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Friday · March 05 2004

Last night's Senate debate for the Democratic primary:

  • Maria Pappas is an embarrassing candidate with one soundbite she repeats over and over: If we want to change Washington, we need to change the sort of person we are sending there. While that may be true, I'd prefer to send someone who knows the difference between a taxicab and public transportation, presents herself with some degree of polish, and doesn't bring up conversations she had 10 minutes ago in the ladies' room as a good dish of gossip on Blair Hull. Whenever she spoke, I wanted to hide under the covers.
  • Blair Hull has no political experience and $400 million dollars. He sees this as his selling point. He barely scratched any issues and used his airtime to discuss his financial independence and slam Obama and Hynes because they accept contributions. No question Hull is a genius businessman, but he lacks heart. There's no empathy between him and his audience. He comes off as a political amateur with alot of personal baggage and the cash to sell any line his well paid research team finds.
  • I like Gery Chico and I'm not sure why his campaign doesn't have more momentum. He speaks confidently and has the requisite political polish. Because Hull was jabbing with Obama and Hynes on the I'm rich/I'm poor issue, Chico didn't get the same amount of camera time and was somewhat forgotten. One issue that Chico separated himself from the field on was gay marriage. He believes that noone should be denied the right to the state issued document of a marriage license. The other candidates followed the more accepted, centrist position of favoring civil unions, but against a constitutional amendment.
  • Obama and Hynes are virtually indistinguishable on issues. They are the anti-Blair Hull choice. Hynes and Obama are both young state politicians with bright futures. Neither took a shot at one another, instead focusing on attacking Blair Hull and defending their own records of civil service. Dan Hynes is self-deprecating and has a geeky charm, while Barack Obama spoke with more empathy and sincerity. Obama's finest moment was his response to Hull's attack on corporate contributions. Obama explained that he chose a life of civil service, not a persual of wealth when he graduated college. He respects Hull's business success, but he (Obama) has been serving the people in the community and as a legislator and that is his path.
I would be happy if Chico, Hynes, or Obama win the nomination and I'm not yet sure which of the three I'm going to vote for. I might vote for Hull in the general election if he gets the nomination, and lets not think about the possibility of Pappas winning.

Phil Ponce of Chicago Tonight ran a tough debate. He was unwilling to let any of the candidates evade questions and rebuked them when they fell into giving speeches (as Hull is wont to do). Ponce took it right at Blair and made him squirm several times. Ponce is a sharp guy and a quick thinker, though he's probably too curt for the national stage.

Archived: Political » March 2004
What you had to say:
March 05 2004

I am Ponce fan from way back. So elegant even though they took his show away....
So are you a registered Dem J?

March 05 2004

Maybe I'm not remembering right, but I thought they ask you at the polling place which party's primary you are going to vote in and then hand you the appropriate ballot. I don't think you have to be registered for the party ahead of time. In any case, I'll be voting in the Democratic primary.

March 05 2004

Ditto on Ponce. He always asks the tough questions. I wish HE'D interviewed Daley on Chicago Tonight a couple years ago instead of that, Bob "'preciate it" Sirott. Sirott's good with the celebs. Ponce's good with the spinners and people who try to go on long tirades or speeches ... but he's also really good on Artbeat. The only thing that turns me off about Hynes is that Schulter, Daley and the rest of the goons are endorsing. Whenever that happens, I get nervous. I don't like it when a precinct captain tells me who Daley wants me voting for. I like Obama and Chico pretty much equally.

March 05 2004

That's a good point about Hynes, Bob. For that exact reason, I came into the debate not wanting to like Hynes, but I couldn't help liking his personality.

My superficial, personal take on Chico, Obama, and Hynes that doesn't have much to do with them being senator:
Chico is the guy I would want as a boss. He seems like he'd be great to work for.
Obama is the guy I'd want to have a serious conversation with. He's smart, sincere, and believable.
Hynes is the guy I want as a neighbor. He's likeable, has a good sense of humor, and seems the type to always help out in a pinch.

March 05 2004

But regardless of whether it's ahead of time or not you do have to register as one party or the other to vote in the primaries in this state correct? You can't vote as an independent right?

March 05 2004

Correct. You go in and get one ballot or the other. There's no combination of both in the primary election.

I don't think of it as registering, really. Nothing prevents you from switching one year to the next. Just that for any given primary election, you can only pick candidates from one of the parties.

March 05 2004

Thanks for the roundup on the debate. Unless a Chicago show is aired on WGN or PBS, we don't usually get it down here in Springfield. I'm not surprised by your remarks on Hull. The guy is heavily advertised downstate. I can't help but think that's his personal reaction to downstate always whining about Chicago Dems not paying attention down here. I dunno. It's like he's catering to us on that level only or something. Of course, he can afford to advertise heavily anywhere. Pappas TV ads just showed up this week here. Hynes TV ads showed up this week, or maybe it was last. Unfortunately, I haven't seen any Chico or Obama ads here yet. I'm not saying TV ads are the only way downstate can be informed on the election, especially now with the web. But, it'll be interesting to see what the downstate numbers are after the primary. Usually, whoever advertises the most downstate, wins downstate. At least, that's been my impression. And, that's not to say if someone wins downstate, that they'll win the state. Wow. I'm really rambling now. Thanks again for the roundup.

March 05 2004

Hey, wow. I would add something here, but I pretty much agree with what everyone else has ever said. I was very impressed with Ponce's role as moderator. And I had the same impression of the candidates as Jason did, but I like Obama for his academic appeal. I guess the republicans were debating at the same time? Didn't even know, so I have no clue what IL republicans are fielding...

© 2004 Jason Keglovitz