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Cillizza bumbles - No explicit Palin endorsement request

Thursday, Nov 5, 2009

* I probably should’ve known better than to believe the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza yesterday when he wrote

Illinois Rep. Mark Kirk penned a memo to Republican poobah Fred Malek hoping to secure an endorsement from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for his Senate candidacy, according to a copy of the memo obtained by the Fix.

If Cillizza really did see the memo, as he claimed, then he would’ve known that nowhere in that memo does Congressman Kirk explicitly ask for an endorsement. How do I know this? Because I now have the memo…

Memorandum

November 3, 2009

To: Fred Malek
From: Mark Kirk
Re: Gov. Palin Visit to Chicago November 16th

Governor Palin is scheduled to appear on Oprah November 16th in Chicago. The Chicago media will focus on one key issue: does Gov. Palin oppose Congressman Mark Kirk’s bid to take the Obama Senate seat for the Republicans?

We would hope Gov. Palin could say something quick and decisive:

Voters in Illinois have a key opportunity to take Barack Obama’s senate seat. Congressman Kirk is the lead candidate to do that. Kirk, the first member of Congress to deploy into combat since 1942, voted against the Stimulus, Omnibus and Pelosi health care bills. He announced he will oppose Cap & Trade and is the key House national security hawk on Iran. Kirk is a unique Republican candidate who has become the number one pro-Israel fundraiser in America, Republican or Democrat.

The memo then goes on to detail Kirk’s position on specific issues, including his oppositon to the Obama budget, “card check,” the Ledbetter [gender pay equity] bill and the stimulus, as well as his support for President Bush’s tax cuts and his proposal to cut off funding for Alaska’s “Bridge to Nowhere.”

The hazard of blogging is that one often depends on others to get their stories straight. My subscription publication is comprised of my own work, but the blog often riffs on what others do, puts it into context, uses it to relate other insights. I also break my share of news here, of course, but using other peoples’ stories is an important core function.

WaPo’s Cillizza is now on my “always check him out first” list.

* All that being said, the Kirk/Palin memo is still incredibly pandering. And it still points to a very valid question: Does Mark Kirk even know who he is?

Lynn Sweet

That Kirk is courting Palin takes on more significance, however, after Tuesday’s balloting for an open House seat in New York yielded a Democratic win after the moderate Republican was driven out of the race by Palin and others who supported the third party conservative candidate.

Conservatives may be shopping for other moderates to knock off. But the reality in Illinois is very different from New York or other places. Though the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has been trying to pump Kirk’s seven primary rivals as real threats, they are barely known and hardly register in polls.

Sweet is right, but it’s more than that. Why has Kirk consistently overreacted to this mild threat? I’m not just talking about the Palin thing, here. He’s turned into Mr. Flip-Flop lately to placate a Right-wing that barely registers. Is he really concerned that something huge could explode or is he just thin-skinned? Is this about making sure a Constitution Party or independent candidate gains no traction in the general election? Questions, questions, questions, but few answers.

The Politico posits…

Kirk, a moderate, may also face a third-party challenge from the right, after fellow Republican Eric Wallace made clear in dropping out of contention for the GOP nomination that he may mount a [NY Conservative Party congressional nominee Doug] Hoffman-like run.

Wallace isn’t a threat, unless you figure that the general election race will be close, and it probably will be. Even if the guy skims a point or two from Kirk, that could be a big problem. Wallace is not the guy to look at, though. I’m betting the Kirk folks are more worried that a wealthy self-funder might jump in as a third-party or independent.

The Hill also weighs in

But what we know now is that despite a win by a Democrat in NY-23, no GOP candidate believes the conservative activists who backed Hoffman are ready to hang up their tea bags.

True dat. And, they don’t care about winning. They care about making their point, as the aftermath of NY-23 clearly shows.

* Related…

* Mark Kirk and Sarah Palin: Senate candidate’s memo about ex-Alaska governor shows he’s veering to right, critics say

* Kirk looking for support from the right? You betcha

- Posted by Rich Miller        

120 Comments
  1. - True Observer - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 11:27 am:

    “Sweet is right, but it’s more than that. Why has Kirk consistently overreacted to this mild threat? I’m not just talking about the Palin thing, here. He’s turned into Mr. Flip-Flop lately to placate a Right-wing that barely registers.”

    They barely registered in the Salvi/Kustra race.

    That was when the Centrist Republicans controlled the whole enchilada.


  2. - CircularFiringSquad - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 11:29 am:

    “We would hope Gov. Palin could say something quick and decisive:”

    CaptFax:
    Quit being such a wimp….what else can theses words mean? Is he saying to CaribouBarbie “hey, babe, since I announced my sandwich choices on Twitter and my staff still cuts off the crusts, please trash my candidacy and issue a statement saying Illinois voters were stupid for not electing true statesman Alan Keyes.”
    Come one Capt…yesterday we were asking to believe in the tooth fairy,and that jimRYAN thought Stuie L was an altar boy, George was a crossing guard and Rolando was guilty.


  3. - Will County Woman - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 11:30 am:

    lol. um, did you really write “true dat”????????

    now, in defense of mark kirk…


  4. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 11:31 am:

    ===They barely registered in the Salvi/Kustra race.===

    Big difference. Al Salvi was an experienced candidate and politically astute and very well-funded. Also, Kustra didn’t have the fire in his belly that Kirk appears to have.


  5. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 11:36 am:

    From what I read yesterday, it seemed clear that Kirk stopped well short of asking for Palin’s endorsement. Still, I can envision a devastating campaign ad featuring some of Palin’s more obnoxious quotes and tying her to Mark Kirk via this episode. That should be enough to scare some independents away from Kirk toward the Dem nominee.

    I think we all could play media consultant on this and think of several ways to make Kirk regret this bit of outreach to Palin. He really did step in a steaming pile of dung with this unforced error. The ads are going to write themselves.


  6. - downstate hick - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 11:41 am:

    Seeking Sara Palin’s endorsement is not only sensible, but the right thing to do. Kirk needs all the party behind him to win and that includes both moderate and conservative republicans. I don’t think Palin is quite as polarizing to the electorate as many liberals on this board want to think.


  7. - Wumpus - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 11:42 am:

    Palin is a joke. It saddens me that she has so much credibility. SHe is largely a joke due to her own inpreparedness and overreacting to everything. Ask for an endorsement, but don’t grovel. Most endorsements are welcome.

    Kirk is no Scozzafabba. He is a moderate. SHe was a liberal, even for a democrat (at least that is what Rush told me).


