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Should Lisa Madigan announce now? *** UPDATED x1 ***

Thursday, May 29, 2008

* Eric Zorn urges Attorney General Lisa Madigan to announce right away that she’s running for governor

Don’t wait. Announce today that you’ll challenge incumbent Rod Blagojevich for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 2010.

* Zorn notes that Blagojevich has a big fundraiser planned for next month, so an announcement now would dry up the governor’s money…

And his re-election strategy, assuming he runs again, will likely be similar to his 2006 re-election strategy: Build up huge campaign reserves and use his financial advantage to discourage opposition and bury those who do run against him in an avalanche of commercials.

* He also lists several possible Democratic contenders who are currently mulling gubernatorial bids, including Paul Vallas, Alexi Giannoulias and Dan Hynes. A “multi-candidate primary” would be Blagojevich’s best bet for reelection, Zorn says, but if Lisa jumped in now…

Only a fool would decide to challenge you, and the prospective candidates above aren’t fools. But neither are they quitters. If you wait for one or more of them to get in first, you may find yourself sharing the protest vote in the primary.

* I see several flaws in this argument…

1) Blagojevich’s fundraising abilities have already been hobbled by the ongoing federal probes. The ethics bill, if it becomes law, would further damage his fundraising capabilities by not allowing him to raise money from state contractors. Also, half the money he raised last year went to legal fees. If Rezko is convicted in a way that points directly at Blagojevich, those legal fees will exponentially rise. Heck, they’ll increase anyway because there are plenty of other investigations afoot.

2) Dan Hynes is a Mike Madigan ally, so he’ll likely keep his powder dry while Lisa mulls. Vallas probably won’t be able to raise money in the Greek community as long as Alexi is keeping his options open. The same thing goes for potential LMadigan backers. Vallas’ 2002 campaign was so poorly run that he may not even be seen as a credible challenger. Plus, if Barack Obama is elected president, Giannoulias might be appointed to the US Senate.

3) Giannoulias appears to relish the chance of challenging Lisa Madigan in the 2010 gubernatorial primary, if it comes to that. Obama beat the Madigan machine in 2004 (Obama’s primary victory over Hynes) and he and Obama did it again in 2006 (Giannoulias’ primary victory over Paul Mangieri), so they’re not exactly quaking in their boots. The Alexi folks are painting the possible matchup between their guy and Madigan as a rerun of Obama vs. Clinton.

4) As far as the multi-candidate primary goes, Blagojevich might be indicted or even on trial by 2010. Also, Blagojevich’s only remaining hardcore base is among African-American voters in Chicago and Cook County. An Obama endorsement of Giannoulias (whether he wins the presidency or not) would wipe out the guv’s base.

5) AG Madigan told me a couple of weeks ago that she’s likely to announce her decision after the November election.

6) If she announces now and the ethics bill becomes law, she won’t be able to raise money from any company that does business with the administration, or has bid on contracts. She might disavow the cash anyway, but a formal declaration would legally close off that money. [Correction: A commenter is right to point out that she’ll have to formally file with the state as a candidate before that money is cut off, but raising money from those contractors after she has announced would surely be frowned upon.]

7) I’m not singling out Eric here, but a universal rule is to never take political advice from a journalist or pundit. They’re usually wrong. And I include myself in that category.

That being said, Eric doesn’t have a horrible idea. It could work. But the Madigan family is the epitome of political caution. They like to have their ducks completely in line before they make a move. It might make sense on several levels, but I don’t see it happening yet. We’ll see how the rest of the media responds.

Anything I’ve missed? Or, is Eric spot on?

…Adding… If AG Madigan announced today, she’d be drawn directly into the ongoing fight her dad is waging with Gov. Blagojevich. MJM says guv is “delusional,” Lisa is asked for comment. Etc., etc., etc. All bad.

*** UPDATE *** From Zorn

I’ll be a panelist this evening on “Chicago Tonight” (7 p.m., WTTW-Ch. 11) in a discussion about the 2010 race for governor in Illinois.

