powers to see into a crystal ball.

    But, I will say I’m already tired of the inept nonsense Obama-haters are slinging his way.

    He’s a decent guy and has been doing a better-than-expected job in the Senate (not that the fawning, superficial national media pay that aspect much attention).

    I don’t line up with him 100% but until I run for president (ha!) I’m not going to agree with any candidate 100%. And he does have some lingering questions, chiefly the Rezko issue, which he could easily answer by involving some third parties as Rich, Archpundit, and many others have noted.

    All in all, it’s the weak arguments and silly names (even the goofy use of his middle name) that is highly indicative of precisely the “small politics” (pettiness) of today’s partisan climate the Sen. Obama is discussing.

    Side note: If (hussein) the (hussein) conservatives (hussein) keep (hussein) using (hussein) his (hussein) middle (hussein) name (hussein) as (hussein) often (hussein) as (hussein) they (hussein) can…

    I’m guessing they right-wing’ll do a bang-up job of actually rehabilitating the name “Hussein” for the many regular folks who share the name (even, amazingly, the millions of Americans with that name).

  83. - Loop Lady - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 7:05 pm:

    1)Please do not underestimate Hill and Bill. They have boku political connects and will raise big bucks…Obama has gotten lots of grassroot support and in financial terms this will amount to peanuts.
    2)Dirt is out on the Clintons…NEXT!! If Rezko is indicted, it’s Barack’s turn to be turned inside out.
    3)On a personal note, let the Republicans inherit the White House and Mr. Bush’s mess…Barack is young and may well run again if he is not successful this time.
    Let the fun begin….

  84. - Jasper - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 7:16 pm:

    From now on, Obama will need to be more than articulate and charasmatic. He will need to have more substance.

    Can the voters of IL say that Obama has been a leader on ethics reform? Hardly. He never spoke out against the widespread corruption that is crippling our state when he had the chance during the Novemeber elections, and stood shoulder to shoulder with those in question. A great disappointment.

    Hopefully, he will not turn into Senator Durbin- one personality on C-Span and another while in public.

    If Obama can’t generate reforms at home, he’ll never earn the credibility to do it for the nation.

  85. - Bill Baar - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 7:19 pm:

    hmmm….I’m still predicting a Gore-Obama ticket with a slightly wounded Obama after lots of indictments hitting too close to home in Illinois….

    Brack Obama will make Illinois proud! That said; The Jacksons and the Clintons are looking for soft tissue.

    Watch your kidneys, Senator!

    They’ll land many many blows Mr. Hickey, but I think the party will go with Gore…

    …and the US will elect Tom Roeser’s Giuliani.

  86. - Angie - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 7:24 pm:

    Re: “Obama introduced an Instant Runoff Voting bill (SB1789) when he was in the Illinois Senate. I wonder if he is willing to promote IRV for federal elections.

    Hah hah hah. I knew this would find its way into the discussion coming from Squid. My my, but how predictable that one was (chuckle).

  87. - Cassandra - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 7:38 pm:

    Both Hillary and Obama have strong campaign teams and that is one reason why they are likely to cancel each other out. A campaign of high-powered consultants will leave voters gasping for peace and quiet.

    On the other hand, this could all be posturing, with each trying to see if they can scare the other off the field. The price would be high, but there always is a price.

    If they both really enter the field, though, they could destroy each other’s candidacies. That’s likely what John Edwards is hoping for. And Edwards might well be the best hope of the three for improving the lot of Americans.

    Perhaps the Hillary or Obama lovers, the ones who see their candidates as the next greatest thing, could best spend their time trying to persuade the other to step down…and make it worth their while.

  88. - Leland Milton Goldblatt - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 7:54 pm:


    What is his southern strategy going to be? How can he win the south? Sorry to be so frank.

  89. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 7:57 pm:

    Loop Lady, Rezko has already been indicted. Leland, I have no idea. Bettor, you’re banned.

  90. - Angie - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 8:26 pm:

    Re: If Obama can’t generate reforms at home, he’ll never earn the credibility to do it for the nation.

    Oh my God! That’s it! That’s how we clean up the State of Illinois.

    See, the national media are going to be all over us now, and this is the perfect opportunity to bring the widespread corruption/graft issues into the spotlight with demands for reform. Reporters everywhere will ask Senator Obama what he’s doing here at home to help clean up the mess, and he’ll have to come up with something better than “Well, you see here, I have this audacious idea called hope.”

    Senator, hope is not a strategy. We need results.

    This is the perfect thing to stick in his craw to get him to DO something. Or at least to influence others to get the ball rolling around here so that Fitz doesn’t have to be the one to send around the indictments when it gets so bad that it gets all the way up to him.

    I’m so excited now! Yes! I hope all of the reporters jump on this issue. Let’s all start a national dialog about how to better the democratic process and weed out corruption, and we’ll use the woes of Illinois as a model of how not to run a state.

    You see? I’m thinking this attention paid to our media darling may end up in something good coming from it, even if he lacks the experience that others may have to get elected to the White House in 2008.