  8. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 11:43 am:

    The bloom is off the rose. Hoffman lost. So there isn’t any “rising”. The folks who voted for GOP candidates Tuesday do not represent narrow socially conservative issues, but represent a negative reaction to our floundering economy and Washington’s Trillion dollar flameout. So the social conservatives took a loss. Kirk doesn’t have to worry.

    Remember how he stumbled around trying to decide which race to campaign in? Same thing. It isn’t a matter of not knowing what he believes in. It is a matter of knowing how to present himself in a way that wins votes. 2009 is a 180 turn from 2008, that is why the Democrats lost. 2010 may be a continuation of 2009 GOP backlash, or the anger can slacken. He is trying to figure out what gives.

    If Pelosi and Reid continue down the flaming path of stupid political moves, continuing to poke sharp sticks at a majority of voters, 2010 can be another 2009. So far, it seems they are utterly blind to the political disasters they’re stumbling into. Any speaker of the house who claim yesterday that their party “won” after losing two gubernatorial races, isn’t thinking very clearly. Someone has to wake these people up before they are shaken awake a year from now.

    There will be a “correction” next year, the degree of which we cannot yet know. Mark Kirk has had his fling, now it is time for his staff to settle down and run the kind of campaign we saw win big Tuesday.


  9. Pingback Peoria Pundit » Capitol Fax catches Washington Post error - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 11:44 am:

    […] You know how moderate gubernatorial candidate Mark Kirk supposedly asked Sarah Palin for an endorsement. Rick Miller discovered it never happened: I probably should’ve known better than to believe the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza yesterday when he wrote… Illinois Rep. Mark Kirk penned a memo to Republican poobah Fred Malek hoping to secure an endorsement from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for his Senate candidacy, according to a copy of the memo obtained by the Fix. […]


  10. - Will County Woman - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 11:54 am:

    downstate hick,

    i could not disgaree with you more. for someone like mark kirk who can and does play center well, asking palin for an endorsement is tantamount to asking for an endorsement from rush limbaugh. it’s a very bad thing for kirk to in either case because of who those two are, and what they symbolize. they symbolize the worst that the republican party has to offer. they are polarizing and divisive.

    if he makes it to the general, kirk needs independents and moderate democrats support. without a decent percentage of them he can’t win. this is a blue state, remember?


  11. - Louis G. Atsaves - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 12:04 pm:

    I don’t get all of this. I read your postings pretty late last night and couldn’t get over the massive freaking outs over this. Now the reporter who claimed to have the memo screwed up?

    So if I can break this down in some logical fashion:

    (1) If Mark Kirk is wrong to reach out to “tea party” conservatives and Palin during the Republican primary in an attempt to unify everyone in the Illinois GOP, and

    (2) If Mark Kirk is wrong if he does not reach out to “tea party” conservatives and Palin during the Republican primary in an attempt to unify everyone in the Illinois GOP, then

    (3) Mark Kirk is just plain wrong no matter what he does, period.

    Isn’t this one of those “Heads I win, Tails you lose” argument?

    It’s going to be a looooooooooooooooong campaign! :-)


  12. - ChiTownGuy - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 12:04 pm:

    Rich, I think you are splitting hairs here.

    Kirk may not have written the words:

    “I formally request and see your endorsement”

    But he did write:

    “…does Gov. Palin oppose Congressman Mark Kirk’s bid to take the Obama Senate seat for the Republicans?”

    Come on. The intent of this letter was to shore up a potential threat from the right flank by locking down Gov. Palin position and endorsement. I don’t think Cilizza is too far off the mark.

    If Kirk hadn’t built his whole reputation on being a moderate this would be no big deal, but he didn’t and it is.


  13. - Chicago Cynic - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 12:06 pm:

    Up until now, Kirk’s entire brand was as a moderate, independent Republican. Dems were going to struggle to penetrate and reframe that brand. That is until now. Sarah Palin is toxic to independents. This is a fantastic gift to the Dem nominee.

    Nationally, self-identified Republicans account for 20-24% of the electorate based on recent polling. I highly doubt that number is much greater in Illinois. So simple math would tell you his FAR bigger problem is winning independents and even some Dems in a general election.

    This is a big (though not fatal) deal.


  14. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 12:07 pm:

    ===Rich, I think you are splitting hairs here.===

    Think what you want, but at no time did he ask for an endorsement. Cillizza shouldn’t have written that. I didn’t have the memo, so I had to trust him.


  15. - True Observer - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 12:09 pm:

    “The bloom is off the rose. Hoffman lost. So there isn’t any “rising”.”

    You think.

    For GOP conservatives, the NY outcome is just as good as if Hoffman had won.

    What the election did was to show up the Republican candidate for what she was. A back stabbing wolf in sheep’s clothing who would have provided “bi-partisan” cover to the liberals in congress with her one GOP vote.

    After what she did, the conservatives are not going to be taking prisoners. They wont be giving a pass to future Arlen Spectors and Olypia Snows who will gladly aid the enemy on basic GOP principles.

    That is why Kirk is looking like a deer in headlights.

    Odds: Kirk 55% Hughes 45%

    Another big loser due to NY - Dillard for Governor. The Combine can only do so much.


  16. - Team America - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 12:10 pm:

    Rich is right. “Endorsement” has a very specific meaning in the political world and Cillizza knows better. Now, will all the Dem candidates that focused on the “endorsement” request similarly walk back their comments, issued so quickly to try to capitalize on the situation? Will Cillizza admit his error?


  17. - ChiTownGuy - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 12:13 pm:

    TA - will Kirk say he is NOT seeking her endorsement?


  18. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 12:14 pm:

    Chicago Cynic is right, this goes against the Kirk brand, which up until yesterday was carefully cultivated and pretty darned appealing to Illinois independents.

    Louis,

    I would understand this move better if Kirk was facing a serious primary threat. He isn’t. He should have done nothing, but instead chose to reach out to Palin for some reason, perhaps to prevent her from saying something nice/encouraging about a different candidate. Maybe he heard she wanted to launch a 3rd party effort, we don’t know yet, but that would explain part of this move.

    Either way, this falls squarely into the flip-flop “who is the real Mark Kirk” meme that Democrats will use to tatoo Kirk in the general.

    In the same way that Quinn has been working to undermine his brand, Kirk torpedoed his brand with this episode and will pay a price for that.


  19. - Carl Nyberg - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 12:17 pm:

    Rich, would you have preferred it be written something like…?

