Monday, October 18, 2010



Below is an excerpted note I sent to two friends of mine who would probably not support Pat Quinn on philosophical/policy grounds, but who are supporting him largely because he is a friend and fellow Fenwick alum, but also because they aren't comfortable with Bill Brady. As I point out in this note, I have no problem with supporting people for these reasons; I have done the same thing in the past and would have few qualms about doing so in the future; I am, after all, from the 19th Ward in which, as in many other wards and quarters, personal loyalty and friendship count for more than governing philosophy, especially since most politicians treat their self-proclaimed governing philosophies like so much used kleenex once in office. But, since I am not a friend of Pat (no relation) Quinn, and couldn’t possibly be further from him philosophically, I am supporting Bill Brady. Also, a relative whom I consider an especially close friend is close to Brady…so there you go.


I have to disagree with you guys both on Brady's prospects and on his qualifications. Admittedly, he's not the brightest bulb in the chandelier, but he's no Sarah Palin. He's actually run a business, and did so successfully until the housing bust. I'm much more comfortable with guys with private sector business experience, or even public sector experience at the operational/managerial level, than I am with career politicians. I didn't vote for Brady in the primary (I voted for Andrzejewski, who had more extensive and successful private sector experience, was far more libertarian in his outlook, and who never held office in his life.), but I'll support Brady in the general. I certainly can't blame you for supporting Pat Quinn, since he's a friend. I supported my next door neighbor in Beverly, Ellis Reid, for an Illinois Supreme Court seat because he was a friend. But I've met Quinn only a few times and, while I enjoyed his company, he's not a friend of mine. So it gets down to policy and philosophy, and I couldn't be further from Pat Quinn on policy and philosophy. I also don't like the degree of comfort he seems to have reached with power and the old way of doing things, but I've blogged on that extensively.

I think the race will tighten up, first, because this is a Democratic state and, second, the Quinn people are going to hammer Brady on his conservative Catholic views on social issues, hoping to scare the suburbanites. But, while it's possible, I can't see Quinn winning with the state in the financial shape it's in, his association with Blagojevich (think Ford in '76, doomed through his association with Nixon, which was tenuous at best, as is Quinn's with Blago, but politics not only ain't beanbag, it isn't always fair, either), and his seemingly unbridled faith in the efficacy of government in an election year when hyperactive government is very much out of favor.

Still, watch Cohen. (See my 9/5/10 post “I’M ALFRED E. NEUMAN, AND I’M VOTING FOR SCOTT LEE COHEN”) There is going to be a very large "anyone but Quinn" vote for the reasons I enumerated above, and if enough people are scared off by Brady's social views, Cohen may take enough votes from Brady to hand it to Quinn. Remember, people have short memories; 42% of voters, according to one poll, had never heard of Cohen a month ago, despite his being February's big story. But I don't think it will be that close; Brady will really have to screw up to lose this one. He's certainly capable of that, but he's going to be playing too defensively and carefully to commit a big gaffe. He IS smart enough to avoid one of those...I think.

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