[Bumped upwards and excerpts added for discussion purposes.]
You can listen to Speaker Michael Madigan’s Wednesday afternoon media availability below.
* Sun-Times: State to flirt with date for Obama - Madigan backs moving up ‘08 presidential primary so Illinois voters can impact election
Illinois would join a slew of states eyeing Feb. 5 primaries or caucuses. But only four — Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina — would hold presidential contests sooner.
‘’These states are . . . clearly not as representative of America as Illinois would be,'’ Madigan said, adding that the Democratic presidential nomination might be unofficially clinched by Illinois’ current mid-March primary date.
* Tribune: Madigan: Earlier primary would help Obama bid
Madigan also said it was not decided whether primary contests for state offices, such as the legislature, would be held on the earlier date.
* AP: Madigan wants to aid Obama by changing primary date
Senate President Emil Jones, D-Chicago, said he wants to discuss the idea with Obama, his political protege. ‘’This came out of the clear-blue sky. I don’t know whether that would help Obama or hurt him,'’ Jones said.
* Hotline Blog: IL To Move Primary To Help Obama?
“That’s like lowering the hoop for Shaq,” an aide to one of Obama’s potential rivals tells the Hotline.
* Daily Herald: A move to help Obama
State Sen. Terry Link of Waukegan said he doesnâ€™t see Madiganâ€™s point.
â€œI think Barack will carry Illinois without moving up the primary,â€ said Link, the Lake County Democratic chairman. â€œIâ€™m not sure why this would be significant for Obama. His momentum will be when he carries Iowa and New Hampshire.â€
* Copley: Madigan wants to move ‘08 primary to February - Would give state more clout, might boost Obama
Andy McKenna, chairman of the Illinois Republican Party, did not take a position Wednesday on Madigan’s proposal.
“I think it’s healthy to fully examine the potential to make Illinois more relevant in the presidential primary process, but it’s bad precedent to craft significant change purely around the ambitions of one individual,” McKenna said.
Listen, read then discuss.