1 year out and we have our first cattle call…a couple days late. Might as well start off with that expectation. I’ll move them to Tuesdays from now on out.
1) LaHood. I know. I know. The right hates him. But does the right hate him or a particular bunch of kooks on the right hate him? The guy is pro-life, anti gay rights and generally an aw shucks kind of guy. He certainly annoyed those who were bitter partisans of Peter Fitzgerald, but last I checked Fitz is in Virginia. And LaHood’s guy is Party Chair. LaHood is going to have to be the good soldier for a while, but he has access to money, the basic ideological drift of the IL GOP without being too strident, and he’s a natural counter to the Governor.
2) Topinka. I’m hearing the blowing of stacks from many a social conservatives with these first two, but let’s look at the polling data……. She’s in a better spot than many believe. She has rabid haters, but also a moderate wing of the party that likes her and in a multi-candidate field can probably do well enough to be in serious contention or the nomation. Beyond that she has name recognition that is generally positive, the press generally is sympathetic to her, access to money, and lots of chits to call in for over the years.
3) Rauschenberger. Only two things keep him from being at the top. 1) Alan Keyes 2) Ala—naw, he still hasn’t proven he can raise enough cash. Smart, and a natural antidote to the Governor and one of the best versed State Lege Members on the budget he may be a bit too wonky to pull this off. He strengthened his social conservative credentials (considered weak because he opposes school vouchers categorically) by his support of Keyes, but well, we know how that turned out. Keep the beard this time. I have him pencilled in as the State Treasurer candidate.
4) Jim Oberweis. UBERWEIS JOKES ARE BACK!
I could stay up here all day shooting Hoosiers and there’d still be more coming across the borders. Jim has a shot in a divided primary and, I thank the Illinois GOP for that. It’s not Alan Keyes, but it’s pretty good. BTW, I need a copy of the copter commercial if anyone has one out there.
And remember, no one met my challenge of recording a parody of the song Edelweis with Uberweis. You too can be enshrined as someone having entirely too much time on your hands, but damn funny.
5) Bob Schillerstrom. I don’t think he’s gonna run. Who wouldn’t look at this cast and run away fast?
6) Joe (Concealed-Position) Birkett, the sourpuss’ sourpuss. I know I’m not a Republican, but how is an ethically challenged DuPage County Prosecutor an appealling candidate? To boot his personality is one of complete bitterness.
7) Patrick O’Malley. Okay, so he’s the sourpuss’ sourpuss’ sourpuss. On top of it the True Believer (TM) Brigade thinks he can walk on water. He’s also one of the single most unlikeable politicians in recent Illinois history. His brutal attacks on Jim Ryan will be remembered and payed back by the establishment. Given he will be running against a range of people presumably ahead of him, he’ll have a hard time trying to run solely as an outsider.
8) Bill Brady Huh? I don’t get it. Why bother in this race? He doesn’t have a statewide fundraising system. He isn’t the guy who goes out and works the grass roots at the level necessary to pull this kind of upset.
9) Dan Rutherford—only this low because I don’t think he’s crazy enough to enter this race. Look for him to target Treasurer perhaps creating an interesting race if Rauschenberger goes to that spot as well. He wants SoS, taking on Jesse as an incumbent is a fool’s errand.
10) Shimkus–he’s not going this cycle. He’ll sit out this one, keep his pledge to not run in 2006 and take on Durbin in 2008.
11) Gidwitz. Are you kidding me?
The Great White Consultant Gravy Train has been spotted and is being pursued.
For those unfamiliar with the Cattle Calls, they are entirely my biased opinions and for fun and discussion–so discuss.