* I’ve been hearing that Mark Kirk was about to move sharply to the right, but asking for a Palin endorsement? Really? Wow…
Illinois Rep. Mark Kirk penned a memo to Republican poobah Fred Malek hoping to secure an endorsement from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for his Senate candidacy, according to a copy of the memo obtained by the Fix.
After noting that Palin will be in Chicago later this month to appear on “Oprah”, Kirk writes that “the Chicago media will focus on one key issue: Does Gov[ernor] Palin oppose Congressman Mark Kirk’s bid to take the Obama Senate seat for the Republicans?”
Kirk goes on to write that he is hoping for something “quick and decisive” from Palin about the race, perhaps to the effect of: “Voters in Illinois have a key opportunity to take Barack Obama’s Senate seat. Congressman Kirk is the lead candidate to do that.”
Malek confirmed the authenticity of the memo in an e-mail exchange
Um, I don’t think the Chicago media will be “focusing” on the Kirk-Palin “issue” when she comes to town for her Oprah show. They’re usually mainly focused on ogling Oprah. Somebody is a bit too self-centered, methinks.
Also, the Chicago political media has historically been one of Kirk’s most loyal constituencies. They’ve helped brand him as an independent, liberal Republican. Getting Palin’s nod won’t endear him to those types at all. This looks beyond bizarre to me. Is anybody over there thinking about the general election? Is anyone thinking about how McCain/Palin got stomped here last year?
I’m really stunned by this remarkable display of brazen pandering. I guess I shouldn’t be so suprised, but I am.
*** UPDATE 1 *** I’m now hearing that the Kirk memo was sent yesterday - before the NY congressional results came in. The word I’ve been getting for a few days is if the Conservative Party candidate won the race, Kirk would move hard to the right. This memo fits in with that. And the memo’s date also fits. Kirk simply out-thunk himself because, despite the polls and very high expectations, the Conservative Party candidate lost and the Democrat won. Oops.
*** UPDATE 2 *** From Democratic US Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias….
“Mark Kirk begging for Sarah Palin’s endorsement makes it clear that he’ll seek any endorsement, take up any political or policy position, and attempt any political maneuver that he thinks will get him more votes. At the very best, this is shameless political pandering. At worst, it’s further proof that Mark Kirk lacks the political courage to make the tough decisions to move this state forward.”
Also today, the Senate Republicans announced they won’t be spending in contested primaries…
With Republicans grappling with the fallout of an intra-party battle that may have cost them a House seat, the head of the Senate Republican campaign effort is making a pledge that may ease some of the anger being directed at the party establishment. “We will not spend money in a contested primary,” Sen. John Cornyn, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told ABC News in a telephone interview today.
*** UPDATE 3 *** The DSCC is sending around Mark Kirk quotes about Palin…
· Kirk Called Palin the “Patrick Fitzgerald of Alaska.” In a release from the Illinois Republican Party praising Senator John McCain’s choice of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to be his vice presidential running mate, Kirk called Palin the “Patrick Fitzgerald Of Alaska” for her grit and determination in taking on the old-line Republican guard in Alaska. [Illinois Republican Party release, 8/29/08]
· Female Voters Criticized Kirk for Supporting Palin. In September 2008, a group of 75 female voters sent Kirk a letter strongly criticizing his support for Alaska Governor and Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin, and accusing him of not “standing up for women in the 10th District.” “There is nothing encouraging about Palin’s extreme political views, including her opposition to a woman’s right to choose even in the cases of incest and rape, equal pay for equal work, and gun control,” they wrote. “Your support for Sarah Palin shows that you are more concerned with supporting the Republican Party and continuing with more of the same disastrous policies of the last 8 years.” [Washington Post, 9/11/08]
· Kirk: Palin Would Not Have Been My Choice for Vice President. Kirk told the Chicago Sun Times editorial board that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin would not have been his choice for John McCain’s running mate. [Chicago Sun Times, 10/13/08]
· Kirk: I Don’t Know If Palin Is Qualified to be President. In October 2009, Kirk was asked by the Chicago Tribune editorial board if he believed Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin had the qualifications to become president. “Quite frankly, I don’t know,” Kirk responded. [Chicago Tribune, 10/1/08]
*** UPDATE 4 *** Dan Hynes cracks a joke on his Twitter page…
While we’re on the topic - http://bit.ly/4F7rQ8 - I will not seek, nor will I accept, Sarah Palin’s endorsement in 2010.
