Sunday, October 3, 2010

“Jr.” to take on Isaac Hayes and Rev.

It must be nice to have a name so prominent that one doesn’t even have to use it in order to campaign.

Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr.
Or perhaps this is the way for Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., D-Ill., to remind people how prominent his name is, considering that he’s running against a candidate whose name is going to draw attention regardless of what he says or what he thinks.

JACKSON, THE SON of the internationally renowned civil rights leader, has as one of his opponents an independent candidacy by a man named Isaac Hayes. Not the singer who gave us the theme from “Shaft” and “Chocolate Salty Balls” from “South Park.”

Could enough people actually vote for Hayes because they think it’s cute he has the same name as the renowned musician? Does Jackson need to go out of his way to remind people of who his father is to draw attention away?

I couldn’t help but think that as I spent time Sunday in the Hegewisch neighborhood and in the adjacent suburb of Calumet City. For while driving along Sibley Boulevard (that’s 147th Street, for you people who think solely in terms of the Chicago street grid system), I encountered a two-mile stretch of street where – everywhere I turned – there were signs that read “Faithful for Jr.”

At first, I thought they were litter. Then I realized how thoroughly someone had carpeted the street. “Jr.” was everywhere in huge letters that couldn’t be missed – although one literally had to walk right up to one of these campaign signs to see the tiny typeface that read, “Paid for by Jackson for Congress.”

NOW I REALIZE this tactic is not unusual. All of us no matter where we live or work are going to be burdened with campaign signs all over buildings and front lawns. Those of us looking to get away from the campaigning had better be prepared to lock themselves inside their homes, then turn off the televisions and their Internet connections.
Isaac Hayes

Because the campaign season that has 30 more days to go is upon us.

“Jr.” is far from the only candidate who is going t do whatever he can to ensure that his name gets burned in our brain, in hopes that we will cast a ballot accordingly when we go to an early voting center in coming weeks, or to a polling place on Nov. 2 proper.

Yet I have to admit I was surprised to see so much of “Jr.” Because I haven’t been picking up any sense that Jackson is in trouble in terms of getting re-elected to Congress. The salacious and scandalous details about his life may be what prevents him from making a serious campaign for Chicago mayor in next year’s municipal election.

BUT FOR CONGRESS, he is safe. The district is solid Democrat – largely because it is consists of the kinds of communities that many of these Tea Party people fled so many years ago.

Rev. Anthony Williams
I can’t envision the people of Jackson’s far South Side and surrounding suburbs congressional district getting excited about a candidate such as Hayes, who uses his campaign website to advertise the fact that the Republican Party’s “Fire Pelosi” (as in House Speaker Nancy) will be in suburban Matteson on Oct. 15.

As for Jackson’s other opponent, the Rev. Anthony Williams has become the congressman’s perennial challenger who has never been able to convince voters that Jesse Jr. doesn't do anything positive for the South Side. About the only thing that ever differs with Williams is his political party – at various times in his electoral “career,” he has run unsuccessfully for office as a Democrat, a Libertarian, an independent, a Republican, and now, a Green.


No comments: