Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Could Illinois be the example of rational political thought after all?

All of the cheap rhetoric about the presidential campaigns has had one thing in common – it hasn’t involved anyone from Illinois.

BUSH: Land of Lincoln's front-runner?
It has been a whole lot of stupid talk doing their nonsense elsewhere. We don’t have any local angle on it.

PERSONALLY, I’M GLAD. I’d like to believe it is the evidence that it is the rest of the nation that is absurd, and that we in Illinois aren’t the ones who elevated anyone as vapid as Donald Trump to the ranks of a political front-runner.

Considering that it will be later this week (Thursday, to be exact) that presidential candidates can begin circulating the nominating petitions that ultimately will get them a spot on the ballots come the March 15 primary elections.

Candidates will have until mid-December to gather their signatures of support, and I don’t doubt that the likes of Trump, Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson can come up with people in Illinois who will work on their behalf to gather the support that gets them on the ballot.

But it says something that of the 15 or so candidates wishing to run for the Republican nomination for president in next year’s election cycle, the only ones that have the operations in place already are the candidates most detested by the ideologues who are jumping on board the Trump and Carson campaigns – and to a lesser degree, that of Fiorina.

COULD IT BE that we in Illinois have a lesser tolerance for nonsense talk and are more interested in officials who are capable of getting things done? Perhaps the reason why Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, still has his supporters for his refusal to give in to the trash talk of organized labor being spewed by Gov. Bruce Rauner?

KASICH: Backing a Great Lakes guv?
Or maybe it means Illinois Republicans had enough sense to realize that most of the 15 GOP presidential dreamers had no business being on the ballot, and are waiting for the field to boil down before committing to anyone.

Which is why Jeb Bush (who will be in suburban Geneva on Thursday and Chicago proper Friday morning for political fundraiser events), Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and John Kasich are about the only ones that seem to have anything resembling campaign operations in Illinois to get themselves on the ballot.

Candidates can trash-talk all they want. But unless someone does the work of circulating petitions to show support, no one will be able to vote for them.

WHICH MAY BE for the best for society if come March, Trump’s name doesn’t even turn up on the ballot. Particularly since assorted polls show he’s not as dominant as he was a month ago.

RUBIO: Ill. preferred Latino pol (not Ted Cruz)
It’s just a matter of time before Trump’s ego no longer gets fed enough by the thought of running for president that he decides to go back to being just a real estate developer who builds really tacky-looking structures.

It would seem that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, the brother and son of former presidents, is the Illinois favorite, with former Illinois House Minority Leader Tom Cross leading up his effort.

The late state Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka’s former chief of staff is heading up Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s presidential dreams, while state Sen. Michael Connelly, R-Lisle, is in charge of the Marco Rubio operation.

FOR WHAT IT’S worth, state Sen. (and constant political dreamer) James Oberweis, R-Sugar Grove, is also a backer of the guy whom Trump thinks of as a kid too young to take seriously as a presidential candidate.

TRUMP: Withering away to irrelevance?
Even though there are those of us who think that Trump himself is too old and foolish to have any credibility in electoral politics.

Not that I’m inclined to back anyone amongst Bush, Kasich or Rubio. Then again, I think the Democratic presidential field is filled with mediocrities – I haven’t found anyone I think is worthy of replacing Barack Obama come early 2017.

But it is reassuring to know that the Illinois primary election season is likely to be a little more logical than it has been thus far, or likely will be in other states.


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