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06/18/2010

Bush-Whacked?

"The best thing the Quinn campaign has going for it is the Brady campaign."

  Those are the words of Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, the chairman of the State Democratic Party, spoken to a cluster of reporters last month in Springfield at the end of the regular legislative session.  The quote came to mind as I sat in the Chicago City Club Thursday watching republican gubernatorial nominee Senator Bill Brady introduce his latest endorser.

  Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.

  That's right.  Bush. 

  As in George W.

  There we sat in the bluest city in one of the bluest states in the country watching Brady pal around with a guy whose first and last names make democrats see red.

  To be sure, Jeb is no George.  Senator Brady pointed out that during Jeb's two terms as Florida governor (1999-2007)the younger Bush is credited with stabilizing the sunshine state's pension system which Brady says desperately needs to be done in Illinois.

  But there's no escaping the reality that democrats in Illinois and around the country count the Jebster as a major player in the Florida GOP cabal that "stole" the 2000 Presidential election from Al Gore and set the stage for George W. Bush's two terms in the White House.  The rest is history that includes 9-11, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the financial industry collapse and the "Great Recession".

  Governor Pat Quinn jumped on the Jeb endorsement like Paul Konerko on an 80 miles per hour fastball down the middle.  At a northside news conference later Thursday, he connected Brady to "failed" George W. Bush economic policies that drove the country "into a ditch".

  Brady appeared not to worry that the Bush name lost its magic in Illinois a long time ago.  George H.W. Bush used Ronald Reagan's leftover gas to win the state's electoral votes in the 1988 presidential election but Bill Clinton carried the state by an overwhelming margin in 1992.  George W. Bush, in his two successful runs for the White House nationally, lost Illinois by decisive margins in both 2000 and 2004.

  Democrats hold a large majority among registered voters in Illinois.  Bill Brady absolutely will need some of their votes to win the fall election.

  For Governor Quinn and his party's leaders, Jeb Bush is just the guy they were looking for...

  ....to help keep the democratic base intact.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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