Friday, July 16, 2004

“You heard it here first.”

Dave Addiis of The Virginian-Pilot weighs in on Illinois Senate Race:
By saying no, ''Da Coach'' avoids a bear of a rival
[W]hat likely scared Ditka off was a peek across the line of scrimmage at his opponent: a cool, tested, whip-smart black state legislator named Barack Obama.

Wednesday, on my favorite sports show, ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption,” host Tony Kornheiser of The Washington Post was having fun at Ditka’s expense, chiding him for not running.

“Who’s gonna vote for a guy named Obama?” he laughed, certain that voters would confuse Ditka’s opponent with a guy named Osama. Even Kornheiser’s co-host, the well-tuned and Afro-centric columnist Mike Wilbon, showed no sign of knowing who Barack Obama is. And Wilbon is from Chicago.

But Republican politicos know who Obama is. They have an edgy eye on him, even as he rises from Chicago precinct politics to take his first steps on the national stage.
All those AM-radio mouth-breathers and Internet conspiracy geeks keep harping that Hillary Clinton is the threat that the GOP will face on future ballots. But Republicans whose brains are larger than their tongues, the serious players out there, understand that their real threat is likely to be somebody like Obama.

Notice that the Democrats gave Obama the premier convention speakers’ slot. Hillary got bupkis.

“Who’s gonna vote for a guy named Obama?” Kornheiser asked. The answer is that a lot of us might well face that option eight to 12 years from now, when that name shows up as a candidate for vice-president or president.

As Kornheiser himself likes to say, “You heard it here first.”


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