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Question of the day

Tuesday, Sep 29, 2009

• I’m in transit so blogging will resume later this morning. Let’s reverse the order today and do the question first.

• Whom are you supporting in the US Senate campaign? Why?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - bored now - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 7:41 am:

    alexi. without a doubt. i’ve seen how hard alexi works at communicating with the people of illinois, first as a candidate, then as treasurer, and now as a candidate again. he’s gone places that democrats running statewide don’t always think about. and the people across the state really respond to him.

    so it is clear to me that not only will alexi make a great senator and represent the state well, but he will represent the people of illinois well, too. i can’t imagine a person more deserving of barack’s senate seat. we can trust him to support our favorite son and represent us well!

  2. - Hon. Cranial Lamb - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 7:42 am:

    Hoffman because I am a Dem and I don’t like Giannoulias or Jackson. I think that Kirk would beat them both. Many Dem leaners I know say they will vote for Kirk over those two. Polls show the same.

    I’m not sure if Hoffman can win, but I know the other two can’t.

  3. - Anon - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 7:47 am:

    Patrick Hughes. His positions on all the major policy issues is right in line with the Republican platform. Hughes is not beholden to the special interests. His family, his business acumen and his background is perfect for the values we need in a Republican U.S. Senator from Illinois.

    In contrast, Mark Kirk is a flip-flopper who cannot be trusted. He changes his positions depending on which donors or special interest groups he is speaking to. Mark is also pro-partial birth abortion, anti-Second Amendment and anti-free trade. Cap and trade is a huge issue — too big for a congressman or senator to ever get wrong. He got it wrong, big time.

    Patrick Hughes has the support of many major conservative state and national leaders. He can and will raise the money necessary to defeat the democrats in 2010.

  4. - Oneman - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 7:51 am:

    I think he has a legitimate shot to take the seat back and eat any democrat who is currently running lunch on foreign policy.

  5. - Anon - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 7:53 am:

    @Bored: How well did Alexi do in communicating his oversight of the Oppenheimer bond funds within the Bright Start program, which thousands of families entrusted him to monitor? Terribly, that’s how. Those people are wondering how they are going to send their kids to college with peak losses of 40% in a CONSERVATIVE bond fund! Meanwhile, Alexi is gallivanting around in a $26K vehicle purchased with Bright Start dollars.

  6. - scoot - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 8:08 am:

    Congressman Mark Kirk. He has shown the ability to win re-election in a tough “blue” district, he has the moderate appeal that will attract women & independent voters in the collars, and he’s a Commander in the Navy.

    Mark Kirk is the first member of Congress since the 1940’s to serve in active duty (Afghanistan) while being a member of Congress. Kirk has also served in Iraq & Bosnia.

    Mark Kirk is the best man to represent the state of Illinois in the US Senate, and to help the state recover from the Burris-Blago disaster.

  7. - Susan S. - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 8:10 am:

    Giannoulias. What Anon conveniently didn’t point out, is that Alexi and AG Madigan reached a deal with Brightstar to recoup at least $77 million of the $85 million that was lost because of Oppenheimer’s deceitful practices. In Highland Park, where I am from, people are increasingly sick of Mark Kirk kissing up to the right wing of his party in order to win the GOP party. Whether it be telling communist China not to trust the US Government, blaming “his district” for his vote on cap and trade and his unapologetic stance in support of Bush era economic policies, the guy is no moderate.

    Hoffman is an ego maniac and Jackson was one of Blagojevich’s chief apologists. Alexi is well known and well liked all over the State. Once Mark Kirk starts to get beaten up a little bit, it will be interesting to say what Kirk has to say, if he isn’t too busy twittering.

  8. - SF - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 8:14 am:

    Giannoulias for sure because of his support for marriage equality. That decided it for me between Alexi and Jackson.

  9. - Louis Howe - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 8:15 am:

    Hoffman. I really don’t believe Alexi understands the democratic process or working class issues. Although I don’t know much about Hoffman, he has backing from some of my Chicago friends whose judgment I trust.

  10. - Greg - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 8:15 am:

    I’d be comfortable with either Kirk or Hoffman, and would be excited to see both nominated. A Republican moderate on social issues and a Democrat untainted by family/machine connections would finally be a break from the normal lose/lose propositions. In the end, I’d vote for Kirk because I’d prefer a less lopsided Democratic majority.

  11. - Johnny Cakes - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 8:19 am:

    Anon @7:53 -

    Even better, how is Alexi communicating the clean up process from the Oppenheimer mess? Didn’t he promise several months ago all lost monies would be refunded? I believe ‘rogue trader’ was the reason.

    Has anyone seen a dime of the refund money yet?

  12. - Adam Smith - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 8:21 am:

    Kirk is clearly the best of the bunch. Hated by the far right and the far left, detailed grasp of complex issues, loads of experience, no scandal or taint with the whole insider crowd–easy choice. Massachusets proved that very blue states will elect moderate Republicans, especially when Dems keep nominating weak candidates.

