Tuesday, August 03, 2004

IL-GOP's best hope against Barack Obama

First, lets look at the facts facing the Illinois Republican party:

  1. The GOP cannot win the race for Illinois' U.S. Senate spot.
  2. The GOP is willing to consider nearly any candidate -- Ditka and Keyes (but not Oberweis) -- to avoid a blow-out victory by Barack Obama.
  3. The GOP seems to believe that Barack Obama might be vulnerable to a challenge by another African-American, see: Keyes and Andrea Grubb Barthwell.
  4. The GOP needs to broaden its appeal to women.
  5. The GOP CANNOT win the race for Illinois' U.S. Senate spot.

So what is the IL-GOP to do? I say: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

No, I am not saying the GOP should fold up its tent and get out of Barack Obama's way.

Instead, I propose that they offer up their own African-American Harvard law grad who works for the University of Chicago. I suggest that they nominate a candidate that Barack Obama has worked with in the past and for whom he has expressed nothing but the deepest respect. I propose that the Illinois Republican Party take a page out of the Shaw brothers' play-book.

The Illinois Republican Party should nominate Michelle Obama for the United States Senate.

Let us now take a look at the qualities that Michelle Obama would bring to the Senate race for the IL-GOP:

  • Like Jack Ryan, Michelle Obama has a Harvard law degree and no legislative history for the Democrats to attack.
  • Like Mike Ditka, Michelle Obama would be a very charismatic wild-card and the "Obama" name is recognized state-wide.
  • Like Andrea Grubb Barthwell, Michelle Obama would appeal to African-Americans and women, constituents to whom the GOP needs to reach out to effectively challenge Barack Obama.
  • Like Steve Rauschenberger, Michelle Obama has worked with Barack Obama in the past and he has great respect for her and her abilities.
  • Unlike other Republican hopefuls, Michelle Obama has experience regularly debating with someone as intelligent and well-spoken as Barack Obama.
  • Unlike other Republican hopefuls, Michelle Obama could draw votes from Democrats and undecided voters.
  • And perhaps most important of all, Michelle Obama is happily married,so she will not suffer the fate of Barack Obama's previous opponents, i.e., embarrassing revelations from a messy divorce file.
I have heard Michelle Obama speak on many occasions during this election cycle and the Illinois Republicans would be fools not to try to put such a bright, charismatic and talented person at the top of their ticket.

What is the worst that could happen? That she join the countless others that have turned down the opportunity be the GOP Senate nominee? At this point, what's one more rejection?



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