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02/01/2010

Monday Morning Quarterback

  Since it is Superbowl week, how about this football analogy to break down the democratic primary race for governor:

  The Dan Hynes team used a trick play to score a touchdown, grabbing the lead late in the fourth quarter.   With two minutes to go, the Pat Quinn offense has the ball and is making big play after big play.  

  They've driven deep into the Hynes red zone with only seconds remaining.

  Did 'Team Danny' leave too much time on the clock?

  The "trick play" was the Harold Washington ad that was released on Thursday, January 21st.  The 60-second commercial, featuring an over 22 year old interview with the late mayor questioning Quinn's competence "from the grave" ,sent the Governor's campaign a-reeling.

  But by last Monday, Quinn had mustered all the African-American elected officials and others who had already endorsed him to come to his defense.  The "cavalry" included three U.S. Congressmen and the Reverends Jesse Jackson and James Meeks.  They decried the Hynes ad as "divisive" and called on black voters to repudiate the son of Tom Hynes, who was a relentless opponent of the iconic Washington, Chicago's first African-American mayor. (will the "rescue" work? See my Jan 29th post)

  Then Quinn ran off a string of "official" appearances announcing 1200 new jobs at the southside Ford plant, a major construction project (4000 jobs) to rebuild a section of Wacker Drive and a $1.2 billion appropriation to begin building a high speed rail corridor between Chicago and St. Louis.

   Finally, the governor was giddy about my colleague Chuck Goudie's report that Dan Hynes' Comptroller's office was aware of unearthed human remains at Burr Oak cemetery as long ago as 2003 or 2004.  For the governor's spin doctors, the I-Team's documents spoke of Hynes' "negligence" as well as Harold Washington's "ghost" spoke of Quinn's "incompetence".

  More than one political junkie is wondering today what might have happened if the Hynes campaign had dropped the Washington ad a week later.

  Team Quinn would have had a lot less time to mount a comeback. 

  

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