    “Mark Kirk wrote to to Sarah Palin to discuss the possibility of Palin endorsing Kirk when she goes to Chicago to be interviewed on Oprah. The memo did not request an endorsement but characterized the issue as being the top concern for the Chicago media. The memo provided talking points Palin could use during the endorsement. All the talking points emphasized areas where Kirk, a moderate Republican, has opposed the Democrats. The memo was leaked to the media by the Kirk campaign.”


  20. - Pat collins - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 12:18 pm:

    The Commander and Tennille

    Kirk is looking past the primary to the election. A lot of people don’t much lke Palin, but a lot do. If Kirk can get those who do to come out and vote, not only is his primary assured, but his general election is much better off.

    You can’t really say that the NY guy lost, and so the Palin supporters do not matter. There were a lot of details in that one, and that he got so close is really a non-trivial achievement.

    Bottom line, asking her to say something nice about him, and giving her lots of talking points to say nice things about him is just plain, good political sense, and it doesn’t cost any money. He’d be silly not to.

    After all, as Reagan said “When they endorse me, it means they accept my position. It doesn’t mean I accept theirs!”


  21. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 12:18 pm:

    Sarah Palin is toxic to independents.

    As a Conservative Democrat, I assure you that she is most definately not toxic. She is charismatic and a delight to look at. If it wasn’t for all the media bashing and the incredible level of jealousy and hatred dumped on her by frightened foes, she would be bigger than she already is.

    She has “it”, as much as Obama does. She is definately not toxic to independants tired of the lack of leadership and the horrific waste of money being burned in Washington. She is definately not toxic to independants. Never underestimate her.


  22. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 12:25 pm:

    VM,

    That is either the best snark you’ve given us or your most delusional post ever.


  23. - Chicago Cynic - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 12:26 pm:

    “She is charismatic and a delight to look at.”

    Thanks VM for the sexist take. It’s great to know why you and so many others defend her so strongly. A delight to look at? Well by all means, let’s take her idiocy seriously. PLEASE!


  24. - Chicago Cynic - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 12:27 pm:

    And for the record, I don’t view her as a big threat. I view her as a big joke.


  25. - SangamoGOP - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 12:28 pm:

    The other issue with this whole flap is why, oh why, did Kirk’s campaign pen a memo that would eventually be leaked in one form or another? This is an amateur move by this campaign. The guy is a sitting Congressman who supported the McCain/Palin ticket a year ago. Did he actually have to write out such a request as if asking for an autographed copy of her upcoming book?

    Really. These guys should know better than to put anything in writing…


  26. - Will County Woman - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 12:28 pm:

    sweet writes that cheryl jackson, alexi g and hoffman pounced on kirk yesterday with statements about his seeking a palin endorsement.

    but, i don’t recall seeing anything from jackson. i thought it strange that she didn’t have anthing to say yesterday because even dan hynes chimmed in. when i didn’t see anything from jackson that left me with the impression that she was sleeping, and struck me as all the more reason why she isn’t really a frontrunner frontrunner.

    or, did i miss jackson’s statement from yesterday?


  27. - Obamarama - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 12:31 pm:

    Who’s Cheryle Jackson?


  28. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 12:37 pm:

    Thanks VM for the sexist take.

    I believe sexism is behind the anti-Palin bashing, frankly. As to good looking, I believe we have a President who doesn’t mind appearing topless and gets named to “Hot Dudes” lists. Have you any idea how much free press Schock gets because of his looks? The guy is posing in GQ!

    Palin is no John Edwards. A year after she loses, she is still churning political waters and near the top of the White House Enemies list, or haven’t you noticed the pressers the WH issued pointing out this failed ex-VP candidate’s “score” against the WH?

    Palin is a Siren. Remember your Greek? Just as Obama uses his looks, Palin uses hers.

    She is not toxic to independants.


  29. - A Naughty Moose - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 12:37 pm:

    Come on. The Kirk memo clearly seeks Palin’s support. Anyone denying that obvious fact probably also believes Blagojevich is innocent because he never asked for a bribe using that specific word.


  30. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 12:40 pm:

    For GOP conservatives, the NY outcome is just as good as if Hoffman had won.

    Which conservatives? The social or the fiscal ones? You guys gotta stop lumping us into one big tent.

    It is far easier to get rid of Owens next year than would have been to get rid of Scozzafava.


  31. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 12:41 pm:

    ===The Kirk memo clearly seeks Palin’s support===

    It clearly seeks kind words from Palin.

    Endorsement is a term of art, and it’s a term which is taken very seriously in political circles. This memo does not explicitly seek an endorsement.


  32. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 12:42 pm:

    ===It is far easier to get rid of Owens next year than would have been to get rid of Scozzafava. ===

    That’s exactly what the Right said about Paul Simon when many of them were upset about Chuck Percy. How did that work out?


  33. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 12:45 pm:

    If she goes on Oprah and says Kirk is the best guy to keep the seat in GOP hands, he’d trumpet that as an endorsement to conservative critics. He was looking for her support, there’s no other way to read it. He wanted her to say he was the guy for the job. Whether you call it an endorsement or an ENDORSEMENT depends on your degree of political insidership.


  34. - Anon - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 12:45 pm:

    ChiTownGuy I agree. It was very telling that Kirk didn’t immediately announce that he was not seeking Palin’s endorsement. We see the memo now of course, but we don’t know about all of the conversations had between Kirk’s people and Fred Malek.


  35. - A Naughty Moose - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 12:46 pm:

    ===This memo does not explicitly seek an endorsement.===

    Oh-kay. If an opponent is able to make an issue of Kirk pandering to Palin, and his response is “I did not seek her endorsement,” I don’t think voters are going to find that a very honest or convincing answer.


  36. - IrishPirate - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 12:46 pm:

    Palin/Bachmann 2012!

    As a partisan Democrat with a bad moon rising I dream about that ticket.

    Kirk should take a cue from the Governor elect of Virginia who had the sense to stay the hell away from Caribou Barbie.


  37. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 12:51 pm:

    ===He wanted her to say he was the guy for the job. ===

    Actually, he wanted kind words and an acknowledgment that he was the frontrunner…

    ==Congressman Kirk is the lead candidate to do that===


  38. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 12:52 pm:

    That’s exactly what the Right said about Paul Simon when many of them were upset about Chuck Percy. How did that work out?

    Paul Simon talked the talk and walked the walk. He was a wonderful screwball who was a saint. He had all the qualities that Obama pretended to have. There are few Paul Simons out there.