*** UPDATE 5 *** From David Hoffman’s US Senate campaign…
Statement from Hoffman Campaign on Kirk Seeking Palin Endorsement
“What does Mark Kirk really believe? Last year he correctly called the addition of Sarah Palin to the McCain ticket a mistake. This year, when faced with a conservative primary challenge he is seeking her endorsement. Kirk has again revealed his true colors: No principles, no standards, whatever it takes to win. Palin is out of touch with the values of the people of Illinois. Today, Mark Kirk reminds us all that he is too.”
I think “What does Mark Kirk really believe?” is the real issue here. He’s been all over the map since he started this race, jumping from one core belief to another. The history of his position on Palin clearly demonstrates that he has had this problem for quite a while now.
*** UPDATE 6 *** Tribune…
The [Palin] request came a day after Kirk, who has long billed himself as a moderate, dodged questions from reporters about whether he would want Palin, the controversial 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate, to raise campaign money for him. […]
At his Monday news conference, Kirk eventually got around to replying about a Palin fundraiser: “We’ll see. We’ll see. Yeah. Yeah. I’ve got a lot of folks coming in. I think I’ve got (Senate Republican Leader) Sen. (Mitch) McConnell coming in shortly.”
*** UPDATE 7 *** Statement from Republican US Senate candidate Patrick Hughes…
“I believe Mark Kirk, who has consistently supported President Obama’s legislative agenda, including cap and trade legislation, is quickly realizing that Republican Primary voters do not share his extreme views. In a desperate attempt to prove otherwise, he is seeking the endorsement of Sarah Palin, a true Reagan conservative, to help disguise his liberal voting record.”
[ *** End of Updates *** ]
* Meanwhile, Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady has a word of warning for GOP gubernatorial candidates…
Brady says the state GOP would clamp down on any negative ads that “cross the line” by Republican candidates in crowded primary fields in both races.
Brady says the party “will call people out” over their ads because he doesn’t want to have a bloody, divided primary.
Yeah, OK. Good luck with that, Pat.
So, what crosses the line? Whacking Kirk Dillard for endorsing Obama? Well, it’s true, but it’s also very damaging. Whacking Jim Ryan over Stu Levine? Also true, very damaging, but over the line?
And who are the candidates gonna listen to - the party chairman or their pollsters/consultants/managers who say this or that ad is the path to victory?
* Hope springs eternal…
Al Reynolds didn’t collect quite enough signatures to qualify to run for state Senate in the 52nd District, he said Tuesday, but he still hopes to be the Republican candidate to oppose Sen. Mike Frerichs, D-Champaign, next fall.
“When I got ready to file, I decided that I didn’t have enough good signatures that I thought would overcome somebody’s scrutiny,” said the Danville man who was an organizer of local “tea party” tax protests earlier this year. “I found signatures there from people who were out of the district, people from Bloomington and Mahomet who had come to my tea parties. They didn’t realize that you had to live in the 52nd District.” […]
Reynolds said he hopes to be slated as the Republican candidate by GOP officials. But he said he hasn’t met yet with Champaign County chief Jason Barickman or Vermilion County Chairman Craig Golden.
Any candidate who can’t get signatures is a weak candidate. How could he even think that his petition disaster makes him qualified to be appointed to the ballot?
* And, finally, you know it’s campaign season when Dave Syverson starts coming up with political stunts…
State Sen. Dave Syverson, R-Rockford, wrote Friday to Donald Trump, urging the developer/television star not to put Blagojevich on his “Celebrity Apprentice” show.
Syverson, the Senate Republican caucus chair, warned Trump that putting the indicted Blagojevich on his TV show could give the ex-governor yet another forum to claim he was railroaded out of office.
“When I heard he was going on ‘Celebrity Apprentice,’ I thought, we’re making a hero out of this guy who has damaged Illinois. It sends the wrong message that we make celebrities out of disgraced leaders, so I’m urging Trump not to do it,” Syverson told me today.