  13. - Red & Green - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 8:21 am:

    I’ll vote for Pat Hughes. I think I may volunteer for him, too. I really don’t like the way the country is going and I think I want a more traditional guy. If it’s Kirk and Giannoulias or Hoffman I’ll probably just skip over the race. It would feel like I was voting in a Democratic Primary.

  14. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 8:23 am:

    Undecided between Hoffman and Kirk, leaing Kirk.

    Jackson is stunningly unqualified and wears the Blago jacket.

    Alexi is well, a j*****. Susan, we’ve been hearing since June about the “tentative settlement “with Oppenheimer: where’s the cash? Then there’s the SUV, the ill-conceived ILL-PERS pension investment power grab, Jaws Giorango, bad loans, and all the other baggage. No, thanks.

  15. - downstate hick - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 8:24 am:

    Kirk, Not overly excited, but certainly better than alternatives. Hoffman might be acceptable.

  16. - CircularFiringSquad - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 8:27 am:

    Given the strong showing from Crusts Kirk and the 3Ds I would be for Burris and urge him into the race
    BTW..check out the following…When will RxRon and the other wingnuts join in
    Lawmakers Push for Ban on Mandatory Health Insurance

    Politicians in 10 states have introduced measures that would ban mandatory health insurance, and officials in four more states plan to follow suit. While lawmakers acknowledge the move is likely to fail, the efforts are seen as largely symbolic for politicians who oppose the broad sweep of government reform. “All I’m trying to do is protect the individual’s right to make health care decisions,” Minnesota Republican Tom Emmer told reporters. In Arizona, the amendment has been placed on the ballots and will be voted on in 2010. In spite of the movement’s growing popularity, constitutional lawyers have questioned the ban’s legality. “States can no more nullify a federal law like this than they could nullify the civil rights laws by adopting constitutional amendments,” health law expert Timothy Stoltzfus Jost told the NYT.

  17. - Ghost - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 8:27 am:

    I have been leaning towards Kirk, but as the campaign draws on I am becoming concerned that he will fall into the GOP just say no strategy and refuse to try and work across the aisle. before he startered campaigning I was much mor inclined to support him because he was not just always following the party line. However his capaign reads like he is back tracking and trying to get into lock step as just another GOP drone.

    I prefer to have a house that is a little divided (sorry abe) to operate as a check and balance on the passage of law. On the other side, if the GOP want to act as a single just say no unit I dont want that either, so I would go with a dem to avoid that future.

  18. - corvax - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 8:31 am:


    He’s got the best track record of the 3 main dem candidates (the improvements in the treasurer’s office–including those that reflect policy concerns like ag loans and credit cards on campus-have been cataloged here before), he’s a true progressive from the Obama wing of the party, he’s independent but able to realistically address the need to get political support from all sectors of the party (a real “uniter”), he’s incredibly hard working.

    Plus, he can win–he’ll outraise all the other candidates so as to fund a good media campaign, he’s charismatic 9kills Kirk in this category) and has great political instincts and a good organization

  19. - Voting Hoffman - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 8:38 am:

    Alexi looks like a greek guy doing an obama impersonation whenever he gives a speech. he isn’t genuine, he’s a mimic. We need a thinker and a leader, not a copycat impersonator. he’s a rich kid with an entitlement complex who isn’t very smart, and he will be an easy target for Kirk. Unfortunately, he’s made himself look inevitable to all the right democratic constituencies, and bought off those who should know better, so he will likely be the candidate

  20. - The Intern - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 8:42 am:

    Voting Hoffman @ 8:38 am

    I get the exact same feelings about Alexi. It was hard for me to articulate for some reason. We’ll see how the next couple of months go. Anything could happen and anything could come out. By default, if I had to choose today, I’d vote Hoffman.

  21. - Excessively Rabid - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 8:43 am:

    Kirk, but with no enthusiasm. It’s time for the state’s largest unrepresented minority - Republicans - to have a senator. The choice of candidates is unappealing on either side.

  22. - Amalia - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 8:52 am:

    Hoffman. very smart, brutally honest, wide experience locally and nationally, prosecutor, investigator, judicial assistant, senate assistant. someone who would work hard and not just be
    a poser. never met him, don’t know anyone who has, but
    his record speaks for itself.

  23. - insider - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 9:01 am:

    kirk, did not like his cap and trade vote at all though. i truly believe that alexi was involved with the allegations of mob banking and poor lending, and have confidential info to support the opinion. jackson was too close to blago for me to ever accept her.

  24. - MrJM - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 9:02 am:

    “Whom are you supporting in the US Senate campaign? Why?”

    As always, I will once again be supporting the Ghost of Paul Martin Simon for US Senate.

    But I will probably vote for Alexi because I had the opportunity to meet him in a very small — four of us — meeting and his sincerity overwhelmed my inherent, knee-jerk contempt for those born into wealth.

    I really *wanted* to loathe him, but I just couldn’t do it…

    – MrJM

  25. - Bill - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 9:03 am:

    Alexi because he was slated by the Cook County Dems. I won’t be too upset if Kirk wins because he is more liberal than Alexi. Kirk will return to his true left of center form if he gets elected.

