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December 11, 2008

Can We Please Get a Decent Candidate for Senate in Illinois?

As James Taranto writes, the Illinois legislature is working up a bill to strip the governor of the right to appoint a senator to replace an absent one. Without the power of unearned incumbency, it's possible to pick this seat up -- especially with the general disgust at the corruption in this one-party state.

Even without such a bill -- only a real minor player would accept Blago's nomination. He's too radioactive. You'd have to get a real non-entity back-bencher to take the appointment. (Or an idiot like the actor John Cusack, who's always threatening to go into politics.)

Yes, a seat we assumed would remain comfortably in liberal hands is at some degree at risk. But we need an actual candidate to capitalize.

Apart from Mike Ditka -- who I assume, quite frankly, didn't run against Obama in 2004 due to skeletons in his closet -- who we got in Illinois? Any ideas?

Former Governor Jim Edgar? A Geraghty reader thinks Edgar could win.

He achieved the near-impossible in Illinois, after all -- leaving office unindicted.

Edgar has some tough but true advice for the voters of Illinois: Blagojevich, and all the other corrupt pols, are ultimately your fault.

Edgar says told reporters Tuesday at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign that voters were given plenty of reasons not re-elect Blagojevich two years ago by news reports detailing alleged corruption. Edgar is a distinguished fellow at the Institute of Government & Public Affairs on campus.

Edgar says voters represent the only realistic curb on future corruption. The former Republican governor says potential legislative solutions don't work.

Obama's Choice: He wanted his longtime all Valerie Jarrett to get the seat.

Well, she's about as competent as Obama:

CHICAGO - The squat brick buildings of Grove Parc Plaza, in a dense neighborhood that Barack Obama represented for eight years as a state senator, hold 504 apartments subsidized by the federal government for people who can't afford to live anywhere else.

But it's not safe to live here.

About 99 of the units are vacant, many rendered uninhabitable by unfixed problems, such as collapsed roofs and fire damage. Mice scamper through the halls. Battered mailboxes hang open. Sewage backs up into kitchen sinks. In 2006, federal inspectors graded the condition of the complex an 11 on a 100-point scale - a score so bad the buildings now face demolition.

Grove Parc has become a symbol for some in Chicago of the broader failures of giving public subsidies to private companies to build and manage affordable housing - an approach strongly backed by Obama as the best replacement for public housing. [...]

Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to Obama's presidential campaign and a member of his finance committee. Jarrett is the chief executive of Habitat Co., which managed Grove Parc Plaza from 2001 until this winter and co-managed an even larger subsidized complex in Chicago that was seized by the federal government in 2006, after city inspectors found widespread problems.

Democrats have a cute saying: "Republicans spend their campaigns saying the government can't work, then spend their time in office proving it."

Funny, I admit.

But, um, the Democrats' track record...? Can they name a recent success?

Gary Sinise? JB suggests him:

I've got two words- Gary Frickin' Sinise. Illinois native, still lives there most of the time, I think.

Lt. Dan for Senate !!

IMDB confirms he was born in Illinois, lived there, formed the Steppenwolf Theater Compnay there, etc.

But he has the Fred Thompson problem-- he's under contract, and he'd be screwing CBS, I guess, if he ran for Senator. CBS wouldn't be allowed to run CSI:NY at all unless they were willing to give his opponent equal time every week, which of course they wouldn't be.

He's a political guy. But would he give up a great job in exchange for a kinda crappy one?

One thing I found out recently is that the most brutal job in Hollywood for an actor, hours-wise, is starring in a one-hour series. Starring in a half-hour sitcom is great. Regular schedule, short hors. But one-hour shows are long, long hours, which is, I guess, why so many of them are ensemble pieces.

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posted by Ace at 03:37 PM

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