That was quick.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

77 Comments
  1. - OneManBlog - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 9:51 am:

    == 7)I’m not singling out Eric here, but a universal rule is to never take political advice from a journalist or pundit. They’re usually wrong. And I include myself in that category.===

    On the other hand take the advice of bloggers, after all we are brilliant (in our own minds)


  2. - The Doc - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 9:52 am:

    All good points, Rich. But there’s something to be said about striking while the iron’s hot. While unlikely, a culmination of events including a Rezko acquittal, passage of a capital bill, etc. might mitigate Blago’s recent woes and set him up for a strong 2010 run.


  3. - Rich Miller - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 9:57 am:

    ===a Rezko acquittal, passage of a capital bill, etc. might mitigate Blago’s recent woes===

    If that’s the case, then an announcement now would be deflated pretty quickly.


  4. - Nona - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 10:04 am:

    While I’m hoping Obama wins the presidency, might not the outcome of that election bear on what the 2010 gubernatorial field looks like? If he doesn’t win, perhaps he elects to run for governor. Tough for anyone to beat him if that’s the case. Do you really think that the “Madigan Machine” was beaten by Obama in 2004 and in 2006? Really? How much effort was actually made for Hynes? He was a terrible gubernatorial candidate. As for Giannoulias, he was on statewide tv with millions of dollars in advertising. Mangieri was not. Not one whit. I’m not saying those guys didn’t beat Madigan’s preferred candidates or that efforts weren’t made on their behalfs, they obviously did. It just wasn’t the battle royale that was the 2002 AG’s race. That might be better evidence of what the Madigans are capable of when they put their minds to it. Also, it’s Paul Mangieri not Mike.


  5. - MOON - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 10:05 am:

    We can speculate about many things. Without a doubt Lisa is the strongest potential candidate for Gov. However, I’am of the opinion she will not run. The speaker is not ready to retire, which in my opinion would be required if Lisa did decide to go for it.

    I would also point out that the State is in a terrible financial mess. Who in their right mind would want to take on the “remains” after we get rid of Blago?


  6. - wordslinger - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 10:05 am:

    Your points are spot on. It’s a fluid situation right now. With the presidential race, scandals, possible impeachment, etc., there’s not enough oxygen in the room to support an announcement. What do you do after that? No one’s paying attention until after the New Years.

    Right now, she’s sitting pretty as the fighting young attorney general/working mom. She’ll be an incredibly attractive candidate. She’ll be able to raise plenty of money — she’ll tap a national online base of contributors, particularly women. Furthermore, she might want the Senate seat.

    I don’t see Vallas running, nor the governor. Their best days are behind them.


  7. - Napoleon has left the building - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 10:14 am:

    I agree with you mostly Rich, it’s too early for that announcement. Please - the budget isn’t even done. Emotionally, I can’t wait to start working for Blago’s opponents, but practically speaking after November works fine for me.

    I think people need to chill and not make too much out of Giannoulias. I don’t see him as a legit candidate for Governor, he’s too new. He is doing a great job and has a bright future, but I just don’t see him jumping in yet. True he did beat the “Madigan candidate” but come on people - Paul Mangieri is one thing - Lisa Madigan is entirely different. She has earned high marks for her service all around and has run and won two very solid statewide campaigns (albeit only one was contested).


  8. - North of I-80 - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 10:37 am:

    Some terrific points made by all above.

    If an indictment [that many of us expect] will be handed down within the next 5 months, Lisa can wait for that and then announce. If she can’t get a definite answer on that issue, then wait until the Day before Gov B’s next big fund raiser to announce… and pull out all the stops.


  9. - Amuzing Myself - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 10:39 am:

    Everything on the Democrat side will hinge on Obama. If he wins, it’s a free-for-all. If he loses, he could “Jim Edgar” the field, waiting to decide to stay in the Senate and prepare for a followup 2012 Presidential run or run for Governor. He’s undoubtedly going to be tired, and right after November, if he loses, he’s not likely to be ready to jump right back on the campaign trail, not to mention the members of his family.


  10. - Anon - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 10:43 am:

    I think point 6 may be inaccurate. My reading of the agreed amendment on the ethics bill seemed to indicate that the trigger for compliance as a candidate happens not when a public declaration of candidacy takes place, but rather when the statement of candidacy is filed at petition filing time. If my reading of the bill is correct, she or any other non-incumbent could raise money from state contractors up until about next fall when petitions are turned it. That’s the period when the incumbent will be at a disadvantage. Sooner or later some challenger will take significant advantage of that loophole and you’ll probably see some movement in the legislature to address it.


