On Monday Obama protege, Alexi Giannoulias, 33, scion of the family that owns Broadway Bank. announced his candidacy for his mentor's US Senate Seate.
Giannoulias was among the first to raise money to support Obama's 2004 US Senate Race. He is in the middle of his first term as Illinois State Treasurer, a position he owes to Obama's endorsement in 2006. Giammoulias' lack of experience and the reputation of his family was such that no other prominent Illinois Democrat supported his candidacy. In 2004, the Broadway bank was in the news over some loans to convicted felons with alleged mob ties. Among its more questionable borrowes is Tony Rezko. Allegedly Rezko gambled that at least some of that money away in Las Vegas.
When asked about his relative lack of political experience Obama's protege responded:
"I don't think it's about who's held office the longest," he said. "I think it's about who's got the best ideas, who's going to move this country forward, who has a history of having an innovative principled office, someone who's going to bring some integrity back to the process so people can be proud of their United States senator."