Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Encore, encore?!?

Did Marie Newman really behave in such a tacky, offensive manner on primary Election Night 2018 that she has killed off any future chances she has to win electoral office?
It certainly seems that Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Ill., and his backers are counting on such a strategy in order to win office again. Which makes us wonder – did Newman really misbehave? Or is Lipinski truly fearful of the candidate whom he barely beat last year?

FOR THOSE OF you with short attention spans, Newman was the suburban woman who challenged Lipinski on the notion that he’s too conservative on social issues to be allowed to think of himself as a Democrat in good standing.

Lipinski managed to prevail in the Democratic primary – winning 51 percent to 49 percent. Largely because the Illinois 3rd Congressional district consists largely of Chicago’s Southwest Side neighborhoods, where many voters look upon it as a plus that Lipinski’s father is former Congressman and Alderman Bill Lipinski.

He also represents that segment of the populace that thinks Democrats ought to be a blue-collar political party that ought not be too concerned with the social issues such as abortion (of which Lipinski is solidly in opposition).

There were those people who think that’s not what the Democrats ought to be about any longer, and they did try to use Newman to dump Dan from office – falling just short of a primary victory.

NEWMAN APPARENTLY IS thinking along the lines of, “I came close to winning last time, this time will be the charm.”
NEWMAN: Trying again in 2020

That led her to saying on Tuesday she’s running again for Congress. She’ll challenge Lipinski once again – and hopes she can find another 2 percent of voter support to give her a victory this time. While another person, Abe Matthew of Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood, says he’ll also run – thereby clogging up the political mechanisms.

Personally, I always get skeptical of candidates who come close to winning, but fail. Political history is filled with many such tales of people who tried again – only to wind up falling short by nowhere near as small a voter margin as they lost by the first time.
LIPINSKI: Can he fight her off again?

Remember H. Ross Perot – who in 1992 ran an independent political campaign that managed to take 19 percent of the overall vote and was a factor in incumbent President George Bush’s failure to beat Democrat Bill Clinton?

THAT LED THE Texas billionaire to think he had potential for a significant political movement, and he tried again in 1996. Only to fall so far short (8 percent overall) that I suspect most people these days have forgotten he ever existed politically.

Could Newman wind up embarrassing herself in a similar manner?

Lipinski himself told the Chicago Sun-Times, “I would be surprised if Marie Newman runs again after her angry, mean-spirited speech on TV on Election Night.” Looking around the Internet, various people commented she was “downright bitter” and “didn’t concede with any class.”

Did Newman really manage to create a lasting image at the end of her last campaign that kills off any hopes for a political future? Or is this merely wishful thinking on the part of Lipinski that he won’t have to seriously campaign for re-election in 2020?

MY OWN CHECK of the Internet for Election Night video unveiled a snippet of Newman saying, “I would like for Mr. Lipinski to have a very painful evening,” while refusing to admit political defeat. While Rich Miller of the Capitol Fax newsletter said of Newman’s behavior, “I’ve seen much worse.”
PEROT '96: A long-forgotten campaign

It probably helps that many have let the Lipinski/Newman primary slip into the crevasses of their minds – remembering more clearly the general election campaign against Art Jones – a political activist with past ties to neo-Nazi and white supremacist organizations.

Which meant the Republican Party had to go out of its way to dissociate themselves from him. The real question for 2020 may be to see if the Illinois GOP remains so weak and unorganized that it won’t be able to put up a legitimate challenger to Lipinski as what happened in 2018?

As opposed to whether Newman can hold together all the people eager to see a less-ideologically-motivated person than Lipinski represent them in Congress – while figuring out a way to get 2 percent more voter support for herself.


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