Friday, December 9, 2016

A “Kennedy” for Illinois governor; is GOP taking notion too seriously?

I’d be inclined to chuckle at the idea of Chris Kennedy, the one-time manager of the Merchandise Mart who is a member of the famed Kennedy political family (a nephew to JFK and son of Bobby).

KENNEDY: Next generation of Camelot for Ill.?
Except that the Republican Party seems to get itself all worked up over the idea, to the point where it seems they’re indulging themselves in preemptive rhetorical attacks to try to make sure that Kennedy can’t get any traction as a political candidate.

IF ONE WANTS to trust the latest Sneed Scoops of the Chicago Sun-Times, it seems that Kennedy is going around privately saying that he’s going to run for Illinois governor come the 2018 election cycle.

As in he means it. No, really! He’s going to do it this time!

Yes, Kennedy has often suggested his interest in running for electoral office in Illinois – which would put him among the many Kennedy cousins who have held government office in various parts of the country throughout the years.

Although if he were able to win the election cycle, it would be a first for Illinois – our very own “Kennedy” to try to enhance the family political legacy in our very own home turf.

WHICH SEEMS TO be the basis upon which Chris Kennedy would campaign; get all the people with fond memories of the former president and his father who tried running for president until he became among the casualties of 1968 to want to vote for him.
Will 2018 become the referendum on who ...

Could that kind of sentimentality actually defeat the millions of dollars of his own personal wealth that incumbent Gov. Bruce Rauner likely will spend to try to get himself re-elected along with a General Assembly of a more sympathetic composition that might actually let him start imposing all those anti-organized labor initiatives he tries to pass off as “reform?”

I don’t know.

Particularly since Kennedy didn’t do his own reputation for being too flighty to actually get into the election cycle any good when, earlier this year, he refused to discuss with reporter-types his alleged campaign desires following a meeting with Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago.
... we hate more; Madigan or Rauner?

BUT THE REPUBLICANS in this state are more than willing to offer up their perspective. As part of their initiative that is meant to make people so angry at “Mr. Speaker” that they actually vote the GOP candidates instead, they issued a statement this week demanding that Kennedy publicly show his distance from Madigan.

“Mike Madigan endorsing a run for governor by Chris Kennedy tells you everything you need to know about Chris Kennedy,” Illinois Republican spokesman Steven Yaffe said, in a prepared statement. “Chris Kennedy secretly kissed Madigan’s ring months ago because he knows Madigan is the real boss.”

It comes across as over-the-top, just as many of the statements do that criticize rural Democrats for not opposing their political party’s positions. I’d like to think it is merely an example of the Republican Party being absurd and over-reacting (they do it so often).

Unless THIS IS the year that Kennedy decides to finally show some backbone and try running for political office. Which will depend on how much he’s willing to be dirtied-up a bit by the campaign process.

BECAUSE THE 2018 election cycle will be a hostile one – I wonder if it will get as vulgar as the presidential election cycle we have completed. Because Republicans already are showing their interest in turning this into a Chicago vs. the rest of Illinois election, with them banking their chances on rural people overcoming the state’s primary city.
Already trying to spread discontent for 2018

Of course, there’s the fact that Rauner himself has pathetically-low approval ratings (a majority of people have an “unfavorable” impression of the man in various polls).

We in Illinois could wind up being subjected to a brawl of Who Do We Hate the Most – Rauner or Madigan? It makes me wonder about my own sanity in being interested in the political process, which has devolved in recent election cycles to a choice of whom we have less contempt for.

That may wind up being the reason that a “Kennedy” may decide our state’s governorship isn’t worth the hassle – there’s no way that his campaign would bring back memories of the days of “Camelot” and the inspiration that his “Uncle John” and his election as president provided to our society.


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