  26. - Inish - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 9:03 am:

    Undecided- I was concerned for Alexi when Hoffman came in- but after I have seem his first few moves- I am no longer worried. Kirk is too pandering- my perception, he votes based on telephone polls- I need a leader, not a guy running for Prom king.
    The issue about the van is beyond white noise- it is a non issue and common practice. You forget Alexi also fired a woman who had been stealing from the state for over 30 years within months of coming in.
    I like Alexi- but like others here- am not convinced he can lead. Still on the sidelines, but favoring Alexi.

  27. - Bill - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 9:06 am:

    Don’t worry, senators, especially freshmen, don’t lead, they follow.

  28. - Niles Township - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 9:06 am:

    I plan to vote for Hoffman in the primary because I dislike Alexi and Jackson hasn’t wowed me in any way yet. In the general, this Dem plans to vote for Kirk in any event. I’ve always liked him.

  29. - Skeeter - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 9:07 am:

    Mark Kirk. Because FINALLY we have somebody in the GOP willing to take the courageous stand against ACORN and SEIU.

  30. - Vote Quimby! - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 9:13 am:

    Alexi….because he plays basketball with Obama.

  31. - Pre - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 9:13 am:

    Kirk… He will bring integrity back to Illinois politics. I’m also impressed with the knowledge of local and international issues.

  32. - Charlie Wilson - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 9:19 am:

    Niles - And Hoffman has wowed you? Don’t be so impressed by a little grease in one’s hair.

  33. - Concerned Observer - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 9:19 am:

    Still very undecided. I want to vote for Kirk but he hasn’t won me over — in fact, he’s a little far to the right lately for me. I like Alexi personally, but I just don’t know if I’m ready to vote for him yet.

    So, I’unno. Trying to keep an open mind.

  34. - Small Town Liberal - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 9:19 am:

    - courageous stand against ACORN and SEIU -

    Courageous? Its the safest thing any GOP member can do right now.

    I’m supporting Alexi because I like his policy of not accepting contributions from anyone his office does business with. I also appreciate his stance on social and environmental issues.

  35. - Inish - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 9:19 am:

    Pre- doesn’t integrity require a definitive position?

  36. - Anon - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 9:21 am:

    @Pre: Integrity? Kirk? You mean the guy who says one thing and does another? Is that integrity?

  37. - Team America - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 9:22 am:

    Kirk, as you might guess.

    For anyone who has never had the chance to meet Mark personally and sit in the same room with him while he answers questions about foreign policy, the economy, health care or other issues, you are missing out on the chance to meet a real leader. After meeting Mark and discussing the real issues with him, you may not agree with his stance at the end of the discussion, but you will come away with the certainty that this guy knows his stuff. Too many politicians nowadays are simply the “empty suit” type, and Kirk is the antithesis of that.

    I defy anyone to take time to meet Mark Kirk and discuss heady issues like Iran and Afghanistan with him, and come away with anything but the conviction that no one else in this race can hold a candle to Kirk.

  38. - The Doc - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 9:23 am:

    Much can, and certainly will, change between now and November 2010, so I refuse to select a candidate today.

    Kirk has irked me with his right-wing pandering and wildly inconsistent statements since announcing as a candidate, and has lost a considerable amount of credibility.

    I’m intrigued by the Hoffman campaign, primarily due to its lack of “baggage”. I consider his clerking for more conservative jurists an asset, not a detriment, and his independence as city hall watchdog speaks for itself. It still leaves unresolved the nagging question of why he’s running for senate, as opposed to mayor, governor, or perhaps alderman, where his skill set and experience would appear to be a more natural fit.

  39. - Levois - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 9:23 am:

    Really undecided, but I was really impressed by Kirk when he was interviewed on a variety of topics especially on foreign affairs. Not a Republican but I could vote for him on that basis, though hopefully not the only basis. The other candidates well I just don’t know enough about them.

  40. - John Bambenek - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 9:25 am:

    I’m undecided. What bugs me about Kirk isn’t so much his issues, but that he took months of flopping around to decide whether he was up for the task of campaigning. That’s not the leadership we need.

    I think the Hoff wins if he gets past primary.

  41. - Anon - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 9:26 am:

    Kirk is a phony and a liar. Patrick Hughes has my vote!

  42. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 9:27 am:

    This is no time for pop stars. Hoffman and Giannoulais are feathery pretty things at a time when we need heft. After Blagojevich, I’d like someone who wasn’t a top aide to our worse governor in history. After Obama, I’d like a senator who wants to be a senator. We have Dick Durbin pirouetting like Cinderella at the ball in Never-Will-Be-Land. We don’t need another la-la-land liberal because Dick covers all the crazy bases for the Democrats. The guy voted to continue funding ACORN, for crying out loud! Talk about out of touch, but living in a very happy place!

    How about a someone who wants to be senator who will bring a balance to our state’s congressional delegation? Someone not from the ueber-far-left, but someone who actually has a record in bipartisanship, (beyond talking about it), someone who listens well to all sides of the issues we are debating, and someone who has witnessed the hard core realities of war, death and destruction?

