First, it is my understanding that there was some form of election to determine who would represent the GOP against the Democratic candidate for the 14th. Therefore, I believe, the people's candidates should stand for election. Although there is a claim to be made that the Milk Dud was finally able to buy a Republican nomination, it's not as if the Öbermensch was an unknown quantity -- he may have bought the nomination, but GOP voters in the 14th knew exactly who they sold it to.
Maybe I'm naively populist, but when the voters have spoken, I think it is corrupting for party "leadership" to undermine the will of the people as expressed at the ballot box. Forcing the Ice Cream Headache out would be too much like the Clinton endgame, i.e. forget the voters, we know who should represent our party.
That kind of anti-(small 'd')emocratic, back-room nonsense is wrong for the Democrats in their presidential primary and would be wrong for the GOP in the 14th. I'm anti-party boss, regardless of the party.
Second, it is too late to start a campaign for a new GOP candidate from scratch.
The first problem is the calendar, i.e. there just aren't enough days before November to heal the intra-party wounds that would be inflicted by forcing JimOb out. If he was unable to continue, the various factions of the GOP might rally around the new candidate for stepping into the breach. As it stands, a new candidate would have to conduct three hyper-intense campaigns simultaneously:
- A campaign for backing from Oberweis voters and supporters, and
- A campaign for funding from the cash-strapped Republican national party, and
- A campaign for district swing votes in November.
And a late reboot would have the GOP milling its seed corn. Any candidate who is meritorious enough to be even remotely viable in this race with so much going against him is simply too good to be thrown away by tossing him into the race with so much going against him. Losing in November with Jim Oberweis is certainly a better option for the Republicans than losing in November with a candidate who could someday amount to something.
In addition: 1) The term is only two years, the GOP's next shot at Foster is right around the corner, and 2) the 2010 off-year election is likely to take place with a Democrat in the White House, increasing the vulnerability of Cong. Foster, see e.g. 1994 Congressional Election.
So as a progressive Democrat, my advice to the Republicans is as follows:
- Expend what ever time, political capital and good will it takes to force Jim Oberweis out of the race,
- Identify a "future star" to slate as the candidate (one who doesn't live in the district would be ideal),
- Put all of your eggs in the 14th District basket by identifying it the most important contest in November and by pouring cash and resources into the race, and
- Rent a big ball room for the victory celebration.