    If you recall, I also said that if Debbie Halvorson was elected and voters got to know her, she would be another beloved extremist continually befuddling her political opposition. People will like her if they knew her and accept the sincerity even when she takes ridiculous stands they dislike.

    Take a look at this district, and I struggle to see Owens keep it. If the GOP tries to rerun Hoffman, Owens will win. But if the GOP finds a good candidate they will replace this Blue Dog.


  39. - siriusly - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 12:58 pm:

    The more time Kirk has to spend talking about Palin, the more it hurts him with independents, no matter what the memo said. As a “guy” once told me “who cares what the facts are, throw it out there and let him defend it.”

    I agree with 47, VM may be in love with Palin but the polls don’t show that love here in Illinois.

    Lastly, Palin could care less about Mark Kirk. She’s not here to get votes, she’s here to sell books. Politics be damned, she’s trying to make some money.


  40. - OdysseusVL - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 1:00 pm:

    “I believe sexism is behind the anti-Palin bashing, frankly.”

    Come on.
    People bash her because she’s dumb as a rock. They bash her because she cannot form coherent policy positions [her foreign affairs experience is based on living close to Russia?]
    They bash her because she has no real education.
    They bash her because any time people point out her lack of coherence, she whines like Glenn Beck.

    The idea that the opposition to Palin is founded on sexism is more of a reflection of Vman’s latent sexism than about the people who oppose Palin. VMan is so thrilled to see any right winger, that, not understanding or even acknowledging sexism, tosses the label at anybody who would oppose her.


  41. - Will County Woman - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 1:02 pm:

    @ Pat collins
    good political sense? he’d be silly not to?

    I couldn’t disagree with you more…
    Is Palin popular in Illinois? I’m guessing not. Now, if this were Alabama, then ok. But let’s keep in mind that she was the reason why so many prominent republicans abandoned John McCain going into the general election. So, she’s clearly pretty toxic, and she doesn’t play well in Illinois.

    There were plenty good reasons why so many republicans did not want george w. bush around as they stumped in the ‘08 election cycle. the reality was that he was more of a harm than a good.

    on the text below you’re kidding here, right?

    “Kirk is looking past the primary to the election. A lot of people don’t much lke Palin, but a lot do. If Kirk can get those who do to come out and vote, not only is his primary assured, but his general election is much better off.”–pat collins


  42. - True Observer - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 1:02 pm:

    “That’s exactly what the Right said about Paul Simon when many of them were upset about Chuck Percy. How did that work out?”

    The U.S. Senate is every 6 years, right?

    The NY race is up next year, right?


  43. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 1:02 pm:

    ===He was a wonderful screwball who was a saint.===

    VM, I worked for Paul Simon for two years, and I can assure you he was neither. He was a politician just like anyone else, but with a stong sense of decency that was palpable. His voting record was pure FDR but the bow tie and horned rimmed glasses were evocative of Everett Dirksen-style conservatism. People saw in him what they wanted to see and he was happy to let them project onto him as long as he won their votes.

    He also worked overtime building and reinforcing his brand. And his elbows were very sharp, like most good politicians.


  44. - And I Approved This Message - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 1:04 pm:

    “The Chicago media will focus on one key issue: does Gov. Palin oppose Congressman Mark Kirk’s bid to take the Obama Senate seat for the Republicans?”

    To me, that’s the strangest statement in the letter. And pretty egotistical. Really, that’s going to be the one key issue?

    The chances of Oprah bringing up Mark Kirk in the interview and slim and none. Do you think with pregnant teenagers, almost son-in-law posing nekkid in Playgirl, whispering McCain aides, the campaign wardrobe, quitting mid-term, the First Dude, etc. the conversation is going to swing around to Mark Kirk? Not likely.

    And as best as I can tell, Sarah Palin doesn’t talk to reporters so I’m not even sure there will be the opportunity to pose the Kirk question, let alone answer it.

    This letter was a dumb move on the part of the Kirk campaign.


  45. - shore - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 1:14 pm:

    In 2004 the democrats got crushed in the south, in 2006 they did really well and picked up congressional seats in rural areas and other parts o the country that had previously been inhospitable to them. I think each cycle is different and will play differently. In new jersey and virginia the candidates were a bush appointee/ex lobbyist and a protege of infamous evangelical pat robertson and in both cases the gop candidates did much better than republicans had in the past.

    Voters have a lot more on their minds right now than this.


  46. - CircularFiringSquad - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 1:17 pm:

    CaptFax:
    I am pretty sure you have totally failed to explain whay YOU think Commando Kirk meant by writing:
    “We would hope Gov. Palin could say something quick and decisive”

    Is he asking her to:
    a. run him down with a snow mobile at 60 mph
    b. sell him a book and leave IL
    c. leave some of those cutie campaign clothes behind for a silent auction.

    We will haunt you until you respond!


  47. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 1:24 pm:

    ===I am pretty sure you have totally failed to explain whay YOU think Commando Kirk meant by writing: “We would hope Gov. Palin could say something quick and decisive”===

    He explains that in the memo. You will notice that the sentence you quoted is followed by a colon. What follows that colon is Kirk’s suggested remarks by Palin.

    Seems pretty simple to me.


  48. - Third Generation Chicago Native - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 1:24 pm:

    I saw Mark Kirk yesterday. Am I the only one who thinks his asking for Palin’s support a dumb move? The Democrats ripped her to shredds when she ran with McCain, from her view of Russia from Alaska’s capital, to her wardrobe, to her clueless answers on her numerous interviews, particulary with Couric. To the numberous emails from the Democratic party pointing out her numerous attendances at various colleges,etc.

    I just don’t see that as a good move on Kirk’s part to win over the undecided middle.


  49. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 1:25 pm:

    ===Am I the only one who thinks his asking for Palin’s support a dumb move?===

    Um, can you read?


  50. - ZC - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 1:25 pm:

    My theory is what Kirk is worried about here, is losing some activist support. He has enough of the primary vote in the IL GOP. But to win the general, he needs the people who are willing to knock on doors for hours on end, to call and write all their friends, to man the phonebanks for hours on Election Day in return for bad pizza, to hold up signs on the highway saying VOTE FOR KIRK.

    That’s a much smaller subset of the IL Republican party than those who go to vote on primary day. And my uninformed guess is that crowd is much more pro-Palin. Getting an implicit blessing from Palin, without an actual endorsement, might help Kirk shore up some activist support without alienating the moderates he needs to win the general.


