Friday, December 02, 2005

That Other Watson Comes Into His Own

Yes. I know I am slowly digging my way out of a news deficit, but a few stories in particular come to mind.

Polypundit Jeff Berkowitz seems convinced that downstate solon Jim Watson may be JBT's lieutenant gubernatorial pick. (Of course, it's the voters, not she, who "pick" the candidate, but with the notable exception of the 1994 Democratic primary, a gubernatorial nominee tends to emerge with his or her choice for the undercard.) Watson, probably the first Desert Storm vet to be elected to the Illinois House of Reps, is serving is only his second full term. Appointed in late 2001, he shares a district with Democrats Deanna DeMuzio and Gary Hannig. However, Watson's relatively prodigious fundraising-he took in nearly $80,000 in the first six months of this year-indicates that he may harbor ambitions for higher office.

The state party has already figured out that racial pandering doesn't work. The little known Watson would bring geographic balance to the ticket, but his famous surname could help or hinder him, and his lack of experience could make him an easy target, particularly when contrasted with Quinn's years of (putative) civic devotion. It would be easy to convince voters that Watson was chosen purely for reasons purely geographic-not because of his own merit. Such a run would end his career, and diminish JBT's shot at the governor's office. Perhaps the ideal solution would be to revive Carl Hawkinson-a downstater who could go-and went-tit for tat with Quinn on everything, admittedly not enough to propel J-Ry into the governor's office, but, Topinka balances the ticket in a way our former AG did not. For Watson's sake and yours, madam, um, Gov-make that Treasurer, please don't do it.

In an old(but still prescient) post at Illinoize, Illinoize, Sammy Esposito analyzes some of the editorial dynamics, so to speak, of Quigley vs Claypool, many of which are equally prominent in the GOP gubernatorial primary. (I.e., some have asserted that the Trib is devoted to JBT, but Rauschy is a reliable favorite with the editorial boards.) Check it out.


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