    Hoffman knows the ugly side of Chicago. Jackson knows the ugly side of Blagojevich. Unfortunately so do most of us. Giannoulais knows the happy side of Chicago and the comforts of inherited cash and inside power politics. Alexi knows how tough it is to ignor fiscal doom while your party controls the entire state. Yeah, that’s tough love - right? Worse, these people don’t represent change for Illinois at a time when we desperately need change. Or have voters forgotten that we are in a swealtering suck hole thanks to the Democrats and their style of “leadership”? If what we are currently going through doesn’t encourage voters to find another political party, there is just no hope for Illinois.

    So, I’m thinking Kirk. He has done a great job after stumbling around deciding what office he wished to campaign for. He obviously listens. His district doesn’t cotton to morons, and they have had good choices every two years for US Congress, and they supported a guy who differs from many of them on party. They aren’t stupid. When a dark purple congressional district votes for the red guy, that guy must have something special. When they keep doing it, then he must really be something special. That’s a hell of an endorsement for bipartisanship, moderation, and success. You can’t buy that, Mr. Giannoulais. You don’t get that with Kelly campaign contributions, Ms. Jackson. You have to earn that, Mr. Hoffman.

    Everyone in this race is charming. Everyone in this race is cute. Everyone in this race has money. Everyone in this race can say pretty things about how wonderful the world could be. Everyone has a campaign staff full of dummies who tell them what to say, and when to say it. We don’t need just that.

    We need real experience. We need real bipartisanship. We need real moderation. We need a listener. We need someone to show Dick Durbin where the real world resides. We don’t need another Dick Durbin - one is enough!

    We need Congressman Kirk at this time.

  43. - JonShibleyFan - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 9:27 am:

    “but I know the other two can’t”

    You KNOW it? KNOW? Someone somewhere should be paying you millions.

    Seriously, Hoffman’s been a non-starter to this point. If the only way he can get headlines is to alienate a good piece of his party’s base, it doesn’t say much for his abilities as a candidate or his message.

    Jackson has not been impressive, but I wouldn’t be quick to rule her out.

    Small Town, I think Skeeter’s being facetious.

    For me? Alexi. He’s running a good campaign. He didn’t wait to see what everyone else was doing before deciding to run - he was in it for the Senate race to start (ahem, Hoffman, Kirk).

    He’s telling people what he’s for, not just what he’s against (and unlike Mark “John Kerry” Kirk, not what he’s against after he was for).

    And, so far, he’s dong a good job raising funds.

  44. - Jay Cutler's Wife - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 9:30 am:

    Giannoulias. Hoffmann is an ego-maniac who will say and do anything to get elected. The guy used to clerk for Justice Rhenquist for crying out loud. Hoffman was responsible for writing decisions that weakened a woman’s right to choose, the American’s with Disabilities act and the Brady Bill. How can a true progressive defend working on such egregious policies??

  45. - Deep South - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 9:33 am:

    = courageous stand against ACORN and SEIU =

    Really? I think it would be courageous to support ACORN and SEIU….seems everyone and his brother is against ACORN and SEIU…

    Still undecided. Alot will happen during the campaign that will eventually sway my vote. One thing is fer sure….the TV stations that serve Illinois are gonna get rich running campaign commercials.

  46. - Skeeter - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 9:34 am:

    “I’m also impressed with [Kirk’s] knowledge of local and international issues.”

    I agree completely. He KNOWS that cap and trade was good for his district, but bad for the rest of Illinois. He knows that was elected to represent his district only, and was smart enough to cast a vote for the interests of his district, as opposing to looking at the larger interests of the State. That’s the sort of knowledgeof local issues — and the back-boned leadership — that Illinois needs.

  47. - Small Town Liberal - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 9:41 am:

    JonShibleyFan - I’m a little slow this morning.

  48. - bored now - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 9:41 am:

    Anon 7:53 am:

    i’m always kind of surprised that, after madoff, people still believe that wall street provides perfect information (or even good information) in a reasonable time to their clients. so it is no surprise to those who actually pay attention that a large number of states got conned by their wall street brokers who felt pressured to show ever greater returns in a go-go era.

    fortunately for us, we have a reformed treasurer’s office that actually pays attention to that kind of thing! as someone has already mentioned, we are getting our money back.

    as for bright start, it is my understanding that the money used to purchase the vehicle was, well, money set aside for that kind of thing! now i get that republicans are anti-environment and can’t abide that kind of decision, but most of the population is grateful that we have public officials that care about the air they breathe as opposed to lining their (or their buddies’) pockets.

    Team America 9:22 am:

    i’ve met mark kirk — in the halls of congress — and talked to both him and many people who have had to work with him. he may be a dazzling politician here in illinois (as your testimony indicates), but he’s a lightweight inside the beltway. when donald rumsfeld spit, he cleaned it up. ‘nuf said.

    kirk is an intellectual lightweight, someone who i doubt has any real convictions, who seems to know nothing but his own ambitions. which isn’t to say that he’s the only one in congress. but why should i vote for someone like that?

    as we’ve seen in kirk’s term as congressman, he falls into warren rudman’s bottom third: he doesn’t know what he wants to do in congress, let alone how to do it. mark kirk has demonstrated no real seriousness for the serious issues that face this country at this time. he’s great at talk, but he certainly hasn’t led. we don’t exactly need another blowhard in the senate…

  49. - ivoted4judy - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 9:41 am:

    I am with Jackson because the powers of the Democratic party will be with her…

  50. - southpaw - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 9:42 am:

    Hoffman for Senate

    Unfortunately, Alexi is too tainted and waaay to young for this position. Cheryl has ties to the Blagojevich administration. Hoffman presents the best set of qualifications and I believe he has the best chance against a GOP candidate.

