So we have a gubernatorial election in Illinois this Tuesday. The biggest question I have about is: why do we have a "guBernatorial" election to select a "goVernor?" Seems an odd bit of syntax to me.
You might be able to tell that I am none too excited about this election. Our current governor, Rod "His Hair Was Perfect" Blagojevich is the beneficiary of the fact that the Illinois Republican Party is still in a complete and total shambles. Blago's been governor for four years already and hasn't accomplished much. His one accomplishment, creating "open road tollways" (where tolls are paid electronically so you don't have to stop) shows how large his ego is. While it's convenient to not have to slow down and go through toll lanes, all twenty open road areas have huge signs above them that say "Open Road Tolling-Rod R. Blagojevich, Governor." Each sign cost nineteen thousand dollars. Maybe Blago thinks that he'll never get bounced out of office because the taxpayers of Illinois won't want to pay to change the signs.
The Republican nominee is a piece of work in her own mind. Judy "Two Packs a Day" Baar Topinka has been the state treasurer for the last decade or so, and is pretty much the only Republican who has been able to hold statewide office since George Ryan brought the entire party down. She's pretty much the nominee by default, and she offers nothing more than being the "anti-Blagojevich." She also has the personality of a turnip.
There's no way Blagojevich is going to lose this election. Blah. Neither offers much of a future for this state. Both have waged an incredibly negative campaign. Blago has run ads since early spring that end with the tag line "What's she thinking?" usually while showing Topinka hanging out with George Ryan. Not to be undone, Topinka has run plenty of ads comparing Blago to Ryan. Aren't politics wonderful? A GOP candidate thinks her best chance to win is by comparing her opponent to another member of her own party.
I'm voting for neither. Rich Whitney of the Green Party is getting my vote. If he is lucky, he will get ten percent of the vote. He deserves more, if only for the fact that he is neither Blagojevich or Topinka.
I have hope, though, and I have aplan. I think it is ridiculous that everyone wants Barack Obama to run for president in 2008. What qualifies him? And more importantly, who wants to follow George W. Bush into the White House? It's going to take a haz-mat administration to clean up the mess he has made. Why the rush for President Obama? He's 43. Why have his political career end by 2016? It makes no sense. 2008 is not his time.
Obama's term in the US Senate expires in 2010, which happens to be the next guBernatorial election in Illinois. Surely, Balgojevich will have worn out his welcome here by then and there will be no chance for a third term. Obama ought to run for Illinois governor in 2010. He'd win easily, and the electorate in this country seems to be a lot more comfortable electing governors than senators. Depending on who wins the White House in 2008, Obama can run for president in 2012 or 2016 (if 2016, he'd be re-elected governor in 2014). I like Obama a lot, but he needs more time and experience. He's the type of guy who needs to be involved in the arena for a long time.
One can only hope.