  11. - Loop Lady - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 10:45 am:

    Moon and I agree she will not run. Here are several reasons not to:

    1) She’s young, so are her kids…there’s plenty of time for this in her future

    2) Not while Dad is still Speaker

    3) Not after Rod has left the State in ruin

    4) Hynes wants it…IL citizens are ready for a capable, no nonsense Gov

    5) She will accomplish even more as Attorney General and embellish her resume


  12. - Rich Miller - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 10:45 am:

    You’re right.


  13. - Leigh - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 10:56 am:

    I think if anyone but Madigan runs for Governor we are going to see a strong republican favorite who will have the advantage of pointing at the corruption and infighting of the democrats.


  14. - Vote Quimby! - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 11:02 am:

    Do not announce now. Wait for the dust to settle (Rezko, session, Obama) and then announce. Doing anything now will get lost in the haze. I don’t see the governor’s administration suddenly getting on track so I wouldn’t worry about any sudden “window.” Just stay coy with the comments and perhaps let the kids roam around the Executive Mansion lawn one nice day this summer…


  15. - Anon - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 11:02 am:

    I think the talk of a Lisa-Alexi battle is silly. I am not the biggest fan of the Madigan’s but Lisa would out debate and out campaign young Alexi all over the Land of Lincoln. Her resume is much more impressive and lets be real, if Mike Madigan is calling in every favor around the state(like when she ran for AG the first time), she will win. I am not sure the timing is right for Lisa right now ( motherhood, bad economy and terrible state fiscal condition).


  16. - Ghost - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 11:02 am:

    I mostly agree with your comments Rich.

    My money is on madigan running. She has done two turns as AG; long enough to build up a nice resume.

    She has btter pres and recognition then Hynes and Alexi and looks to draw a lot of the law enforcement and Union support.

    This idea that she would not run whil Mike Madigan is speaker is a red herring. This is like saying blago would not run while his close friend Jones leads the Senate or while Jones has so many family memebrs employed by the State and subject to the Gov pleasure for their jobs.

    Lisa is more savy and the best chance Il has to dig out of its current mess. An announcement after Nov seems well timed as well. I hope she decides to go for it.


  17. - Smart Voter - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 11:03 am:

    LOL - which rock are they going to find a strong republican candidate Leigh? (need I say Oberweis?)
    Lisa Madigan will be our next gov if she is ready - I can’t wait to campaign for her!


  18. - Tony Rezko's Blackjack Dealer - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 11:05 am:

    It just rolls off the tongue….Governor Pat Quinn!


  19. - Rich Miller - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 11:11 am:

    ===I think the talk of a Lisa-Alexi battle is silly. I am not the biggest fan of the Madigan’s but Lisa would out debate and out campaign young Alexi all over the Land of Lincoln. Her resume is much more impressive and lets be real, if Mike Madigan is calling in every favor around the state(like when she ran for AG the first time), she will win.===

    Replace “Lisa” with “Hillary,” “Alexi” with “Barack,” “father” with “husband” and “state” or “land of lincoln” with “country” and you’ve just described the prevailing attitude of one year ago today.


  20. - Vote Quimby! - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 11:21 am:

    Why is Alexi such a feared candidate? Sure I see his smiley face, but what has he done?


  21. - zatoichi - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 11:46 am:

    Where is the rush to announce anything? The Gov’s path does not look easy. There is no reason for her to jump in while the mess remains. She has plenty of time even if it means 8 years down the road. As others have said that’s plenty of time to build the resume and accomplishments. Dad will still be a major power in some form with many IOUs to be tapped. Let the chips fall and see what happens.


  22. - Cassandra - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 11:47 am:

    My (admittedly amateur) prediction is that Blago will insist on running again and the Democrats will arrange matters internally so as to slate him, even if he is under indictment, which seems somewhat unlikely. Innocent until proven guilty and all that.

    It’s the path of least resistance, especially as they know there will be no viable Republican contender. It’ll be decades before the Republicans can compete on a state level again. Why risk a big intra-party fight when our Blago can just walk to victory. Intraparty fights are not trendy…look at the outpouring of annoyance at Hillary on the national level.