  51. - Skeeter - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 9:49 am:

    For the record — Alexi. I agree with those concerned about age and experience, but I think he’s done a good job in his current position and his positions on the issues are close to my own. Plus, if I supported somebody else, my Greek family would serve me for dinner.

  52. - Team America - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 9:50 am:

    Bored Now - I am a big Mark Kirk fan, but I’m just a volunteer. Can you say the same? Just askin’.

  53. - Suzanne - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 9:54 am:

    My daughter’s Bright Start account was halved—far worse than what happened in our other, more aggressively positioned investments. The Bright Start/Opp mess wasn’t about a rogue trader (one guy at Opp? No way) or some idea that we expect perfect information (and the predictable results that would come with it). The explanation is simpler: it was a bad allocation made because it made someone—or some group of someones—a lot better off than if the funds were allocated tight to D-doc specs.

    I know there has been some rumblings of a settlement and I did receive a letter from the Treasurer but nothing specific was outlined and not a dime has been restored. Yet.

  54. - Responsa - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 10:03 am:

    Kirk. He’s my congressman and I have been overall pleased with his representation in a not-so-easy-to-please-everybody-all the time district. Being originally from, and schooled, in central Illinois but now living in metro Chicago makes me believe that Kirk will not only be able to effectively represent the interests of the whole state better than the other candidates, but that he will resonate with the greatest number of Illinois voters statewide. Plus, I (apparently along with a lot of people) think we really do need some balance through additional Republican representation from this state at the national level.

  55. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 10:06 am:

    Call me goofy, but I’m still holding out for Lisa Madigan to change her mind and run for the Senate. Looks like Mark Kirk will be the GOP nominee, and she is the only thing standing between him and the U.S. Senate. He’ll roll the others into the dustbin of Illinois politics.

    The President needs to get on the phone pronto and see what it will take to change her mind. Otherwise, he can watch the NRSC and RNC make this race a referendum on his first two years. It won’t be pretty, and there isn’t enough cash to prop up Alexi, Hoffman or Jackson against the full onslaught of the National GOP.

    To answer the question: I’m undecided.

  56. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 10:07 am:

    Paul Simon. Adlai Stevenson. Charles Percy.

    I’m thoroughly unimpressed with this crew. I guess Kirk gets points for now and then taking a position than angers the yabbos (pretty easy to do).

    Why should Alexi be a Senator? What does he bring to the party? Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?

    Hoffman is going to be hilarious. The self-appointed White Knight in the barnyard of Illinois politics. Think there might be some compromises along the way? Can’t wait to see how he handles that, given his holier-than-thou self-image.

    Actually, I’m for Jackson. Why not? I give her points for taking on a tough task.

    I’m surprised we didn’t get a better field.

  57. - Tom B. - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 10:08 am:

    Obviously Alexi, but before I started working here, it was always going to be him.

    These are tough times and it says something to me to want to run for office in tough times and tough circumstances. That’s what Foster did, that’s what Quigley did and it’s what Alexi is doing now.

    I’ll refrain from engaging my fellow Democrats for the moment because I’m still learning who they are and why they’re running.

    But I will answer Team American on “leader” Kirk.

    When you look at the totality of his record, all you see is a politician with his finger in the air, waiting for the wind to tell him which way to vote.

    I don’t believe for one second, nor will the voters of Illinois once we’ve laid out his record, that he has truly guiding principles and that he is willing to stand for those principles when he has to face an electorate that disagrees w/ him.

    He is a classic creature of Washington and this primary is the window into him that voters in Illinois will get for the first time.

    He needs to modify his stances (cap and trade anyone?) in order to win over Republicans and then he will shift back to the middle in the general.

    And, that is the fundamental choice in the general election: Who will make change happen? Who has what it takes to continue the new path that this country took on November 4th, 2008?

    Considering that he fundamentally disagrees with every economic policy the President has put in place, that he doesn’t believe there is a health care crisis, that he would gladly pass another George Bush budget if he could, I challenge anyone to say how Kirk will be able to tell the people of Illinois, “I believe, as you do, in changing this country and I’m going to make it happen.”

  58. - JonShibleyFan - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 10:15 am:

    Small Town — I thought he was serious at first, too, lol. We’re more used to Jon Stewart, and Skeeter gave us Colbert.

  59. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 10:20 am:

    –This is no time for pop stars. Hoffman and Giannoulais are feathery pretty things at a time when we need heft.–

    This from the guy last week who compared Sarah Palin to Paul Simon.

