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Elections Wed Feb 03 2010

Yes We Can?

I sat down this morning to write a piece about how disappointment over the Hoffman defeat last night--who, by the way, was supported by every individual in Chicago I spoke with about the subject, though he lost here 36-29-29 (thank you, @chitownpolitics)--should not end our commitment to the Senate fight. If our health care and foreign policy goals remain today what they were yesterday, it is exceedingly important that the seat is filled with not just a Democrat, but a Democrat as faithful an Obama supporter as Giannoulias.

At election's close, listening to Hoffman concede on WBEZ, I sent out some comments into the twitter-shpere and the vocalo live blog (which deserves its own post--seriously, that shit was crazy):

we tried. At an unusual moment, we've got an uphill battle ahead. But we can work together and do it.

Chicagoans are going to have to show mobilization of Obama proportions--large swaths of state will love Kirk's banker narrative of Giannoulias.

The disappoint stems from this:

Hoffman graduated cum laude from Yale, then attended the University of Chicago Law School, where he graduated with honors and edited the Law Review, later clerking for a Supreme Court justice and serving as inspector general of Chicago; the man is exceedingly intelligent, and has an erudite sense of the legal process. His Yale degree was in history and he served as a legislative assistant on foreign policy for a former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee; the man knows his foreign policy.

It's not just the impressive, wide-ranging resume and broad experience with legislation, or the clean record that Republicans would have a hard time finding flaw with, it was that David Hoffman is Senate material, a candidate I would gladly ask my neighbor to vote for (and already did.)

Mark Kirk is a veteran and member of the Navy reserves; has served five terms as a legislator; has a Master's from the London School of Economics and a law degree from Georgetown. He's worked in the State Department and the House International Relations Committee. Watch out for TV ads trumpeting his service in Afghanistan for a month or so while still a sitting member of Congress-- "the first member of Congress to serve in an imminent danger zone since 1942."

Giannoulias started out at the University of Chicago, but transferred to Boston University. To play basketball. He later got degrees in economics and law, but then came back to work for his family's bank--which is now in quite a bit of hot water--as a chief loan officer. He began the campaign touting his success with the Bright Start program, which has also seen it's share of problems.

Oh, and the country hates bankers and loan officers right now.

So I wanted to write a piece about how we can't quit now, how we face an up-mountain struggle of epic proportions. But, as serious as the political realities are, there's something beyond that keeping me from writing the piece I wanted to. Giannoulias just does not feel like a senator. I'm not sure I'm won over by his experience, or any demonstrated acumen, legislative or otherwise.

I don't know if I've got the fight in me, because I'm just not exactly sure what I'm fighting for.

 
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jJoe Lake / February 3, 2010 11:27 AM

David Hoffman--wanna run for mayor of Chicago in 2011? Let's get going. Time's running out. Don't be nickeled and 'quartered' again. Go to ChicagoNLA2011 at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ChicagoNLA2011

Jeffrey / February 3, 2010 1:21 PM

"...the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice..." - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Rhoda / February 3, 2010 6:26 PM

Giannoulias is not the only guy in the race, this would be a most excellent time to think Republican. We haven't exactly been successful with the Democrats lately.

Michael / February 4, 2010 12:12 AM

Here Here.

DM / February 5, 2010 10:59 AM

Hopefully Hoffman will run for Mayor so that Daley will have the pleasure of kicking his azz again.

The only reason Hoffman did not do worse in the race was because a black woman, Cheryle Jackson, won all the black wards, taking votes from Alexi.
Hoffman, a closet racist, had nothing coming from the black wards and will lose overwhelmingly if he is dumb enough to run in 2011.

It is a glorious morning to see that despite the shameless shilling by the media, that David Hoffman can now be sent back to rock that he crawled out from under.

He and the media have learned the lesson that:
- you cannot buy an election (He spent $500,000 of his daddy’s money to run)

- Corruption isn't the #1 issue on voters' minds, jobs are, and David Hoffman has never worked a day of his life in the private sector, nor can he name one instance where he created or saved an American job

- David Hoffman thinks the most important issue in this election is his resume. Winning campaigns think the voters are the most important issue.

- David Hoffman, and the various editorial boards, and many others keep reminding us that David Hoffman is smarter than the rest of us, and frankly, voters are not only sick of it, but it ain't helping. A whole lot of very smart people got us into the trouble we're in.

- Hoffman, as Chicago's inspector general from 2003 to 2008, was a glorified gadfly, fighting city corruption by issuing press releases and holding press conferences. He issued his "report" on the parking meter lease 2 months after the City Council approved it. Hoffman's impact on Chicago's "culture of corruption" ranks between minimal and negligible.

skydad / February 5, 2010 6:51 PM

Wow. What hateful gibberish. What evidence do you have to call this man a racist? Also he should be punished for being smart?

And you're seriously gonna talk about Hoffman having a silver spoon in his mouth and spending "daddy's money" while praising Giannoulias? Giannoulias made his name in politics by raising money from his rich friends and business associates for Obama. He bought his button if anybody did.

Danny Fenster / February 5, 2010 7:00 PM

Rhoda--great idea, if I weren't clearly in fundamental disagreement with the republican party's platform, and if, as stated, health care reform (yes, as articulated by Barack Obama, and others on the left), not to mention the (constitutional) right for gays to marry, the expedient closing of Guantanamo, and I'll stop there, weren't important to me.

DM, I think Dick Daley has an uphill battle, and I'd like to hear on what grounds he has your support. In what ways is Giannoulias better for black voters (assuming there's a difference in what's better for Chicagoans--i.e. just policy--as opposed to black Chicagoans vs. white Chicagoans--a sentiment implicit in your comment, unless it was meant as a reality of base politics rather than policy). Giannoulias worked in the private sector for his family business, had a not minor fuck up, then worked in public office, and had another not minor fuck up. Hoffman has worked in public service for most of his career. Aside from the fact that serving the public ought to be an honor, we are talking about two people running for public office. Why would work in the private sector over the public be a point of boasting? Fighting corruption in government should never be put on the back burner. I don't think Hoffman has been toting his academic record anywhere near as much as I did, in one blog post, on a site that has a fairly small readership (sorry boss). Senators, by the way, are supposed to be smart and erudite. It was, before I came of political age, an honor to be a U.S. Senator. If Hoffman did nothing as IG, he still did more to fight city corruption than Giannoulias.

Let me say, Alexi, that I think you are a personable, ebullient sort of guy that I would love to drink beer or shoot hoops with. I'm just not that excited about the fact the I WILL be going door-to-door for you later this year.

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