Listening to Gov. Pat Quinn's Election Night rhetoric in the early minutes of Wednesday, I couldn't help but wonder if the "Mighty Quinn" is taking a lesson from the George W. Bush of 2000.
That, of course, was the year in which the presidential campaign was so close that we didn't learn for a month that Bush beat Democrat Al Gore (even though some people will forevermore dispute the accuracy of that statement).
POLITICAL OBSERVERS HAVE credited Bush for doing one thing right on that Election Night of November 2000 -- by taking the stance that he was the victor early on, he created the impression amongst the public that the burden of proof was on Gore. Bush spun the situation so that any attempt to put Gore ahead would have been seen as depriving Bush of his "victory."
Was that the same intent that Quinn had? Does he want us to think that he's the true winner, and that any continued delay in declaring himself the victor was some sort of plot by his opponent? Is the pressure now on Illinois Comptroller Dan Hynes (who late Tuesday said the vote tally was too close to say who won) to shut up, accept defeat and get on with his life?
Not that Quinn didn't leave himself a bit of leeway just in case the final 2 percent of the vote yet to be counted actually manages to close the roughly 5,000-vote gap that exists between Quinn and Hynes. Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White did preface Quinn's rhetoric by saying that we don't know the final vote tallies.
But with all the years of grief that Quinn has taken from some political people for his outspoken ways, I'm sure a part of him enjoyed the chance to be able to give a "victory" speech with his mother at his side.