  51. - Third Generation Chicago Native - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 1:26 pm:

    ‘By the way McKenna has a good ad out, I did not get to hear it since I was at the health club yesterday watching on the screen where there is Blago hair on Walker, then a shot of George Ryan with the Blago hair, then Rod with his natural hair, then the Capital with the Blago hair, and something about hair today gone tommorow. Cute!


  52. - Will County Woman - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 1:28 pm:

    @ And I Approved This Message

    i agree with you that oprah is not and would not bring up mark kirk’s political ambitions on her show. i’m not sure why anyone thought she would. she keeps a pretty safe distance from politics on her show. she may have a politician on from time to time, but it’s rare and the focus isn’t really the politician’s political office ambitions.


  53. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 1:30 pm:

    TGCN, I don’t mean to rag on you, but I posted that ad days ago and we had quite a long discussion about it here.


  54. - Responsa - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 1:30 pm:

    Palin will not get out of town following her Oprah gig without being asked about the open senate seat in Illinois that was recently vacated by the president. For the Kirk team to understand this and to both prepare her with some specific info prior to getting this question while she is in Chicago, and also to seek some advance insight as to what she might reply to this question seems entirely reasonable and practical.

    Rich is correct to point out that the memo in question did not ask for an endorsement as the word is used in politics and he deserves credit for calling out Cillizza’s over-reach and for keeping things honest and above board here.

    The original leaking of the memo is frankly what puzzles me and may be an interesting story—who, how and why. Cillizza is a fairly well known political reporter but not the first person one would automatically think of to leak or be leaked to.


  55. - True Observer - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 1:33 pm:

    “Am I the only one who thinks his asking for Palin’s support a dumb move?”

    She took an unknown 3rd Party candidate and in less than a month almost sent him to congress.

    Ya, it is a dumb move to ask for her endorsement.


  56. - Team America - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 1:35 pm:

    MSNBC reports that the DSCC is promoting Pat Hughes to Sarah Palin.

    http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2009/11/05/2120471.aspx

    Hmm… who to vote for? The GOP candidate that the DSCC wants to win, or Mark Kirk? Decisions, decisions.


  57. - Third Generation Chicago Native - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 1:35 pm:

    Rich, my first reaction was Mark Kirk is committing Political Suicide when I saw the earlier days posts. Then Downstate Hick (comments on how it’s a smart idea)and others with similar comments and later someone rebutting Downstate Hick, and others.

    I still like McKenna’s hair ad, I laughed so hard I almost fell off the Elliptical and I did not have the sound portion to go along with the ad.


  58. - Abe Froman - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 1:46 pm:

    Well the verdict seems pretty clear. Fifteen yard penalty on the Kirk campaign for putting out feelers to Palin on paper and letting their strategic development process get leaked to the public.

    Moving forward, this is not likely to be of lasting importance. If the dems are already writing the commercial “Kirk is so out of touch that he asked for Sarah Palin’s support,” that’s fine. It won’t change the outcome of the race.

    I said it yesterday too–Kirk’s campaign is strategizing about the impact major political figures may have on his race. I’m sure they are thinking about the impact of McCain, Bush, Obama, Blago, Biden, etc. etc. on the race. That’s their job.

    Kirk may not be a conservative, but he is going to get a lot more votes from conservatives than Alexi. He wants the most solid support he can get from GOPers and many of them adore Palin, and their votes count just as much as any lefty’s. He is a new face to many conservatives, particularly Downstate and he wants to get their support. When Kirk pulls a Romney and becomes pro-life..THAT would be news.

    The campaign was doing its job, but flubbed the execution. It blows over by the weekend.


  59. - And I Approved This Message - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 1:47 pm:

    TO @1:33 - Almost only counts in horse-shoes. That district hadn’t elected a Democrat since the Civil War. When the Republican pulled out Hoffman became the front runner. There’s evidence that the full court press from the right wing turned undecideds to the Democrat. Palin supported him because he’s every bit the conservative, bible-thumping, tea bagger that she is. Quite different from the image that Kirk has cultivated.


  60. - George - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 1:51 pm:

    Rich, I agree with you that this isn’t seeking Palin’s endorsement, per se, but I disagree in that I think this is still an attempt at asking for Sarah Palin’s support.

    The key sentence is here:

    “Voters in Illinois have a key opportunity to take Barack Obama’s senate seat. Congressman Kirk is the lead candidate to do that. ”

    If he was just asking Palin to say some nice words, it would have been a request that is slightly different. For example:

    “Voters in Illinois have a key opportunity to take Barack Obama’s senate seat. Congressman Kirk is an excellent candidate to do that. ”

    Being the “lead” implies “sole”. It is doubtful that Kirk’s camp just wanted her to provide a statement of fact that he was a front runner according to some polls. They wanted Palin to single him out for compliment.

    The paragraph they suggest could easily be the text of a Palin speech at a Mark Kirk event.


  61. - George - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 1:53 pm:

    On the other hand, something about Kirk’s self-congratulatory mention of him voting against the “omnibus” outs him as a complete D.C.-er.

    Additionally, would Sarah Palin know what an Omnibus is?


  62. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 1:53 pm:

    ===Being the “lead” implies “sole”.===

    Um, no. It means he’s ahead in the polls. Oddly worded sentence, too cute by half, but that’s what it means.


  63. Pingback Mark Kirk’s Yo Yo Campaign (Plus Did He Ask for Palin’s Support or Not?) &laquo Publius Forum - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 1:54 pm:

    […] As Rich Miller notes, the memo concludes with some talking points on Kirk’s record. […]


  64. - The Mad Hatter - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 1:54 pm:

    Well Rich, you get what you deserve when you start believing the Washington Post or N.Y. Times.


  65. - George - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 1:57 pm:

    I should have said - the phrase makes the term “lead” imply “best”.

    Should not have said sole.


  66. - CircularFiringSquad - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 1:57 pm:

    CaptFax:
    If Commando calls all that gibberish he wrote “quick & decisive” then he is in a coma
    If you agree …ditto
    He have asked to say something like a “I Love It when you talk about your corn beef on Twitter.”

    BTW I think every Congressman who has presented the North Shore is the leading Jewish fundraiser going back to the formation of the North Shore. The Commando’s claim ain’t saying much.


  67. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 1:59 pm:

    ===you get what you deserve when you start believing the Washington Post or N.Y. Times===

    Nah. It’s mostly about Cellizza. He touts himself as a political expert, yet apparently doesn’t understand that “endorsement” is a pretty specific term and can’t be used as a catch-all, throw-away line.