    Scary, scary for Illinois citizens.


  23. - Rich Miller - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 11:49 am:

    ===the Democrats will arrange matters internally so as to slate him===

    Mike Madigan will be in charge of slating.

    Highly, highly doubtful.


  24. - Leigh - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 11:55 am:

    I think Cross might be a better candidate than many think. I would not dismiss him.


  25. - Leigh - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 11:57 am:

    I don’t think Cross will run for Governor if Lisa does. He can beat anyone else.


  26. - Just Observing - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 11:57 am:

    I agree with Anon 11:02 a.m. — Alexi will never be Goveronor. He would get crushed against Lisa Madigan. Rich… I also don’t buy into your analogy of replacing Hillary with Lisa and Barack with Alexi — Alexi is no Barack Obama. It is one thing being elected to to the Treausurer spot — a position most voters don’t pay attention to or care — and being elected to Governor. He bought the Treasurer’s spot.. he will not be able to do the same with Governor.


  27. - IrishPirate - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 12:01 pm:

    Oh you fools. You poor poor fools. Did you not see the item in Sneed’s “column” today? Young Patrick Daley is back from Afghanistan after a grueling 5 month tour. We all know Sneed never makes an error and her choice of subjects is both profound and Nostradamus like.

    Patrick Daley for GOP candidate for Governor! It is written in stone. He is perfect. He has tattoos and is a body builder. He is a “decorated” veteran. He may even be under investigation by the feds given his sewer contract dealings with City Hall.

    He is nearly as tall as Alexi and has more meat on his bones. He is the “chosen one”. There can only be “one”.

    Seriously, AG Madigan should wait to see what the outcome of the Presidential Election is. Either way Barack Obama can have a profound impact on the race.


  28. - wordslinger - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 12:02 pm:

    I think the Lisa/Alexi, Hillary/Barack analogy is a stretch.

    1. Lisa’s no Hillary: Hillary might have thought she could run as an incumbent, but the caucus-goers of Iowa disabused her of that notion right out of the box. The problem? She started with very high negatives. Fair or unfair, too many people don’t like her. And the Clinton fatigue is real. I haven’t seen any polls, but I suspect Lisa’s positive ratings are off the charts.

    2. Alex is no Barack: That’s not a slam on Alex. Up to now, Obama has been a political comet. Has there ever been anyone who has come so far so quickly? Whether you’re for him or against him, you’ve got to admit the guy has been a phenomenon. Alex will have to slug it out in the trenches with the rest of the mortals.


  29. - K to the 3 - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 12:12 pm:

    Cross for governor? You’ve got to be kidding me. He’d be a flop statewide-in this political climate anyway.


  30. - Cassandra - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 12:15 pm:

    I don’t think the issue is whether Lisa (or Alexi) could win or not. Whoever gets the Dem nod will get the job. But how do the Dems deal with an incumbent governor who wants to stay in. A nasty primary fight with possible racial overtones, given Blago’s overwhelming African American support? A behind the scenes deal with Blago to do….what? What could trump Illinois governor, especially the way he does the job (not).


  31. - Rooster - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 12:15 pm:

    Watch young Sen. Mike Jacobs on the oustide rail. The kid raises money, is quick with a quip and his family has years of corruption free public service.

    Anyone can talk about running, but it will take real man (or women) to do it.


  32. - Las Vegas Kid - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 12:21 pm:

    She will not run, watch out for Gnoulas he has made nothing but good moves since he took office.


  33. - Rich Miller - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 12:22 pm:

    Let’s try to avoid an endless “s/he won’t run” debate. Thanks.


  34. - jj - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 12:28 pm:

    Cross would be an excellent Governor. Best candidate out there.

    But for those of you saying Lisa should wait until an indictment is handed down, let me remind you - the Judy 2006 campaign is still waiting for the same thing.


  35. - Anonymous45 - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 12:37 pm:

    Cass…sompin tells me Rod will not be a candidate for Governor in ‘08 cuz Tony will start singing in a very loud fashion cuz he doesn’t like sharing underwear with other inmates…I will go out on a limb and predict that the Rezko jury will announce their decision this week


  36. - MOON - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 12:45 pm:

    Cross does not have what it takes!
    He does not have the money!
    He does not have the brains!
    He does not have the respect of his own caucus!

