At last! GOP plays hardball

Illinois Democrats nominated Alex Giannoulias to run for the Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama. As Richard Baehr noted Monday on AT, Giannoulias has substantial weaknesses that could enable Congressman Mark Kirk, the Republican nominee, to take the seat in November.

The GOP Senatorial Campaign Committee is wasting no time in focusing on Guannoulias's shady past, something that may resonate with Illinois voters, sick of Democrat machine corruption that has left the state arguably in worse fiscal shape than California.




Richard Baehr adds:

Kirk versus Giannoulias is an ideal matchup for the GOP.   Clearly, the Republican Senate Committee  has decided to define Alexi Giannoulias early, which is very smart.  The fact that Alexi's primary opponent David Hoffman came within 5% of knocking off Giannoulias, even with  little money or name recognition, demonstrates voters' disgust with Cook County cronyism and corruption, and the machine politicians who run every element of the state.  

As Tom Bevan points out
, the turnout in the Democratic and GOP Senate primaries was much more balanced that in 2004, when Obama won his seat. This is another good sign for the GOP in a heavily Democratic state. This is is particularly the case, since the GOP primary was much more one-sided than the Democratic race, and competitive primaries usually draw a larger turnout. 

Ed Lasky adds:

As I monitored election returns, I saw on a local political website a photo of Illinois's impeached governor and Rezko buddy Rod Blagojevich with his arm around Giannoulias, both smiling and tuxedo-clad. Any upstanding person looking at the duo would have run for the nearest exit. Caeol Felsenthal of The Hill writes:

Next June, five months before the midterm elections, Blagojevich goes on trial for attempting to sell the Senate seat for which Giannoulias and Kirk will be battling. The name Rezko will be a staple of the proceedings and of what are sure to be shocking headlines. The trial will be covered by every reporter with a pulse - local, state, national, international.

That trial was one of many reasons why Obama, who had his own damaging tie to Rezko, did not want Giannoulias to run; why Obama and his aides tried to discourage Giannoulias, who happens to be a basketball buddy of Obama's, from running. Obama surely would have much preferred a win in the primary by the squeaky-clean Hoffman, probably the smartest man to run for statewide office since Obama.

Kirk could have gone after Hoffman for inexperience, but he could not have gone after him for shady connections or corruption. In Giannoulias, Kirk has been given a gift that will keep on giving, every day from today until the all-important midterms next November.
Illinois Democrats nominated Alex Giannoulias to run for the Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama. As Richard Baehr noted Monday on AT, Giannoulias has substantial weaknesses that could enable Congressman Mark Kirk, the Republican nominee, to take the seat in November.

The GOP Senatorial Campaign Committee is wasting no time in focusing on Guannoulias's shady past, something that may resonate with Illinois voters, sick of Democrat machine corruption that has left the state arguably in worse fiscal shape than California.




Richard Baehr adds:

Kirk versus Giannoulias is an ideal matchup for the GOP.   Clearly, the Republican Senate Committee  has decided to define Alexi Giannoulias early, which is very smart.  The fact that Alexi's primary opponent David Hoffman came within 5% of knocking off Giannoulias, even with  little money or name recognition, demonstrates voters' disgust with Cook County cronyism and corruption, and the machine politicians who run every element of the state.  

As Tom Bevan points out
, the turnout in the Democratic and GOP Senate primaries was much more balanced that in 2004, when Obama won his seat. This is another good sign for the GOP in a heavily Democratic state. This is is particularly the case, since the GOP primary was much more one-sided than the Democratic race, and competitive primaries usually draw a larger turnout. 

Ed Lasky adds:

As I monitored election returns, I saw on a local political website a photo of Illinois's impeached governor and Rezko buddy Rod Blagojevich with his arm around Giannoulias, both smiling and tuxedo-clad. Any upstanding person looking at the duo would have run for the nearest exit. Caeol Felsenthal of The Hill writes:

Next June, five months before the midterm elections, Blagojevich goes on trial for attempting to sell the Senate seat for which Giannoulias and Kirk will be battling. The name Rezko will be a staple of the proceedings and of what are sure to be shocking headlines. The trial will be covered by every reporter with a pulse - local, state, national, international.

That trial was one of many reasons why Obama, who had his own damaging tie to Rezko, did not want Giannoulias to run; why Obama and his aides tried to discourage Giannoulias, who happens to be a basketball buddy of Obama's, from running. Obama surely would have much preferred a win in the primary by the squeaky-clean Hoffman, probably the smartest man to run for statewide office since Obama.

Kirk could have gone after Hoffman for inexperience, but he could not have gone after him for shady connections or corruption. In Giannoulias, Kirk has been given a gift that will keep on giving, every day from today until the all-important midterms next November.

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