    If Kirk had said that he was “endorsed” by Palin when all Palin did was read Kirk’s suggested sentences word for word, I’m sure people would jump all over Kirk for misrepresenting her remarks, probably even Cellizza.

    I’m just done with that guy unless he corrects his error. And even then, he’s on double probation.


  68. - ChiTownGuy - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 2:00 pm:

    @True Observer

    Getting Palin support in primary would be a good move IF he had real opposition. He does not. He is trying to unnecessarily cover his right flank and shore up the conservative base.

    The down side comes in the general election. Polling shows Palin is not popular with a majority of independent voters. In addition, that brand of right wing conservative is exactly opposite what Kirk tries portray.

    By doing this he has opened up yet another line of attack against him as a flip flopper and undermined his reputation/brand.

    Now, he will be (or should be) forced to answer the question of whether or not he wants Gov. Palin’s endorsement.

    If he says yes, he hurts himself in the general.

    If he says no, the base will be upset.

    This whole mess is lose/lose for him. NOT a good day for the Kirk campaign.

    Of course, on the upside for him, it means we aren’t asking about how he is participating in today’s Bachmann/Tea Party protest on the Hill.


  69. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 2:03 pm:

    ===If Commando calls all that gibberish he wrote “quick & decisive” then he is in a coma
    If you agree …ditto===

    I didn’t say I agreed that the suggested comments matched his description, I just said they weren’t an endorsement.


  70. - Willie Stark - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 2:08 pm:

    The idea that Sarah Palin is popular with anyone who is going to decide next year’s General Election, is not supported by the facts. Don’t take Willie’s word for it, though, just look at the polling. The most recent NBC/WSJ poll gives her these ratings: 26 Fav, 46 Unfav, 22 Neutral.

    Look at Pollster.com for the trend lines over the last year:

    http://www.pollster.com/polls/us/fav-palin.php

    Those are national numbers, but there’s no reason to think she’d do any better in IL. She’s sinking like a stone.

    Some GOPers really like her and Kirk’s rightly nervous about the know-nothing, anti-science, zealot GOP base that’s coming out on Feb. 2. He should be. But even if he wins, he’s going to have a hard time moving back to the center for how far to the right he’ll have to move in the primary.


  71. - Brennan - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 2:22 pm:

    I’m curious to see how Cillizza responds. “The Fix” is my morning national read on politics.


  72. - Brennan - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 2:28 pm:

    =A quick recap: First, the Washington Post’s Cillizza got his hands on Kirk’s letter to Palin friend Fred Malek, inquiring if Palin might endorse the Illinois congressman in his Senate primary.=

    NBC’s Mark Murray obviously needs to start reading the Capitol Fax Blog.


  73. - Responsa - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 2:29 pm:

    ==bible thumping tea bagger she is==

    @ AIATM, Regardless of what anyone here thinks of the tea party movement there is no dspute that it got its name from the Boston Tea Party tradition where citizens protested what they perceived to be unfair taxation. The week that people registered protest by sending tea and tea bags to the White House amd congress, Anderson Cooper and a couple of others started mocking the movement by snidely calling them “tea baggers”. This phrase, “tea bagger”, of course has a sexual definition and connotation which has zero to do with the Boston Tea Party, populism, or taxation. Calling tea partiers “tea baggers” has picked up momentum especially in certain blogs and cable and recently even in op-eds. It is possible that at least some who use the too clever by half “tea bagger” insult are not even aware of its popular slang connotation and would not be comfortable using it if they knew. I want to be sure the people on this site ARE aware. Without intending to be prudish or overly politically correct may I ask if this is really useful language for Cap Fax discussions? Thanks


  74. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 2:35 pm:

    Responsa has a point. Let’s tone it down, campers.


  75. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 2:37 pm:

    Responsa,

    I’ll avoid using that term when others refrain from calling mine the “Democrat” party.

    ===there is no dspute that it got its name from the Boston Tea Party tradition where citizens protested what they perceived to be unfair taxation.===

    Correct. Except for the fact that this movement occured in the absence of any federal tax increases. It spontaneously erupted following the election of someone who hadn’t proposed any specific tax hikes, but instead proposed repealing the main cause of the exploding federal deficit: tax cuts on the wealthy.

    And the term is funny because of the ignorance displayed by the self-proclaimed “patriots” who attend these rallies with mispelled insults on their too cute by half signs.

    Where were these “patriots” during the Bush administration when spending was out of control and actual freedoms were being taken away?


  76. - Anonymous - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 2:37 pm:

    True Observer hits the nail on the head with this one. And, it demonstrates why/how the far right is toxic in general elections. Over the years they have elected a lot of Dems in their quest for the philosophical and ethnic purity they seek. When the mainstream GOP follows them, we die and Dems win.


  77. - steve schnorf - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 2:39 pm:

    I apologize, the True Observer cite above is mine, I left my name off by accident.


  78. - steve schnorf - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 2:42 pm:

    Man, I’m old. What sexual connotation does tea bagger have? Am I the only stupid uninformed one on here?


  79. - George - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 2:44 pm:

    We almost must remember the original contemporary tea bag advocate:

    http://llnw.image.cbslocal.com/0/2006/09/18/320×240/images_sizedimage_261194503.jpg

    http://cbs2chicago.com/topstories/ComEd.Pat.Quinn.2.332217.html


  80. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 2:44 pm:

    schnorf, use teh Google. Let’s not go into that any further here.


  81. - George - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 2:45 pm:

    *also* must remember


  82. - George - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 2:45 pm:

    Unless, schnorf, you are at work…


  83. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 2:46 pm:

    Steve, I could tell you in detail but Rich might ban me for life.


  84. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 2:48 pm:

    ===Unless, schnorf, you are at work… ===

    LOL

    Schnorf doesn’t work. :)


  85. - Brennan - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 2:56 pm:

    =Except for the fact that this movement occured in the absence of any federal tax increases.=

    April 3, 2009 USA Today headline
    Biggest U.S. tax hike on tobacco takes effect

    USA Today just made this up.


  86. - Anonymous - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 3:07 pm:

    lol. Since everyone else is speculating and debating, I might as well toss in my two cents.

    As I said yesterday, my interpretation is that people who know of Sarah Palin’s upcoming visit are generally wondering whether she is going to take an active role in helping the Rs take this Seat back.

    Kirk’s memo asks that question, provides an overview of his position on issues, and summarizes that he’s in the best position to win the Election.

