Blogs > Cliopatria > Challenging Obama

Aug 4, 2004 2:16 am

Challenging Obama

Just when it appeared that the Illinois Republican Party couldn't descend any further, they manage to outdo themselves.

Today was supposed to be the day in which the party finally picked a challenger to Obama, after at least seven possible candidates took themselves out of the running. Instead, the day started with the latest party favorite, Cook County Commissioner Elizabeth Doody Gorman, announcing that she didn't want to run, and some party leaders asking that the process be delayed so that the state central committee could interview Alan Keyes--who has twice run for the Senate . . . in Maryland (though presumably he passed through Illinois from time to time in his failed presidential bid).

Meanwhile, the committee members went through the motions of interviewing the top 11 possibilities should Keyes not run. Among those who received an interview:

--Daniel Vovak, whose claim to fame is that he wears an 18th century-style wig;

--the Libertarian candidate for the Senate in 2002;

--the man formerly known as Anthony Martin-Trigona, known for his frivolous lawsuits and a former candidate in Florida;

--and the 6th, 7th, and 8th place finishers in the party's spring primary, who collectively received less than 5 percent of the vote.

Perhaps there is an example of a state party looking more foolish than the Illinois GOP over the last month, but I can't think of it.

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Robert KC Johnson - 8/4/2004

I agree--I think they'd be better off not running a candidate; that way, the only statewide race would be the presidential one. I think that a 2-to-1 win by Obama--which seems likely--will hurt Repubs down the ticket.

Jonathan Dresner - 8/4/2004

I have to ask the question: why are they bothering? Unless they suddenly come up with a political whirlwind, and they have a political machine the likes of which even Illinois has never known, there's no chance. Obama was winning against a solid challenger, and he hasn't actually had an opposition for weeks now. How could he legitimately be beaten?

So, what's the advantage in running someone at this point? I honestly don't get it. Is there some financial factor (money that must be spent, funding to be achieved with a certain showing)? Or is it just inertia?

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