  60. - bored now - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 10:23 am:

    Team America: heh, i can not only say the same, i would hardly call myself a volunteer!

    the problem with your particular framing of kirk is that he won’t even talk to his own northshore constituents unless they are superfans like you. so your suggestion that people talk to kirk to see what he’s about is hardly plausible. but it’s a great soundbite — and that’s what kirk excels at!

  61. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 10:23 am:

    ===The guy voted to continue funding ACORN, for crying out loud! Talk about out of touch, but living in a very happy place!===

    VanillaMan, I thought this issue was a dead cat?

  62. - CircularFiringSquad - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 10:26 am:

    Looks like Burris is way ahead

  63. - chimack - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 10:28 am:

    At this point–
    Democrat David Hoffman.
    Cause I really really want to end the Machine in Chicago, Illinois and in its Potomac branch.

  64. - chimack - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 10:31 am:

    But if someone other than Hoffman is the Dem then I will vote for Kirk.

  65. - Cassandra - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 10:39 am:

    Kirk. He has shown some ability to act independently and he has already served in Washington, so at least we have some idea of what we are getting. And he knows what he is getting into, meaning less time getting up to speed in the Senate.

    We badly need to get away from the one-party state here in Illinois. Democrats have little incentive to reform when they own the state, as they do now, and much incentive to plunder it, as they are doing now. Kirk’s election would seems to be the most plausible check, albeit small, on Illinois Democrats’ abuse of power. Actually, responsible Democrats should be hoping he wins. In the end, they, nor anybody, not any citizen,
    benefits from a one-party state.

  66. - Red Hawk - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 10:54 am:

    Congressman Kirk has my vote. He has the resume to succeed and the experience to win. He outlasted many of his moderate GOP colleagues who fell during the last two cycles because he works hard and has a strong presence in the district.

    On a national level, his foreign affairs credentials are desperately needed on Capitol Hill. I know he will represent the state well.

  67. - Louis G. Atsaves - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 11:00 am:

    Kirk. He represents one of the most difficult and diverse districts in the State, as evidenced by some of your comments. When the Highland Parkers get upset with him, the Arlington Heighters are pleased, and vice-versa.

    The 10th Congressional Democrats Organization, who are as far left liberal as anyone can get, despise him, and the “Conservatives” in my GOP party, despise him. The fact that both extremes hate him is one of his strengths and explains why he kept winning elections in the 10th. The general public views him as being a pretty rational and thoughtful guy.

    He is a policy wonk who studies things pretty carefully and generally is pretty deliberate in his decision making. In public, he is a good speaker who comes off as intelligent and sharp and is an excellent and tireless campaigner. When I have visited him in Washington, I was pretty impressed by the reaction his fellow Congressmen had towards him, which also explains what appears to be pretty solid backing by them in this race.

    He takes “representation” pretty seriously, which often explains many of his votes, and even his latest comments about “Cap and Trade.”

    Clearly he perceived to be the man to beat, as all other candidates from both political parties take repeated shots at him and try to muddy him up.

  68. - Ghost - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 11:01 am:

    = courageous stand against ACORN and SEIU =

    Rich had a blurb from somone reporing that Kirk voted to fund ACORN.

    The ACORN thing to me is a non-sequiter to me in any event.

  69. - Conservative Veteran - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 11:01 am:

    I work for Dr. Eric Wallace. Unlike Rep. Kirk, Wallace agrees with most of the republican platform. Wallace is pro-tax cuts, pro-spending cuts, pro-life, and pro-gun rights.

  70. - Anon - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 11:01 am:

    I’d vote for Kirk. He has a grasp on issues like no other. This is first time in a long time GOP candidate is actually seems like the smartest, cleanest and has best chance of winning. I’ve seen and heard the democrats doing everything they can to drag Kirk into the mud which tells me my party is most worried about Kirk. I find this troubling because there is no way I could support Jackson, Hoffman or Alexi G.

  71. - Jason - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 11:02 am:

    I am supporting Hoffman. I think Alexi is a very capable politician, but I don’t understand how being the state treasurer makes you qualified for the US Senate. I also don’t like that the Obama administration seems to want to stay out of any sort of endorsement, that makes me worried. Especially since the president has made it clear that he supports a number of candidates in the midterms, but has failed to mention Alexi by name.

    I know democrats complain about Hoffman having clerked for Chief Justice Renquist but isn’t that a strength? Ideology aside, I can only imagine the perspective of someone who has worked directly with the most influential legal mind of the century. Also, can we deny that this will appeal to right of center voters in the midterm?

    I can’t imagine Alexi receiving intelligence briefings, presiding over the selection of a supreme court justice, or any other important function of being a US Senator. Maybe some day, but he’s just not ready yet.

    Also, I think Illinois needs a clean break from all this scandal. I don’t know how much is justified in Alexi’s case, but either way, he seems radioactive at a time when Illinois needs a capable, independent and scandal free individual who can represent the state without having to constantly answer for his/her past.