    Other than that, I think Rich’s 12:51 is right on target.

    And with regard to Sarah Palin in general: As I stated yesterday, I’ve admired her immensely long before everyone in our Country could tell you who the “Governor in Alaska” was without googling for the answer.

    She’s a proven Executive who has always worked in the best interests of her Constituents, one of THE greatest supporters our Military and our Vets have, an amazing strategist and campaigner–and even more importantly, an absolutely beautiful wife and mother, who has captured the hearts of so many Americans in a very short period time without even trying.

    I honestly can’t think of anyone who would not appreciate a kind word and/or wink from Sarah.


  87. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 3:11 pm:

    Brennan: from Politico’s coverage of today’s GOP event at the Capitol:

    “One sign in the crowd read: “Obama takes his orders from the Rothchilds,” a reference to theories of Jewish world dominance centered around the prominent Jewish family of Rothschilds.”

    So that kind of dispicable racist outrage is because tobacco taxes went up? Patriots indeed.


  88. - Anonymous - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 3:16 pm:

    Anonymous 2:37, please post under a different handle. Thanks.


  89. - OdysseusVL - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 3:21 pm:

    The comments about “preparing” Palin for questioning must be some sort of joke.

    Seriously, did she ever appear prepared for any statement or appearance? That’s just not her style.

    This was a plea for support. To say it was “preparing her” is laughable.


  90. - ChiTownGuy - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 3:25 pm:

    I don’t mean to be offensive, but what, then, is the politically correct term to refer to someone who participates in a Teabag event? Isn’t this is the name they chose for themselves?


  91. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 3:28 pm:

    I think their PC term is “tea partiers.”


  92. - siriusly - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 3:32 pm:

    huh huh - Beavis - huh huh - the former state budget director just said Tea Bagger

    huh huh - that’s funny - huh huh


  93. - dupage dan - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 3:38 pm:

    Anonymous @ 3:07pm,

    I wonder how your description of Gov Palin squares with the over the top vitriol that the left spews. How can she be such an effective campaigner/governor and still be as dumb as a box of rocks? Her message of honesty, decency and open government as evidenced by her term as governor is a fact that can’t be ignored. This is the tug that independents feel, as described by VM. People can, and will, put aside differences when voting if they see a strong, honest person working for them. Paul Simon was one such person. He was able to retain many democrats/liberals as supporters even after supporting NAFTA precisely because they saw his inherent decency. Palin is having that same effect on many people, not just those on the conservative side of things. The fact that she could bring an independent so close to winning in NY is proof. How often do independents w/little name recognition do that? You gotta be fightin’ Joe Lieberman to pull that off.


  94. - this old hack - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 3:43 pm:

    I LOVE that memo! Not once does Kirk say what he is actually FOR, only what he is against, further proving his devotion to the party of NO. With the positions he admits to, he moves himself further and further away from the Illinois mainstream.

    The “Pelosi Health Care Bill” referenced has not come up for a vote yet (not even the rule that will govern debate in the House), so how could he have voted against it as he claims?

    The best part is his opposition to the Lilly Ledbetter Act. This Act was the right thing to do, and is very popular with woman across the country.

    Note to all Dem primary candidates: save that memo. There is enough material for at least 5 tv ads.


  95. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 3:43 pm:

    ===How can she be such an effective campaigner/governor===

    She lost the veep race and quit her guv’s job.


  96. - Obamarama - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 3:49 pm:

    DuPage Dan, it is borderline insulting that you are comparing Palin to Paul Simon. That’s a bit over the top.


  97. - Responsa - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 3:51 pm:

    @ChiTownGuy

    I don’t pretend to be an expert on this movement but since I brought it up earlier I will try to respond to your question which I assume is sincere. I believe the events are simply called “tea parties” in each city– as in Boston Tea party or Quincy Tea Party, and the people attending would be called “tea partiers” or tea party activists. Seems pretty simple to avoid the “tea bagging” language issue if one desires to do so.

    My comment about this before was not intended to hi-jack the thread or initiate debate about the veracity or merits of the tea parties. I merely wanted to mention the slang definition thing for the benefit of anyone who might not already know.


  98. - dupage dan - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 3:52 pm:

    Rich,

    She apparently was stifled by McCain’s advisors and not allowed to campaign as she would have liked. Quitting her job had nothing to do with her ability to campaign. Leaving the gov office is a strategy, not done ’cause she’s dumb as dirt. Agree or disagree with the strategy, it is one nonetheless. Not the wanderings of the village idiot as she is frequently portrayed.


  99. - dupage dan - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 3:53 pm:

    Obamarama,

    You just proved my point.


  100. - ChiTownGuy - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 3:56 pm:

    @Responsa - no worries and thanks.


  101. - George - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 3:58 pm:

    Rich, I am getting dizzy from all this spin. And the red herring is making me nauseous.


  102. - Anonymous - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 4:24 pm:

    ===
    Not once does Kirk say what he is actually FOR, only what he is against, further proving his devotion to the party of NO.
    ===

    Hack, I could see you saying something like this if Kirk never held office before, including the need to tip off the Ds to “save the memo”.

    However, there are two “Mark Kirk” youtube channels out there, plus his 10th District and US Senate websites, along with tons of newspaper articles that discuss all the great things he’s done for not only his District, but our State and our Country as well.

    Do I really have to start posting links for you again? If I did, would you bother to look at them THIS time, or continue to ignore them as you have in the past so that you can justify such weak posts?


  103. - Anonymous - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 4:26 pm:

    Rich, you know as well as I do that you can be an amazing campaigner and still lose a race.


  104. - wordslinger - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 4:30 pm:

    I worked for Paul Simon for two years, and I can assure you he was neither (screwball or saint). He was a politician just like anyone else, but with a stong sense of decency that was palpable. His voting record was pure FDR but the bow tie and horned rimmed glasses were evocative of Everett Dirksen-style conservatism. People saw in him what they wanted to see and he was happy to let them project onto him as long as he won their votes.

    He also worked overtime building and reinforcing his brand. And his elbows were very sharp, like most good politicians. –

    47, that’s about the most accurate description I’ve ever read about Paul Simon the politician. No kumba-yah there. Well done.

    I’ll add, he was by far the best retail politician I’ve ever seen. My favorite memory is him walking into an old Allman Bros. gas station (Wipe the Windows, Check the Oil, Dollar Gas) when he was running against Percy.

    His handlers were just gassing up, but Paul got out the car and talked and shook every hand, from the customers to the owner to the boys in the lube bay, while he downed about four cold Pepsis.

