Monday, December 5, 2011

How important does Walsh think he is?

It strikes me as being incredibly egotistical that Joe Walsh (not the former guitar player for The Eagles) thinks he can make a “major announcement” out of his plans for the 2012 election cycle.
WALSH: He'll tell us today

Who does he think he is? Herman Cain!!!

BUT THAT IS the case with the Congressman from the outer Chicago suburbs, who says he will tell us on Monday which congressional district he will bless with his presence in Washington.

As though the reality isn’t that he’s likely to join Michael Flanagan (not the one-time Baltimore Orioles pitcher) as one-term members of Congress from Illinois whose election wasn’t solely because of an election fluke.

Remember Flanagan? He was the guy who got elected from the Northwest Side back in 1994 to replace Dan Rostenkowski, then was defeated in 1996 when Rod Blagojevich decided he was tired of being a lowly state legislator and wanted to move up to Congress.

Since then, the one-time financially-struggling attorney has turned himself into a Washington-based consultant and seems to be making an adequate living for himself.

WHICH IS NICE, since Flanagan basically was a decent human being who during his two years in the House of Representatives was most likely in over his head with the political mess that came about from the’94 election cycle that saw so many shifts toward the Republican Party – and which will be the subject of much political debate during the upcoming year IF Newt Gingrich actually succeeds in getting the Republican nomination to run against Barack Obama for president.

But a part of me feels guilty about bringing up Flanagan and Walsh in the same commentary. Because I don’t recall Flanagan ever letting his ego get the best of him the way that Walsh seems to enjoy.

Which may be why Walsh felt compelled to make an issue this weekend about his use of Monday as a date to announce which congressional district he will run in.
FLANAGAN: Can't Walsh follow his example?

And I was foolish enough to think that Monday was just going to be another dull day.

NOW AS ANYONE who is bothering to read this likely realizes, the congressional boundaries have been redrawn, and the northwest suburban resident had his current district split into two.

Initially, he planned to run for the new Illinois 14th Congressional district, which is the one that will contain his McHenry home. That would put him into a head-to-head fight against Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-Ill., with the winner of the Republican primary on March 20 likely getting a free path to Congress come the Nov. 6 general election.

But perhaps it is a bit of self-awareness that Walsh truly was a freak of nature (otherwise known as the 2010 Tea Party movement that swept up many rural and ex-urban areas in the country) and that 2012 will be a different phenomenon.

Because now he’s throwing out the hints that he will move at some point (although the rules are so loose that he may not have to relocate for a long while) to another part of his old Congressional district.

HE ENVISIONS BEING the lone Republican running in the new Illinois 8th Congressional district. That is the one that has no incumbent and likely leans toward Democrats.

It is the one that has establishment favorite Tammy Duckworth and Raja Krishnamoorthi currently facing off for the Democratic nomination come March.

Which means Walsh likely has delusions that the two of them will beat up on each other so badly that the winner of the primary will be bloodied up enough that even HE could win come November.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Walsh used an appearance in St. Charles this weekend to make statements about how he doesn’t want to “give… a district” to a Democratic Party member of Congress. He even used the “boogeyman” image of Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., returning as House speaker – IF enough Democrats manage to win come 2012.

SCARE TACTICS. THAT is what the campaign is about, should he decide to make such a move rather than take on Hultgren from his hometown.

Then again, I have noticed various e-mails feeding into my box during the past week from Krishnamoorthi backers, trying to create their own image of an out-of-touch Walsh – making sure he remains irrelevant should he decide to get into that campaign that would have him seeking support from Cook County voters.

And you just know that the child support issue involving his ex-wife isn’t going to go away – no matter how much Walsh tries to scream and shout it away. It’s going to be an ugly campaign, as Walsh tries desperately to avoid becoming the next Mike Flanagan – that one-termer whose perception amongst his colleagues never amounted to much.

Then again, maybe I owe Flanagan an apology for bringing his name up in the same context with Walsh. After all, I’m not aware of Flanagan ever having a headline like Judge scolds Rep. Joe Walsh in child-support case with ex-wife appear like Walsh has.


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