    He has his current job as minority leader because
    it is a thankless, futile position, that no one of any stature wants given the current state of
    affairs with the Republican Party!


  37. - Leigh - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 12:47 pm:

    It used to be standard to not announce for an office until the election before it was held. From a party standpoint, it allows those in the running for current election cycle to keep the attention. Also it gives incumbents time to announce their intention. In my mind it shows a certain level of confidence and class to wait until after the current election cycle.


  38. - The Rookie - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 12:53 pm:

    == Why is Alexi such a feared candidate? Sure I see his smiley face, but what has he done?==

    Unless its negative you would never take the time to find out, huh?

    Start with the hotels…


  39. - Capitol View - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 1:08 pm:

    here’s a silly thought — the Speaker may slate his daughter in 2010 as Lt. Governor, in anticipation of federal prosecution! Raise taxes in the 2009 Veto Session, have the Speaker and the party support Blago in the 2010 election but be rid of RB by the end of 2011 due to conviction, and Lisa becomes annointed Governor.

    Back to my bottle…


  40. - PhilCollins - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 1:13 pm:

    I think that Lisa should announce as soon as she knows that she’ll run. This would ensure that many donors and volunteers will promise to help her before they can be asked by other Democrats.

    About six months ago, I heard that Sen. Obama said that, if he isn’t elected president, this year, he’ll run for governor, in 2010. In other states, politicians have announced whether they’ll run after 2008. In Minnesota, ex-Sen. Mark Dayton (a Democrat) announced that he’ll run for governor in 2010. Senator Kay Baily Hutchison (R-TX) announced that she won’t run for re-election, in 2012.


  41. - Rich Miller - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 1:20 pm:

    ===About six months ago, I heard that Sen. Obama said that, if he isn’t elected president, this year, he’ll run for governor, in 2010.===

    I don’t think he said that.


  42. - Little Egypt - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 1:30 pm:

    I’m sure Elvis is enjoying reading speculation here today that he will be a candidate in 2010. Doesn’t he wish……….. There’s too much negativity out there about him for any amount of campaign cash or TV ads to help. Stick him with a fork - he’s done.


  43. - Randolph - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 1:31 pm:

    I agree with the commenter who said the analogy with Clinton/Obama is a stretch. In fact, I’ll take it a step farther. Alexi is to Barack as Blago is to Bill Clinton.

    Remember when he first got elected, Blago’s people were trying to spread the narrative that he was the next Bill Clinton. The big difference, not expressed in that narrative, is that by comparison, Blago was lightweight. BC was a wonk, highly educated and immersed in policy. As we have learned, Blago didn’t care much for constitutional law and has since clearly shown that he is more concerned with the press pop than with good public policy.

    Likewise, Alexi wants, and his people would have you believe, that he is the next Obama. But let’s face it, he is neither an intellectual nor political peer of Obama. The main similarity seems to be charisma, and while that can take a candidate a long way, let’s not forget that Rod was lauded for his charisma as well.


  44. - Rich Miller - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 1:34 pm:

    Randolph and others, I’m not saying that Alexi is another Barack. I just thought it was kinda eerie that the comment I riffed on was almost exactly the same argument that the Clinton folks and the talking heads were using a year ago.


  45. - Captain America - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 1:39 pm:

    I think it is a virtual impossibility for the Governor to be re-elected under any circumstances. No one will support him, not even the African-American community. I doubt that he could win renomination. I see him finishing last in a multicandidate primary. I make these bold pronouncements because the polls indioate that the public knows he has been a terrible Governor during his second term.


  46. - Team Sleep - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 1:44 pm:

    A lot can happen in two years. Mike Madigan can retire, or he can keep his speaker’s post. I think that will have a lot to do with it. Would voters really go for Lisa as governor while knowing her stepfather would still be speaker? Even for Illinois, I think that’s a bit much.

    But Rich, our esteemed governor loves taking advice from former members of the media! Look at where it’s gotten him…


  47. - Rich Miller - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 1:49 pm:

    TS, if my daughter was running for governor and i was speaker, i wouldn’t abandon her to the wolves. And considering the problems mjm has had with the senate democrats, things would get ugly in a big hurry. Just sayin.


  48. - Cassandra - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 2:05 pm:

    If you start with the pretty reasonable assumption that that no Republican can win the governor’s office in Illinois in the foreseeable future, it is Democratic primary voters who will select the governor in 2010, in an off-year primary, assuming that the Dems let it go to a fight. Now, I suppose the Republicans could take a Dem ballot en masse, but it seems more likely that they would just stay home. That’s why I think Blago has an excellentchance at re-election and indications are strong that he is going to run.

    We’re gonna wish we had term limits….


  49. - MOON - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 2:07 pm:

    RICH

    Madigan’s problems with the Senate Dems. is only a couple members including Jones and Hendon.By 2010 I imagine Jones will be gone, and Hendon will not be much of a problem.He is “all hat and no cattle”

    Again though, my bet is that Lisa won’t run. The Speaker is certainly smart enough to know that the voters would not want so much power in one family(that is Speaker/Governor).Madigan, in my opinion is not ready to retire. He is “66 going on 40″


  50. - Rich Miller - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 2:10 pm:

    ===Madigan’s problems with the Senate Dems. is only a couple members ===

    It’s a heckuva lot more than a couple.


  51. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 2:10 pm:

    1. Cross couldn’t win the primary, let alone a General Election. Brady will clean his clock, because there aren’t enough pro-choice, pro-stem cell research Republicans left any more. You think Red Meat republicans will forget that Cross and Rod are jogging buddies? That Cross pushed legislation opposed by every state’s attorney to rollback the death penalty? Never.

    2. I agree with Rich that Madigan shouldn’t announce, but for different reasons.

    A. There is great p.r. value in being seen as above the political fray for as long as possible. The minute she’s a candidate for Gov, all of that changes.

    B. It doesn’t matter if she officially announces, as long as her intentions are telegraphed to the right political insiders and they spread the word: “Let’s just wait and see what Lisa decides to do first.”


  52. - Anonymous45 - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 2:25 pm:

    I know many think that Alexi is the bees knees, maybe because Barack has taken him on as a political protegee, but in the brains and political “strategery” he is somewhat lacking… he reminds me of our current Gov way too much…


  53. - MOON - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 2:37 pm:

    RICH

    Certainly you have been around long enough to know
    there is a BIG difference between Dem. Senators expressing their displeasure with some of the Speaker’s position and taking it out on Lisa should she decide to run.

    I will bet you (you name the stakes) if Lisa did run there would be few Dems. in the senate that would not support her 100%. Furthermore if she did run she would win BIG!


  54. - Rich Miller - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 2:43 pm:

    moon, it depends who else is in the race. but we can decide whether to bet at that point.


  55. - MOON - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 2:46 pm:

    RICH

    I will give you the entire field except Obama! But, again I don’t think she will run!


  56. - wise thinker - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 2:53 pm:

    If Attorney General Lisa Madigan ignores corruption as the Attorney General, imagine what will happen with her as the Governor?

    A repeat of the past six years………………..


  57. - VanillaMan - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 3:05 pm:

    Oh bother!

    Zorn is so full of himself! If Obama is actually elected in November, Blagojevich will name himself to the Senate. Consider it done. That is what he will do.

    Blagojevich recognizes that no one wants another term of his as governor. He’s not even interested in the job - never was. Instead he thought he could use it as another launching pad to the Oval Office. Look at the man. Everything he has done since 2002 has been to address national issues using his governor’s podium.

    Now that he is thoroughly hated in the office he currently holds he needs another one that keeps him in the spotlight and gives him a chance to redeem himself. It is the US Senate.

    If Obama is actually elected, Blagojevich will be our next Senator. That gives him oxygen to keep collecting campaign funds for a couple more years, gets him off the hotseat in Springfield, and puts him into a new light in DC.

    Our next governor gets to deal with the impossible situation we face and Rod gets to play politics as one of the 100 US Senators in Washington and revive his political image.

    Bet on it. A President Obama means a Senator Blagojevich. Count on it.


