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Durbin touts Obama for prez

Tuesday, Nov 28, 2006

So, what do you make of this?

Sen. Barack Obama’s biggest cheerleader, Sen. Dick Durbin, launched an online petition drive on Monday to persuade his fellow Illinois Democrat to run for president.

Several people tell me that Obama, who is seriously considering a bid, is phoning people he knows to get input — and cold-calling key figures in Iowa and New Hampshire.

He’s not asking people in those two important early primary states for support, since he’s not in the race. Rather, he’s asking them to stay neutral until he decides.

Durbin’s petition drive is a free-lance effort. He sent the e-mails to his list of donors and supporters without an explicit request of, or permission from, Obama & Co., the freshman senator’s small circle of advisers.

Durbin’s online petition can be found here.

As many of you may know, I’m a huge Barack Obama fan. I’ve known Barack since he was first elected to the Illinois State Senate in 1996, and I’m impressed by what he has accomplished in his relatively short political career. I’m also proud to call him my friend.

Not only does Senator Obama do a wonderful job representing the people of Illinois, in just a few short years he has proven himself to be an incredibly inspirational national leader. From his memorable and unifying speech at the Democratic National Convention to his new book The Audacity of Hope, Barack has shown that he has the best interests of all Americans at heart.

That is why I want to see Barack run for President in 2008. I believe that he is the right man to lead our country at a time of such turmoil around the globe, bringing Americans together at a time in our nation’s history when we need unity more than ever.

Barack has said publicly that he is considering a run, and part of his consideration will doubtlessly include measuring the level of his support from Democrats across the country. So let’s show him how strong that support is.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - bored now - Tuesday, Nov 28, 06 @ 8:24 am:

    great way to build a list!

  2. - Cassandra - Tuesday, Nov 28, 06 @ 8:50 am:

    And Obambi (as Sneed calls him) has done exactly what for the people of Illinois? Nothing that I can see except talk a lot. Oh, he bought that really expensive house in Hyde Park with the nice side yard courtesy of Tony Rezko. I guess that gives the local economy a little boost.

    So, what’s in this for Durbin. Nobody gives out kudos for free. And doesn’t Durbin have an election coming up before too long. Maybe he’s getting nervous. Suddenly there are a lot of young Dem politicians in Illinois looking to move up. Lisa, Alexi and Dan of course. But more recently Tammy and also Sheila Simon. They can’t all be governor and Blago as an incumbent could be hard to dislodge if he isn’t indicted. And there is always the fairness vote if some Republican decides to come out of his/her coma and make a serious run for Durbin’s seat. Illinoisians might decide that Illinois is getting a little too blue.

    Durbin’s going to need Obama-dust during his next election run.

  3. - Leroy - Tuesday, Nov 28, 06 @ 9:02 am:

    Where do I sign?

    It would be nice to see His Holiness Pope Obama I get his come-uppance so soon in his promising political career.

  4. - Frank - Tuesday, Nov 28, 06 @ 9:15 am:

    I tend to think someone (Dicky boy) is grooming someone else as a sacrificial lamb. Barack, I just dunno if I would trust Dick Durbin, there’s just something about him.

  5. - Jake P - Tuesday, Nov 28, 06 @ 9:36 am:

    bored now got it right. Plain and simple. Can you say “draft ditka”?

  6. - Just Observing - Tuesday, Nov 28, 06 @ 9:40 am:

    Well, the only reason I would maybe consider supporting Obama is that the Dem line-up for Prez sucks anyways. Right now I’m leaning Vilsack… with Richardson in second.

  7. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, Nov 28, 06 @ 9:56 am:

    What has he done?! He was a back-bencher in the state senate and now, in the U.S. Senate, he votes completely in-step with Durbin. Obama is a media-made star. I like Obama and I think he is articulate and intelligent. However, his mettle is not yet presidential.

    Durbin wants a cabinet post. He is already 60 years old and he has been in public office for nearly half of his life. He wants something to add to his growing and impressive political resume, and what better way to retire than to go out as the secretary of HUD or Ag or Education?

  8. - Pat Collins - Tuesday, Nov 28, 06 @ 10:16 am:

    Bummer for the Prince, because the Dems control the Senate. Now he has no excuse for not doing SOMETHING.

    You can’t run for Pres on silly things like “I banned robo calling since it intimdates some people”.

    No, real problems demand real solutions. We will see what he offers up.

  9. - Scott Fawell's Cellmate - Tuesday, Nov 28, 06 @ 10:35 am:

    Obama scares Republicans.

    Plain and simple. No getting around it.

    Obama scares Republicans.

    Read their posts here. Listen to their talk radio. Watch their talking heads.

    The GOP is scared. And they should be.

  10. - NW Side - Tuesday, Nov 28, 06 @ 11:00 am:

    Mr. Milktoast himself, Sen. Durbin, ever the opportunist, latching on to the wildly popular Obama. What a surprise! Dan Hynes did the same thing earlier this year–holding a press conference to urge Obama to run. Can anything be more shameless–associating yourself with a political celebrity in an attempt to gain political support for yourself.

    Obama didn’t ask these guys to go public with their opinons; let him delibeate with his family in peace.

  11. - Animous - Tuesday, Nov 28, 06 @ 11:18 am:


    Not only are they all trying to ride Obama’s coattails, they also seem to be distancing themselves from the other “IL Officeholder” with national ambitions.

    Hmmmm….I wonder why???

  12. - Way Northsider - Tuesday, Nov 28, 06 @ 11:28 am:

    It’s amazing to me the vitriol being spewed about this. What’s the big deal? Sign if you want, don’t if you don’t want. It has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not Republicans think Obama has or has not done anything. We are talking Dem candidates folks. It’s for us to work through this and pick our person. You guys go do your thing. I have no desire to diss your guys until you have your person to put up against our person - that will happen POST primary. Not now.

