Madigan, after all, was running unopposed for his legislative post representing the residents of Chicago who live in the area surrounding Midway Airport.
SO IT’S NOT like there was a chance he’d go off to defeat and political retirement following a career in Illinois government dating back to 1970 when he was one of many delegates who helped craft the current version of Illinois’ state Constitution.
But Madigan’s name has been dragged through the muck by just about every Republican running for just about every single office. The theme being that every Democrat is nothing more than a political hack who takes his (or her) marching orders from the almighty-and-powerful Illinois House speaker.
The leader in recent years of such strategy is soon-to-be former Gov. Bruce Rauner, who went through his campaign repeatedly blaming Madigan for everything that Rauner was unable to accomplish during his four years as governor.
His rhetoric often went so far over the top as to imply Madigan’s actions were criminal and that an indictment would be forthcoming, if only there were a sense of true justice in the world.
YET THE RAUNER defeat was so apparent that the governor made his concession call to Democrat J.B. Pritzker (who supposedly is Madigan’s hand-puppet and gay marriage spouse) less than an hour after the polls closed in Illinois. Some information sources didn’t even have preliminary vote tallies to report, yet the insider speculation was such that it wasn’t worth waiting in a sense of desperate hope that something would come up.
The man who was banking on the concept of a corrupt Madigan scaring voters away instead became a complete failure based off his strategy – which really is the same one that Republicans also tried using back in 2010 when Republican Bill Brady was defeated by Democrat Pat Quinn.
Who, by the way, told the Chicago Tribune on Tuesday he was anxious to see Rauner be replaced as governor.
But like I already wrote, other candidates tried tying their opponents to Madigan, with Republican attorney general hopeful Erika Harold going so far as to say she’d never take orders from the speaker – and implied she’d use the post to conduct the investigations against Madigan that Rauner always fantasized about having done.
YET WITH THE early vote tallies in, Democrat Kwame Raoul held a solid lead, taking majorities in five of the six counties that comprise the Chicago metropolitan area. Only McHenry County seemed to prefer Harold – the one-time Miss America who can now add this defeat to her list of failed political aspirations on her part.
Then again, McHenry is also the lone Chicago-area county that liked the idea of “President Donald Trump” back in the 2016 election cycle. While in Cook County proper, Raoul had some 73 percent of the overall vote early on.
It’s going to take a real mighty blow from downstate Illinois to overcome the solid 64/34 percent lead Raoul is holding across the state over Harold Tuesday night.
There’s also candidates such as incumbent Congress members Randy Hultgren and Peter Roskam, who were lagging behind early on to Democrats Lauren Underwood and Sean Casten respectively. And in the area around Champaign/Urbana, Betsy Dirksen Londrigan had a lead over Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill.
WHICH, IF THE Dems prevail in all, would add to the total tally of politicos who would serve as counterweights to the ideological nonsense spewed by Donald Trump.
Casten, in particular, faced a campaign strategy of being labeled as being a mere flip side of the same Madigan political coin. Instead, perhaps it seems many saw him as a potential ally to the man who stood up to the Rauner ideological tactics of the past four years and one who could stand up to anything absurd that Trump would try to do during the next two.
I’m not saying that the electorate of Illinois is all that enthralled by Mike Madigan. I’m aware of polls showing many people think he’s just another political hack. Even though he's now one with even more power -- since it seems his Illinois House majority is even larger now and can enable him to override gubernatorial vetoes single-handedly.
But perhaps one of the lessons we learn from Election ’18 is one that truly would benefit us all – candidates are most likely to prevail if they can sway people as to why we should vote for them. Not just why we should despise the opposition.