  58. - paxvobiscum - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 3:07 pm:

    Yes, yes, yes. A thousand times yes. Eric, your comments are 100% on target. Lisa would be the first person of principle to sit in the governor’s chair since Jim Edgar. She would bring new ideas and direction to Illinois. It’s time that Illinois started to act in the interests of its citizens and not just the connected few. Yes, Jawohl, Oui, Kai, Si! However you say it, Lisa, do it!


  59. - Easy - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 3:07 pm:

    YDD-
    History proves you wrong (JBT), as do the numbers.

    Over 60% of the GOP primary vote comes from the collars, and Cross will clean up in those counties. Brady will get crushed there, and he hasn’t developed a downstate base, as we saw in 2006 where he struggled to out distance oberweis in key downstate counties.

    But in 2010, GOP voters will want to elect a winner and Cross is the only GOP leader who has demonstrated ability to win races in the toughest of climates.


  60. - Rich Miller - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 3:08 pm:

    ===A President Obama means a Senator Blagojevich. Count on it.===

    Not if he’s indicted before January.


  61. - Rich Miller - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 3:08 pm:

    Or impeached and removed.


  62. - Rich Miller - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 3:08 pm:

    Just sayin


  63. - Kevin Fanning - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 3:10 pm:

    lol. I’m not sayin, I’m just sayin.


  64. - There he goes again - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 3:21 pm:

    I think you’re all missing a big point: Dan Hynes is the anti-Blagojevich. Hynes has built, over three terms in statewide office, a reputation for integrity, hard work, homework.
    Not flashy (Blago is), not all about PR (Blago is), willing to roll up his sleeves to do the hard homework of governing (Blago isn’t).

    Democrats are HUNGRY for that type of leadership after the past disastrous six years.

    Do not underestimate Hynes if he wants it and makes an early commitment to go.

    As for Alexxi, bright young guy with a great future. Not ready for the Gov’s office. Democrats have learned the very hardest way that nominating a flashy young guy (Blago) can set them back decades.

    Democrats need sober, serious governing to regain the trust of the people.


  65. - Team Sleep - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 3:25 pm:

    Oh no! Poor Lisa will be left to fend for herself! Come on, Rich. She’s a big girl who’s won two statewide races and proven she can effectively and intelligently run a constitutional office. And I truly believe it would look terrible and smell funny (not in the literal sense) if two of the most powerful people in the state were related.

    Perhaps my dad should have followed me to college. I wouldn’t have had to worry about all of those mean upperclassmen and I might have gotten better grades.

    Part of being an elected official and a statesman (or stateswoman) should be to be a balancer of thoughts and ideas. If Lisa becomes governor and can’t lead in this way, she should have never been elected.


  66. - Rich Miller - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 3:46 pm:

    Sure, she’s a big girl. I’m just saying.

    I’m also just saying that there is almost no way that MJM is gonna step aside.


  67. - Bill - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 3:55 pm:

    At this point, why would anyone want to be Governor of Illinois? No, Lisa shouldn’t announce now. If the Speaker wants Lisa to be governor he should first begin working now to solve the fiscal and other problems of our state. Re-finance the pension debt at a lower interest rate, pass a much needed jobs bill to rebuild our infrastructure, reform education funding, and most important of all, raise taxes to pay for it all. If he takes the heat now and gets the job done, or at least started, being Governor may look a little more desirable by 2010.
    It is not too late for the Speaker to build a consensus and get this done with a veto proof majority…or maybe I’m just being “delusional” about his ability to do so.Quit blaming Rod and DO SOMETHING!


  68. - Bill S. Preston, Esq. - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 3:57 pm:

    Yikes, why are so many people bad-mouthing the Treasurer? The guy is a hard-worker. I’m still not sure that he should run, but I’m all for dole-ing out credit where it’s due. Especially in the current, wretched Springfield climate.

    As for Lisa, I would urge her to announce now only because it would be a mistake and I don’t think she’s right for the job. I think Rich’s Hillary/Barack parallel acknowledgement is apropos. She’d announce now to scare all others off and be the presumptive nominee, but it would backfire. I’m also offended, as a woman, that it’s always presumed that women with strong male politicians in their families will be great candidates and that they get this sort of special treatment. Where are all the women who have pulled themselves up by their bootstraps and onto the political scene? I’m all for a woman governor, but not one that answers to Daddy, or Hubby or Brother, etc.

    Lisa is doing a good job as AG and should remain there.


