Thursday, April 16, 2015

Is there enough “Tio love” for Hardiman to avoid embarrassing himself in ’16 campaign?

The lesson that most people got from the primary election cycle of 2014 was that then-Gov. Pat Quinn had some serious problems in getting voter support outside of Chicago and the inner suburbs.

He won the Democratic primary for the right to try to get re-elected, and he won it handily.

QUINN TOOK SOME 71.9 percent of the votes cast in the Democratic gubernatorial primary. But he managed to lose the vote in 30 of Illinois’ 102 counties.

Particularly in places south of Interstate 70 where the locals get their television news out of Paducah, Ky., and Cape Girardeau, Mo., and where Memphis is regarded as the nearest “big” city.

It would seem that Southern Illinois wanted nothing to do with Quinn. Not in the primary, and certainly not in the general election when Quinn ultimately lost to current Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Now why is remembering this fact at all notable on this day following Tax Day – when some of us might be plotting how to spend our income tax refunds while others (including myself) are decrying how strapped for cash we are now that we have squared away what we owe to Uncle Sam?

IT’S THAT IT seems not everybody got the proper lesson. Especially not Tio Hardiman, who was the one person willing to put his name on the Democratic Party ballot and try to challenge Quinn in the primary!

It seems that Hardiman, a suburban Hillside resident and former director of the CeaseFire group that tries to reduce urban violence, thinks people in some 30 counties wanted him, and that he has something significant in the way of support for a political career.

The Capitol Fax newsletter reported how Hardiman considered challenging Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., in next year’s election. Of course, that campaign will have several significant Democrats challenging the incumbent senator from Illinois.

It will have many well-funded operations, and will be something distinctly nasty to have to endure.

SO PERHAPS IT is a good thing that Hardiman was talked out of running for that office. Particularly since his campaign finances for that race likely would be about as pathetic as the few hundred bucks that at times was his campaign fund for governor in 2014.

But Hardiman seems determined to do his Sally Field “You really like me” impersonation on the political scene.

For it seems that the man who has never held political office wants to run for Congress – specifically for the seat held for more than two decades by Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill.

Does Hardiman think he gained some sort of experience with his non-campaign against Quinn that saw him take 28.1 percent of the vote statewide because there were that many Democrats determined not to vote for Quinn?

I REALLY WONDER how appalled many of those Southern Illinois voters who cast ballots for Hardiman because it was an anti-Quinn vote, only to learn that many of his own ideas about firearms and urban violence were counter to their own.

At least if he’s merely running in the Illinois First Congressional (South Side and surrounding suburbs), he’s more likely to be running for support of voters who bear a resemblance to himself.

Then again, Quinn whomped Hardiman’s butt in Cook County. Even Rauner and Kirk Dillard, both Republicans, got more votes in Chicago and the inner suburbs than did Hardiman in the 2014 primary elections that they all ran in.

Would it take another resounding defeat to Bobby Rush to teach Tio that he’s probably not candidate material? Or is he destined to become the urban version of “Spanky the Clown” with perennial political bids for higher office?


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