    I was a reporter in Iowa in the runup to ‘88 when Reagan had to retire. Paul was damn close in both Iowa and New Hampshire. Another biscuit for breakfast and it could have been a Simon, rather than Dukakis, run against Bush I.

    And as someone who spent months following the brutal trainwreck of the Dukakis campaign, a Simon campaign could have been very interesting.


  105. - wordslinger - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 4:33 pm:

    Rich, by the way, you’re being way too tough on yourself. I admire that, it’s real integrity.

    But any fool can see that Kirk was begging for her endorsement. He’s scared about a third-party run. Maybe if he checked the petition reqs, he wouldn’t be.


  106. - Anonymous - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 4:41 pm:

    =====
    He’s scared about a third-party run.
    =====

    That’s like the second time I’ve heard that, and I do NOT believe it’s true.

    Did I miss something besides the Wallace speculation?


  107. - this old hack - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 5:07 pm:

    Anon 4:24pm:

    Please show me in the memo where Rep. Kirk says what he is actually FOR.


  108. - Anonymous - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 5:17 pm:

    You’ve proven my point once again, Hack. You find one source and keeping attacking it as if it’s the only definitive source and/or there’s some written law that states there must be one definitive source.

    I suppose, again, that if a Candidate has never held an office before, one can afford the luxury of having “one definitive source” that lists positions on issues selected by the Candidate.


  109. - Anonymous - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 5:33 pm:

    And, I’ll add: the luxury of being able to state that your Candidate is “for” or “against” something without having to deal with explaining his position based on the actual bill as written and amended a hundred times over.

    Must be nice to get away with not having to deal with all of those “complexities”.


  110. - Chicago Cynic - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 8:03 pm:

    “DuPage Dan, it is borderline insulting that you are comparing Palin to Paul Simon. That’s a bit over the top.”

    It is not borderline. It is completely insulting. Paul Simon was a smart, tough, THOUGHTFUL and capable politician. Sarah Palin is a politician with the depth of a sheet of paper. It’s not just that I’ve seen that through her conduct and her interviews. I’ve talked with folks who worked closely with her in a professional capacity in Alaska. They confirmed what we suspect: dumb as a box of rocks.

    And since when did quitting rise to the level of “strategy?” Isn’t quitting just another version of what the right wing circa 2006 might call “cut and run?”


  111. - scoot - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 8:45 pm:

    Ok, I hope this silly story can go away now. The Kirk campaign wanted kind words said about the Congressman from a very conservative person..and this would look good for the campaign.

    I’m still going to vote for Kirk and he is the GOP’s only shot to win back the seat. The GOP is very lucky that he is running for it in the first place.


  112. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 8:50 pm:

    ===Ok, I hope this silly story can go away now.===

    Hope is not a plan.

    Palin is so controversial and this Kirk gambit is so unusual that it combines to make for almost a perfect political story. Toss in Oprah and it actually becomes perfect.

    I’ve posted on this two days in a row and there have been more than 100 comments here on each day. That’s not unprecedented, of course, but it is a bit unusual.


  113. - scoot - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 9:10 pm:

    Rich,

    With all of the questions that Oprah will have for Palin..and there is a lot of them…why even bring the conversation down to a US Senate race?

    I mean there are questions of the 08′ campaign, about Palin’s new book, why did she resign as Governor, what about this goofy ex-boyfriend of her daughter, and will she run in 12′…I think it would be odd to even bring the memo up during the show.

    Yes, I agree the comments are blowin up on here & Palin is very controversial, but will the avergae voters even care or hear about this story?


  114. - Anonymous - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 9:13 pm:

    ===
    Palin is so controversial and this Kirk gambit is so unusual that it combines to make for almost a perfect political story. Toss in Oprah and it actually becomes perfect.
    ===

    Rich, I must say, that is one of the most thoughtful analyses you’ve ever shared with us.


  115. - Louis Howe - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 11:08 pm:

    Wordslinger and 47th Ward….I worked with Paul Simon as well, especially in his 1988 Iowa campaign for President. Both of your descriptions of Simon are very accurate. However, I would add that PS had a tendency to pontificate but not deliver the goods. He wasn’t a bricks and mortar guy like Dixon. He was a very good retail campaigner that knew how to handle a crowd at a town meeting. He was an experienced politician with sharp elbows and definitely not the “saint” some try to paint him out to be today, but a very decent man that believed in the Democratic Party and the good government could accomplish in peoples lives.


  116. - Quizzical - Thursday, Nov 5, 09 @ 11:35 pm:

    The thing that bothers me about the reach out from Kirk to Palin is that it’s written. That kind of request should be made by phone call. Who would raise an eyebrow if Palin had come here and made generally supportive comments about Kirk? There’s no upside to having anybody know he made the request — and that little bit of political incompetence cuts at Kirk’s main credential, that he’s an experienced Washington hand who can get things done. I bet Paul Simon didn’t write people to ask for their support.


  117. - Rich Miller - Friday, Nov 6, 09 @ 6:47 am:

    ===With all of the questions that Oprah will have for Palin..and there is a lot of them…why even bring the conversation down to a US Senate race? ===

    I never said she would. She might, now that Kirk has done what he did, but I really doubt it. Oprah’s national, Kirk’s local. But Oprah not mentioning Kirk could also be a story here as well. Local angle to a national story. That’s how “news” works.


  118. - Team America - Friday, Nov 6, 09 @ 7:25 am:

    === I’ve posted on this two days in a row and there have been more than 100 comments here on each day. That’s not unprecedented, of course, but it is a bit unusual. ===

    Rich, the fact that you massively embraced the story on Wednesday and then felt compelled to back away from it yesterday also probably has something to do with it. It’s not too often a player like Cillizza is called out for mischaracterizing a story like that. Fact is, the U.S. Senate race is about the hottest race there is in Illinois with only the guv race competing for importance. From what I can see, just about any discussion of the Senate race draws a lot of interest here. But is this a game-changer? No one has said that so far.

    I spoke with Pat Hughes at the Lake County Republican Federation fall dinner last night and Pat recognizes the gift he’s been handed. Now let’s see what he and Charlie do with it.


  119. - Chicago Cynic - Friday, Nov 6, 09 @ 9:02 am:

    Charlie who?


  120. - Team America - Friday, Nov 6, 09 @ 9:13 am:

    Charlie Johnston, a staunch conservative and long-time political operative, who is workign for Hughes. But I like him anyway.


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