Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Does Halvorson really think Obama, Emanuel endorsements would help her?

Debbie Halvorson, the suburban Crete woman whose aspirations to return to Congress involve having to knock Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., D-Ill., out of her way, is truly in a tough spot when it comes to getting voter support.
JACKSON: Acting like a front-runner

I’ll be the first to concede there are people living in Illinois’ Second Congressional district (stretching from 53rd Street and the lakefront in Chicago to the Kankakee/Iroquois County border) who will vote for just about anybody other than the son of the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

YET MANY OF those people are of an ideological bent that Halvorson (a former south suburban state legislator who served one two-year term in Congress) may well be the one person they wouldn’t cast a vote for.

On the campaign trail, she basically tries to establish herself as within the mainstream of the Democratic Party and one who would go to Washington to support the desires of President Barack Obama.

But Jackson can make the same claims, which means many people aren’t going to distinguish between the two – no matter how much she tries to make such minute distinctions seem like chasms.

Anyway, Jackson is now going around claiming to have the endorsements of the big names of Chicago politics – Obama, Gov. Pat Quinn and Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

WBBM-AM RADIO REPORTED Monday that Obama and Emanuel haven’t done anything official to say they want Jackson re-elected. But the newsradio station says that Jackson says both of those men told him they would support him.

Whatever!  I can’t say it would be a surprise to learn that those two would choose to support an incumbent from Chicago proper over a challenger from the suburbs just over the Cook/Will county line.
HALVORSON: Does really really want Obama?

Just as it really wasn’t surprising that the AFL-CIO last week gave its support to Jackson over Halvorson in the March 20 primary elections. They always pick the incumbent to endorse – unless the incumbent has such a scandal that they become unelectable.

Apparently, nobody seems to think that Jackson’s possible involvement in efforts to get then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich to appoint him to the U.S. Senate back in 2008 is big enough – nor his involvement with a blonde Brazilian woman.

THE ONLY PEOPLE who are going to take these issues up, at this point, are the ideologues whose real objection may well be his pigmentation and his last name.

Those are the same people who dumped Halvorson, for differing reasons, in 2010 when she was the incumbent representative being challenged by now-Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill.

What strikes me as odd is that Halvorson is challenging the idea that Jackson can count on the support of Obama and Emanuel. She seems to think she can get their support – or at the very least, the backing of Obama.

Yet I’m telling you if either of those men were to publicly come out in support of her, it would probably hurt her more than help.

FOR THE SAME people at the southern end of the congressional district who are complaining that Chicago is overtaking their rural way of life would merely see the support of Emanuel and/or Obama as evidence that Halvorson is NOT, “one of them.”

Whereas having those two men come out in support of Jackson just sounds like business as usual – something that would be quickly forgotten by most voters.

If anything, Halvorson may well be the one who is prolonging this and turning it into an issue to be used against her.

Because if, by chance, she were to win the Democratic primary in March, I could easily see her Republican challenger then turning around and using this against her. “Debbie Halvorson is a Chicago political machine hack!” – that’s how the campaign ads will read.

AND THE PEOPLE whose level of interest in this congressional campaign is such that they’re following the virtually uncovered campaign between James Taylor, Sr., of Bradley, Ill., and Brian Woodworth of Bourbonnais (the Kankakee County town that provides the Chicago Bears with its training camp site each summer) will be the ones who will eagerly believe this line of rhetoric – which anyone with sense knows is absolutely ridiculous.

But “absolutely ridiculous” may well be where this particular campaign is going, particularly by the time the Nov. 6 general election cycle comes about.


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