Friday, June 6, 2014

Examples of not letting the facts get in the way of a good Election Day story?

We’ve been going through much speculation these days about whether Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle will run for mayor in next year’s election cycle.
CLINTON: Will she, for president?
And now, out of the District of Columbia, the speculation is spurring as to whether Michelle Obama will seek to become a member of the U.S. Senate, representing the good people of Illinois.

NOW TO LISTEN to either woman, they seem to indicate the answer to these scenarios becoming truth is “no.” But we’re still going to hear them, because quite frankly, the idea of not having those two women as candidates means we’re in for some dreadfully-dull election cycles in coming years.

Somebody has to stir up some dirt!

As for Preckwinkle, she’ll be on the Nov. 4 ballot seeking re-election. Her chances of winning are outstanding – Republicans couldn’t even get a token challenger on the ballot.

But way too many people want to believe that Preckwinkle will give up that post next spring to take on Rahm Emanuel. Heck, I recently joked with one of Preckwinkle’s aides at an event where he asked me if I had any specific questions for her.

MY SARCASM CAUSED me to respond that I could be the millionth reporter to ask if she was running for mayor. To which he laughed.

Part of the reason for asking is that, by pure chance, she might say something differently this time.

But it also comes down to the fact that if she doesn’t get into the mayoral race, there won’t be a credible opposition to Emanuel. Nobody thinks of Robert Shaw in that way. And the other African-American people who say they’re running for mayor?
PRECKWINKLE: Still saying 'no'
They probably won’t get anybody who doesn’t live on their specific block to actually vote for them!

THERE WILL BE a lot of people who wind up voting for Emanuel because there’s nobody else – even though they desperately want that somebody else!

It’s a similar sentiment that has people offering up the current first lady for U.S. Senate. She will, after all, be leaving that post in January 2017. She has to do something, even though she has made it clear throughout her life that she personally never had interest in running for office.

And privately probably wonders how she could ever fall in love with someone who was politically motivated.
OBAMA: Returning to So. Shore roots?
I don’t know that I believe she would ever seek the Senate post currently held by Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., when he has to go for re-election in 2016. Although I’m sure some like the idea of a storyline of a first lady-turned-senator.

WHICH IS JUST the same as what happened to Hillary R. Clinton when her husband’s presidential term ended. Although she became an honorary New Yorker, rather than returning to her suburban Park Ridge roots for that aspiration.

The idea of Michelle as Hillary, the Sequel? That’s just a stretch.

Although it brings up the other person who’s the focus of political speculation these days – Hillary for president.

She’s going to wait for the absolute last-minute before she makes any announcement. What does she gain from rushing her decision?

ONE POSSIBLE SCENARIO for our local political scene in coming years. Suppose it all were to come true?
MADIGAN: Higher aspirations?
We’d have President Hillary R. Clinton, Mayor Toni Preckwinkle, Sen. Michelle Obama and (come the 2018 election cycle) Gov. Lisa Madigan – whose own political future is a constant source of speculation and fantasy.

A major plus for female political empowerment, for sure. That would be quite a lineup that would show just how far we as a society have advanced.

Which is probably the ultimate evidence that all the political speculation is a little too fantasy-based to be taken seriously.


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