  13. - RFK fan - Tuesday, Nov 28, 06 @ 11:40 am:

    What do we make of this? It’s getting real. Obama is running.

  14. - grand old partisan - Tuesday, Nov 28, 06 @ 11:55 am:

    I think this is a sign that Durbin knows he’s vulnerable. A two termer with high party leadership, he bearly breaks 50% in the tracking polls. With a possible challenge from either Kirk or Radogno, he’s hoping that an Obama candidacy will save him.

    And, make no mistake, the Democrats have a long history of nominating dark-horse insurgents, from Kennedy to Carter to Clinton. If Obama runs, he adds his name to that list.

  15. - Niles Township - Tuesday, Nov 28, 06 @ 12:20 pm:

    Dick is just jealous of that gleam that Obama seems to generate in people’s eyes even though he has yet to accomplish anything for the people of IL in the Senate. Durbin, after all, has also accomplished nothing in the Senate, and he generates yawns at best from the voters.

  16. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Nov 28, 06 @ 1:24 pm:

    What a joke. Hillary and Bill will crush him. They will bring out the ghost. And there are always ghost. One we already know about(Rezko). Durbin get real, get a life. Durbin really is a whack job.

  17. - Taylor Street - Tuesday, Nov 28, 06 @ 1:36 pm:

    What if (just if) the numbers don’t come in?

  18. - Wumpus - Tuesday, Nov 28, 06 @ 2:28 pm:

    Yes, the GOP is “Afraid” of Obama. Reason is because he can win. Just like The dems were afraid of Mike Steel, so Schumer had his goons steal his credit report.

    I don’t know if the right word is fear, but realizing that someone can win is a better description. He has done nothing to merit being nominated president. But then again, the dems have this idea of running attractive candidates and it worked last election.

  19. - Justice - Tuesday, Nov 28, 06 @ 4:22 pm:

    I find it interesting that folks here continue to refer to the Dems and Repubs, but somehow miss the ever increasing and diligent Independents. So….as an Independent or Centrist, I can say that my concern has nothing to do with the “Party” but has everything to do with the candidate. I personally don’t want our ass handed to us by some country who can walk over an untested and inexperienced person who’s claim to fame is that he wrote a book and can make stirring speeches. Our enemies would love to see Barack Obama as President. They would eat our lunch. How about a mean, in your face Hillary? How about Gore? As for Durbin, weak as water….weak as water!!

  20. - Bubs - Tuesday, Nov 28, 06 @ 5:06 pm:

    I find it obnoxious that all Dick Durbin, an incoming leader of the Senate, has to talk about is Obama and the 2008 presidential race. It is not even 2007, for crying out loud, and this country has some serious problems to address!

    I understand that the 24/7 cable networks have already begun to obsess on 2008 becasue they need material and presidential stuff is sexy, but you would think Durbin might want to pay attention to his own job and the public interest first.

  21. - Buck Flagojevich - Tuesday, Nov 28, 06 @ 7:04 pm:

    Obama does present himself well. As for what he can do or does do in the Senate in the next year or two will be interesting.

    One prediction though. We the voters will find out a lot about him in the next couple of years. Those two years are an eternity in politics when you are running near the front of the pack.

    Did we already forget one of the most nasty and foul political races in history that just ended?

  22. - Reagan Democrat - Tuesday, Nov 28, 06 @ 9:38 pm:

    I like Obama but WHAT HAS HE DONE?

    His personal story is good, but all the Senators are Harvard, and he does not have the real compelling story of a McCain or Hagel and many other Dems.

  23. - Angie - Tuesday, Nov 28, 06 @ 10:19 pm:

    Obama is charismatic and good-lookin’, but lacks enough experience other than being able to play the rock star role and write uplifting books (not that this book thing is necessarily bad, mind you, as people need hope amidst the negative attack ads they’ve been bombarded with on all sides).

    But hey, go for it. I’d love to see Obama versus Giuliani in 2008. Any bets as to who will win that match-up?

  24. - Angie again - Tuesday, Nov 28, 06 @ 10:51 pm:

    By the way, if you want to read what was dug up on Obama’s so-called concern over affordable healthcare, go check out, as there’s a slew of stuff that was just posted on the issue.

    Yeah, yeah. Novack is a lobbyist for Medical Savings Insurance. Seriously, though, look at the issues raised and ask if there’s truth, aside from the fact that everyone KNOWS the hospitals and the insurance companies are at odds over the charges (one won’t pay the claims in a timely fashion, and the other hides behind lovey-dovey mission statements about doing work in the healing spirit of Christ while they sic sleazy collections lawyers on the patients who get terrorized over huge bills they can’t possibly be expected to pay off without sacrificing something else–a child’s college fund, for example).

    Hey, Senator Rock Star. I once sent you an email on the issue, and you stated that you were “committed” to the issue of the uninsured. Well? Are you going to have the audacity to actually DO SOMETHING? You know, like back AG Madigan’s charity care mandate? Might be a real good start.

  25. - Captain America - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 12:37 pm:

    I’m not sure why everyone considers Durbin vulnerable to a GOP challenger. I recall a fairly recent Time magazine feature article extolling him as a very effective US Senator. He’s number 2 in the Democratic Senate leadership and highly likely to become the majority leader in the future.

    I look forward to amrk Kirk challenge - Durbin will defeat Kirk, and the Democrats will win Kirk’s Congressional seat. Since all indications are that we’ll still be in Iraq in 2008, it’s not going to be a good year for Republican Senate candidates, especailly challengers.

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