Crossposted on Marathon Pundit.
Rick Pearson has been writing about Illinois politics for at least a decade, and he's generally considered to be a fair and decent reporter. I'm a little biased, as in 2002, I submitted a question to Pearson that not only got me invited into the studio audience of the final gubernatorial debate between eventual victor
Democrat Rod Blagojevich and Republican Jim Ryan, but he used my question too.
"Blago" is running for re-election this year, he's being challenged by feisty Republican Judy Baar Topinka.
Today Pearson unloaded a stink bomb in the Chicago Tribune. In his column, Rick wrote about the 34 city tour that the Republican party statewide ticket kicked off last week in Springfield. The tour will focus on that forgotten "corner" of the state: that part of Illinois south of Interstate 80, better known as "Downstate."
Up until about 10 years ago, heavily Democratic Cook County was counterbalanced by the Republican suburbs and Republican Downstate. The latter two aren't as "Red" as they used to be, and Illinois is now a "deep blue" state.
So focusing on Downstate makes a lot of sense for the GOP here.
Rick Pearson isn't so sure, as he wrote today. Free registration required:
Topinka said Blagojevich's treatment of the Downstate region was "rather shabby" and said her tour, which winds up Thursday in DuPage County, was meant to "go back out there and say, `Look, you count.'"
"There is something more than just the city of Chicago and Cook County," said Topinka, who lives in Riverside. "These are very important--God knows I love them dearly--but you know, it's like a mother with many children, you love all of them, and you have to bring everybody in."
Still, Illinois' political history is littered with candidates who stumbled while trying to strike the right symbolic note in their appeal to Downstate voters.
Topinka chose to launch her bus tour at the historic train depot where Abraham Lincoln delivered his farewell to Springfield en route to assuming the presidency. And we all know how Lincoln returned to Springfield.
Huh? What the heck is that supposed to mean? I'm sure Pearson didn't mean that Judy will return to Springfield as a hero, as Lincoln did.
New Ruberry posting rule: Anonymous comments, the "other anonymous" excepted, will be deleted. See my most recent Wal-Mart post below for a detailed explanation for my decision. Also, keep in mind, the sister blog to this one has a checkered history in regards to anonymous posters.