  69. - Come On Now - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 5:35 pm:

    This would be a good time to make a point about what people–even columnists–(not Rich, thankfully) call “dynastic nepotism.”

    Whatever you think of the following people’s politics remember these examples:

    1. Richard M. Daley had plenty of enemies after his father died. No one appointed him to the State’s Attorney’s Office in 1980 or the 5th Floor in 1989. He had to win those elections the hard way.

    2. Lisa Madigan was not appointed to anything. She had to win a State Senate race, had a tough primary against John Schmidt, who the media loved for some reason, and had a tough race against Joe Birkett. It was the closest race that year. In fact, her name may have been working against her with enemies of her father. She won in spite of it.

    3. I wouldn’t put Dan Hynes in this situation either–he had to win an election as well.

    Name recognition helps, of course. But winning in politics is less about who has the most friends than who has the least enemies.

    (On a national level, George W. Bush had to win a primary, and barely won two general elections. His family did not appoint him to the Presidency regardless of some of the rants I have seen in the last eight years…but I digress.)

    The only two people that come to mind that were pure and blantant nepotistic appointments for their party’s nominations are Dan Lipinski and Todd Stroger. If they had to run in primaries, they likely would have lost, and The Powers That Be would not have been happy.

    So, when political writers and columnists publish their lists of multi-generational political families to express their outrage at what they consider to be nepotism, they should separate the people that, even though they grew up in a political family, still had to fight for it, from the people that were slid in to protect the fiefdoms.

    Aside: If Lisa Madigan asks her father for advice, so what? People should ask their fathers for advice.


  70. - Come On Now - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 5:54 pm:

    Furthermore: This is the US. No one is forcing you to vote for anybody. Voters have the power to end perceived “dynasties” and the right to impose “term limits.”

    If they don’t do so, it’s not the fault of the politicians.


  71. - JJW48 - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 6:24 pm:

    “Never take political advice from a journalist?” You’ve got to grant that Mr. Zorn wasn’t too off base when in the fall of 2006 (I think it was) he urged Senator Obama to run for President–kind of got that one right, didn’t he?


  72. - Eric Zorn - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 8:18 pm:

    Jan 20, 2005, actually. And it wasn’t advice it was a prediction:
    http://blogs.chicagotribune.com/news_columnists_ezorn/2006/02/obama_in_08_o_y.html


  73. - Thunder - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 10:40 pm:

    What I have heard, I think Lisa Madigan would win Southern Illinois with her hands tied behind her back. She is a winner here.


  74. - unique observer - Friday, May 30, 08 @ 1:48 am:

    Alexi Giannoulias grew up in Chicago, the son of Greek immigrants. He enrolled at the University of Chicago before transferring to Boston University, where he played Division I basketball. Giannoulias was named to the America East Conference Academic Honor Roll each of the two years he played and graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in economics.

    Giannoulias played professional basketball in Greece for a year before enrolling at Tulane University’s School of Law in New Orleans.

    Giannoulias serves on the board of directors of the Community Banker’s Association of Illinois Legislative Committee, the South Side/Wabash YMCA, and the Edgewater Chamber of Commerce. Giannoulias also founded and chairs the AG Foundation, a not-for-profit charity that donates money to treat child-related illnesses, curb poverty and assist disaster relief organizations.(Wikipedia)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexi_Giannoulias)

    And some of you wish to refer to him as a buffoon?
    I am of the opinion that some of you might be underestimating him a bit.


  75. - First time caller!!! - Friday, May 30, 08 @ 9:43 am:

    Yes, yes and yes. The Trib’s Magazine story on her made me a believer. There are some honest politicians who do their best to follow the letter of the law. Lisa Madigan appears to be one of them.


  76. - justwondering - Friday, May 30, 08 @ 4:05 pm:

    Is there any talk of Julie Hamos running for guv?


  77. - Dirk - Sunday, Jun 8, 08 @ 1:22 pm:

    Lisa doesn’t have problems, she has options. She’s definitely on the short list for Obama’s soon to be vacated senate seat, she could probably defeat the sitting governor and its hardly boyond the realm of short-list possibilities that she’ll become Obama’s AG. [though I think that’s a long shot] In short she has to wait and see how the election shakes out.


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