    Alexi is smart, but now isn’t the time

  72. - 10th Indy - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 11:02 am:

    No surprise here – Kirk. He is smart and he studies. Kirk asks questions, digs deeper and on occasion, changes his mind. I do not work for him but know him and many of his staff. As a team they are relentless about doing their work with excellence. He does not take his constituents or his job for granted. Kirk knows that he is accountable to the people he represents more than his party. He is not flashy and can come across as a wonk, but he understands that what he does matters and works harder than anyone I know because of it.

  73. - Screwball - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 11:04 am:

    Alexi Giannoulias hands down. And he beats Kirk so long as his team focuses on this election, too many times it looks like his consultants are trying to avenge their losses to Kirk in the past. The difference between Alexi giving a quote and his team putting out a written statement is glaringly obvious.

  74. - Shore - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 11:14 am:


    12 years,I’ve known him and there really isn’t a finer Republican around. He’s destined to chair the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

    For conservatives concerend with his record and flip floppiness bear in mind that you can spend 6 years threatening him with a primary challenge in the form of schock or roskam or someone else if he’s elected. That won’t happen with any of the dems.

    Alexi would be the least impressive opponent he’s faced if you go back to Gash, Perritt, Seals and Goodman, all were self-made folks and not corrupt.

  75. - Skeeter - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 11:18 am:

    Ghost - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 11:01 am: wrote:

    = courageous stand against ACORN and SEIU =

    Rich had a blurb from somone reporing that Kirk voted to fund ACORN. ”

    Ghost, you just don’t get it. Just because he VOTED for the NY ACORN thing doesn’t mean that the NY ACORN thing was good for Illinois. That ACORN vote was because it was important for HIS DISTRICT. However, if he was elected to represent the entire State of Illinois, he would have voted differently, since, although ACORN is good for his district, it is bad for the State.

    Why are you having such a difficult time with this? Mark Kirk is a man of great wisdom, courage, and integrity and not some hack pandering to the far right as he might appear.

    I’m tired of people getting on Kirk just because he flip flops so much. He does that flip flopping to show REAL LEADERSHIP, which you people just don’t understand.

  76. - Potomac Fever - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 11:29 am:

    We need to clean up this mess. Kirk is the only viable answer.

  77. - proud vet - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 11:34 am:

    Kirk. He’s the only one with military service.

  78. - proud vet - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 11:40 am:

    And Politico put Skeeter’s misleading claims to bed yesterday.

  79. - Skeeter - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 11:47 am:

    Actually, Proud Vet, your article does the exact opposite. It shows more of why Kirk lacks the leadership and, frankly, courage, to effectively serve.

    According to YOUR STORY, Kirk voted for it, but said he doesn’t like it.

    Here’s a tip to the Congressman: If you don’t like something, then VOTE NO.

    But don’t vote YES and then whine about how you didn’t like it.

  80. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 11:49 am:

    This from the guy last week who compared Sarah Palin to Paul Simon.

    I did no such thing. I said that the next governor needs to be able to speak as simply as Palin, and have a heart as simple as Simon’s.

    The next winning governor should communicate simply, sincerely, and directly, like Palin and Simon. I was being deliberately provacative by grouping those two.

    There was no comparison.

  81. - OMG - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 11:55 am:

    Definitely NOT Kirk - He is not even close to as moderate as his old boss Porter. I heard him talk at a city club luncheon and his talking points on healthcare were ridiculous. He boasted that we have more NICU doctors than canada - yehh - we have far more poor birth outcomes. Having more specialists and less primary care is hardly something to boast about. He was so clueless. He started off with his service in afghanistan - fine - good for him. But then he started talking about tax fairness day the day in April when we have earned enough money to pay our taxes for the year. Who does he think is funding the war in Iraq and Afghanistan? Moron.
    He talks like a total fiscal conservative and throws in a tiny bone to moderation just once is a while. I will vote for any democrat over him. I would even volunteer for any democrat over him and I don’t really like our democratic slate. But I can’t stand Kirk.

  82. - 60611 - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 12:01 pm:

    Alexi. He’s a sincere guy and he’s working very hard. Hoffman? He started way too late and should be running for something lower down the totem pole. He’s only running because Madigan is staying as AG.

    As long as the Republicans are intent on proving that 51 votes is not a working majority in the Senate, but rather, a party needs 60 votes to pass its agenda, Kirk will have a hard time convincing Democrats to cross over. Besides, at a time when Congress isn’t popular, he’s the Washington candidate. All Alexi will have to do in the general is run ads informing people outside the 10th district of Kirk’s votes for the Bush agenda.

  83. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 12:15 pm:

    Mark Kirk, because he’s the one in a million who runs every once in a while with the background, knowledge, practical experience, and courage to bring us back to Center when we need it most.

    I also partially agree with what Hon. Cranial Lamb and Greg said. Watching Hoffman go up against Kirk would hopefully, result in the type of election Voters of our State need and deserve (as compared to what we’d see with Cheryle & Alexi). Basically, an election that would force Voters once again into thinking v. responding to hype.

    While I’d be more than happy to support Hughes–if Kirk weren’t running–this is a time when our Country needs someone with a stronger background on the critical issues upon which all Rs (and many Ds even) agree such as foreign policy. We also need a Jr. Senator this time around who is not only respected by the GOP, but also fully understands the issues and knows his way around D.C. and the rest of the globe.

