Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Who’s the new AG? How will Raoul be remembered in Illinois history?

Is Kwame Raoul destined to become the 21st Century’s version of George Sangmeister or Aurelia Pucinski?
RAOUL: Can he win Tuesday night?

Sangmeister and Pucinski were on the 1986 Democratic primary ballot for lieutenant governor and secretary of state, respectively, and both lost – with the common political speculation being that all those rural voters across Illinois didn’t identify with the German or Polish ethnic roots that the two had.

AS A RESULT, the Democrats nominated Mark Fairchild and Janice Hart respectively – with the rural types thinking those names were so-much-more “American” sounding. Even though both were actually ideologically aligned with right-winger Lyndon LaRouche.

Could we get a similar reaction come Tuesday to the campaign of Kwame Raoul for Illinois attorney general?

Raoul is a state senator from the Hyde Park neighborhood who is the son of parents who came to this country from Haiti. Hyde Park is exactly the type of neighborhood that thinks such people are exotic and interesting and likely takes a certain amount of pride in having Kwame representing them in the Legislature for the past 14 years.

But Raoul is being challenged by the one-time Miss America, Erika Harold of Champaign, who has often expressed political ambitions but been unable to win anything. Usually because she has ran for Congress from central Illinois-based districts where the locals were more comfortable with white men representing them.
TRUMP: Could his mentality sway voters?

BUT NOW, HAROLD is running for something statewide. Also, she’s running a campaign that focuses heavily on the theme of her being the lone Republican to hold a political post – serving as sort of a partisan political balance to all the Democrats likely to be in power.

I have no doubt Raoul will take the Chicago vote overwhelmingly. In fact, that may well be enough for him to win the political post outright.
Hart and Fairchild (below), … 

But then again, it may not. Could enough rural Illinoisans who’d rather not have a so-called “foreigner” elected to office cast their votes for Harold? Could that be sufficient for her to win Tuesday’s election.

Could the 2002 Miss Illinois who went on to Atlantic City to win the pageant the following year be able to claim a similar story as Hart and Fairchild – who will forevermore be remembered in Illinois political history as the fluke victories. Ones whose real significance is that they screwed up the political campaign of ’86 for gubernatorial hopeful Adlai Stevenson III?
… will Raoul's monicker go alongside theirs?

IN THIS AGE of Trump that we’re now in, could the anti-immigrant sentiments that some people so clearly feel and base their political decisions off of become a factor?

Maybe even those people who will forevermore remain bitter that somebody named Barack Obama could ever be elected president will be motivated to turn out to vote against Kwame (who, by the way, was Obama’s replacement in the Illinois state Senate in 2004).

All of this is cheap, petty and makes next to no sense. But it certainly wouldn’t be the first time that the electorate based their vote off of something totally stupid!

Could giving Illinois a former Miss America as the chief legal counsel for state government be the consolation prize that Republicans take for themselves to deal with the heavy losses that Bruce Rauner’s presence on the ballot is likely to inflict on the rest of the party’s ticket?

AS FOR RAOUL, he was amongst the Democrats using Barack Obama’s presence at the Sunday rally in Chicago to tout himself – moreso than J.B. Pritzker, whose gubernatorial campaign was the supposed reason for the political gathering.
HAROLD: A trivial image, but may be one many carry in their minds
As Raoul described things, “I’m a proud son of Haitian who did not come from a” expletive-deleted description used by Trump himself. “I am a birthright baby.”

Considering a recent New York Times-published poll saying (amongst other things) that 46 percent of people want Republicans to retain control of Congress and an equal 46 percent want Democrats to gain control of the House of Representatives, it would seem the partisan split isn’t anywhere near as intense as we get in Illinois.

Which could make Harold the ultimate Republican consolation prize coming from Tuesday night’s vote-counting activity. Sorry Kwame!


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