    Then again, we may just end up looking like the laughingstock state in our nation, kind of like Florida during the 2000 recount fiasco. lol

  91. - Jasper - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 8:31 pm:


    I agree with you, but the media, including local, has failed to ask Obama about corruption on the homefront. He got a pass with the 2006 elections.

    Remember, he stood shoulder to shoulder with Blago, Stroger, Giannoulis, and Daley, all who have been in question about their ethics and pay to play. Anyone of these guys can be a major embarrassment if Fitzgerald does his job.

    It will show that Obama put partisanship before citizenship.

  92. - Scoot - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 9:00 pm:

    This is clearly going to everyone’s head. Very intelligent guy and great speaker, but what has he done? He was handed the Senate nomination in 04, and WHAT has he done? Not one full term and he’s worshiped? He is a media creation and the media will destroy their creation.

    I do think it’s cool that he will announce in Springfield and it will bring all the national media to town. Take that ROD.

  93. - Marley's Ghost - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 9:02 pm:

    Wow, jaded stuff. I know it’s supposed to be, but wow.

    Rich, noticed the bit about Rahm being neutralized. I’ve been digging, but it sounds like he’s on board with Obama. Maybe that means he’s neutralized.

    Leland, I think the southern strategy goes something like this: win Ohio. I think Obama, were he the nominee likely will be competitive in southern states where voters long since apathetic or marginalized come out to the polls.

    Obama will have to answer some tough questions, at least about the Rezko land deal. Whether that sticks remains to be seen. I’m not sure the remain pols in Illinois are really an issue at all. Otherwise, he’s stood next to politicians with questionable records. Heck, Hillary stood next to Bill, and he perjured himself and was impeached for it. She’s a legit candidate. On the national stage it’s like blaming Obama for a bad dogcatcher. Like I said, Rezko is likely to be the one that sticks.

    Now moving the primary up just might bring up Obama’s ties to Illinois’ perceived political misdeed. In a sense Illinois is “fixing” an election to rig it in favor of a favorite son. It could be a legit issue, and worse, the subject of endless Letterman/Leno/Conan jokes.

  94. - Loop Lady - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 9:34 pm:

    Sorry Rich baout the typo…even if Rezko walks, the true beleivers may begin to question the sainthood status of the Junior Senator…I agree with Barr…Giuliani will take it in 2008…the masses will be convinced that Rudi is a good fiscal manager and is sufficiently tough on terrorism…the Repubs will slice and dice Barack six ways to Sunday…some dirt will inevitably stick…hard to say who will prevail for the Dems TWO YEARS out…

  95. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 16, 07 @ 10:10 pm:

    We are in trouble with Obama behind POTUS. One of DC’s little secrets is that environmentalists breathed a big sigh of relief when Obama recently left the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, because of his coal-pandering, not to mention ethanol endorsing. Illinois is too corrupt to be trusted to vet a president at this time. Its only another play by dirty power.

  96. - Anonish - Wednesday, Jan 17, 07 @ 1:06 am:

    I’m getting a little tired of people pulling the experience angle.

    Please someone tell me what other office elected or business that prepares you for being President. Anyone?

  97. - Cassandra - Wednesday, Jan 17, 07 @ 7:39 am:

    Are you kidding?

    The Whitewater land deal practically defined the Clinton presidency. And it was minor, as minor as the Rezko Vacant Lot Next Door. Clinton did win, but Whitewater (and Monica) greatly weakened his ability to get things done. Don’t assume that
    the Vacant Lot will be forgotten, especially if it can be tied to other “errors in judgment.”

    Anyway, my point is, why haven’t some of Rezko’s Democratic pals who want to see Obama win asked him to sell the lot to an apolitical. Or why hasn’t Obama bought the lot. That, and the apology he has already issued, should end the matter. But to my knowledge, he hasn’t done it…
    why? Arrogance? Fear that Rezko might have more revelations? Loyalty to a likely crook?

  98. - ZC - Wednesday, Jan 17, 07 @ 8:16 am:

    “Please someone tell me what other office elected or business that prepares you for being President. Anyone?”

    Possibly being the wife of a President for 8 years, and seeing up close and personal how it’s all done and how things in D.C. actually get accomplished?

    Just sayin’.

  99. - ZC - Wednesday, Jan 17, 07 @ 8:20 am:

    But - to add on, and to be fair - by that rationale, being the son of a former President would also presumably prepare you well for the office, and in my opinion George W. has been pretty much a disaster. So, yes - experience is overrated. What will make a President great will be 1) external events the Prez has little control over; 2) his ideas and vision - not just the inspirational speeches, but more solid issues and policy stances. Obama obviously can’t control #1. We’re all still working to get a better sense of him for #2.

  100. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jan 17, 07 @ 8:42 am:

    OK, let’s close this one down and move to a fresh thread, shall we?

  101. Pingback ArchPundit | Just a Reminder from January of 2007 - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 11:01 pm:

    […] Rich takes on some of the claims that Obama’s team can’t handle what Clinton and others will throw at them. […]

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