    Hughes would be an ideal candidate next time up–hopefully working closely with Kirk once he’s in to more quickly get over the initial learning curve that all newbies in D.C. must go through.

    And with regard to what Bored Now said about Kirk’s being an intellectual lightweight without convictions? Wow. Are you sure you met the right guy?

  84. - Bardo2 - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 12:20 pm:

    Alexi Giannoulias.

    What matters most in the Senate? What do you believe in & how will you vote. Alexi’s core beliefs seem to align with those of most Illinoisans. And I know he has the courage of his convictions

  85. - Mountain Man - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 12:34 pm:

    Alexi…his support of Marriage equality tipped this democrat away from Jackson whom I had been supporting.

    Actually Kirk is a Republican I could have supported but lately he seems to have lost his independence and is acting more like Alan Keyes than the Mark Kirk I’ve known in the past. He’s showing he is willing to say anything and stake out any position to try to win an election. In short, he stands for nothing. He reminds me a bit of Mitt Romney….

  86. - Ned Baytee - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 12:40 pm:

    It’s gotta be Hoffman. Everytime I see Alexi do his Obama Impersonation feels like nails scratching a chaulk board. I still think he has alot of unanswered questions pertaining to the shady loans made to the underworld.

  87. - Ghost - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 1:02 pm:


    I think you do not get it, even remotely.

    ACORN is not a taint for anyone. But if Kirk wants to travel down that nutty argument of anyone who has helped ACORN is bad, then Kirk is talking abou himself.

    As I mentioned, I think its a non-sequiter. I am not sure why you think it matters.

  88. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 1:05 pm:

    ConVet: I’m sure Dr. Wallace is a great guy and brings alot to this election, but you really need to pull back one of your alleged “supporters” who posts on other blogs who is trying to do everything he can to make your Campaign look bad. Just sayin’.

  89. - Jake - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 1:14 pm:

    Mark Kirk because he seems to be a reasonably prudent moderate who has a chance of restoring some party balance to this state. But I’m not particularly enthused…

  90. - Leroy - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 1:41 pm:

    Where have you gone Pete ‘1 against 99 in the Senate for the United Airlines bailout, even though they are in my district’ Fitzgerald?

    A man truly ahead of his time.

  91. - SF - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 1:42 pm:

    Mountain Man — Same here. I was really torn between Giannoulias and Jackson, but her preference for civil unions over marriage equality really decided it for me. That is definately the easy way out.

  92. - Quizzical - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 7:06 pm:


    Not my ideal candidate, but intelligent, hard working and committed to a progressive agenda.

    Kirk is tempting, but he hasn’t shown enough independence from retrograde elements in the Republican party.

  93. - anon dem - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 8:29 pm:

    Leaning Hoffman.

    The only thing more embarrassing to Illinois than a Senator Kirk would be Senator Alexi. Nailed it: “he’s a rich kid with an entitlement complex who isn’t very smart.”

    Homeboy can’t win. Sorry.

    It’s heresy to vote Repub in my family, but if he’s the Dem nominee, I’ll be sorely tempted. And I think some readers here underestimate his liabilities among the general public. Multiple straight-D ballot, “don’t really follow politics” folks I’ve talked to just frown and express vague distrust when Giannoulias comes up.

  94. - Suburban Republican - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 8:54 pm:

    Enthusiastically for Mark Steven Kirk.

    I have sometimes disagreed with the votes he cast as my Congressman and I am sure I will disagree at times with his votes as my Senator, but he is a thoroughly decent and honest public servant and an incredibly impressive person on many levels.

    As a staunch Republican, I am of course excited about the fact that he is the most “electable” Republican in the state, and that alone would be reason enough to support him.

    Mark Kirk in the Senate, and as a leading Illinois Republican, will be a counterbalance against the disastorous governance we have been seeing on Capitol Hill, and in the White House, and in another sense, more locally here at home in Springfield and Chicago.

  95. - Cousin Ralph - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 9:26 pm:

    Its like this, I work hard and pay taxes. I read a great deal and try to learn alot about what is going on. The problem is, I never seem to agree with the elites as to who should hold office. I dont like a candidate that just seems to try and be all things to all people and speak in such “nuanced” tones that he or she does’nt ever seem to commit to a particular principle. I tend to trust and vote for those who say what they mean and mean what they say. A candidate who champions a position and knows why. However, the NYTimes, the Sun Times and political elites instruct that this is such a critical time that we cant leave it to the straight talkers, we have to vote for the guy or gal that the elites tell us really get it. I am going to follow their advice and vote for Mark Kirk. When I listen to him and review his voting record, I dont think he is very smart at all. But what do I know, I am just a hard-working, church-going, tax-paying American. And you know what the elites say, my kind just dont get it. Sure like that Hughes though.

  96. - illinois democrat - Tuesday, Sep 29, 09 @ 10:31 pm:

    Hoffman is who would get my vote today. But Jackson could take it away..I just don’t know enough about her yet. I have never been an Alexi fan and would have to swallow hard to vote for him in November. The Greens may get a vote in my small Southern Illinois county!

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