Friday, June 25, 2004

Dated June 25, 2004, 1:00 am, revised June 27, 11:15 pm.

The Daley Tribune Combine—The longest night [Hmmm, Kass has talked about Mayor Daley having to worry about that guy-- RICO. Wonder if the Tribune also is worried about that guy RICO. Now, this is a Combine even Kass hasn't talked about.

The ABC, Ch. 7 local Chicago news reported on its 10:00 pm Thursday newscast that Illinois Republican leaders in the Nation’s Capitol have decided that U. S. Attorney [for the Northern District of Illinois] Patrick Fitzgerald should replace Jack Ryan as the Repulican Candidate for the United States Senate Seat. ABC forgot to identify who they were referencing as Illinois’ R leaders in the Capitol. I suppose it could be House Speaker Dennis Hastert [who apparently oversaw a 10-0 Illinois congressional delegation vote that favored Jack Ryan withdrawing from the Senate Race]. Speaker Hastert also fought tooth and nail Senator Fitzgerald’s right, essentially, to nominate the U. S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois [and ultimately Sen. Fitzgerald's choice was Patrick Fitzgerald-no relation to Peter and an outsider from New York].

If Kerry/Obama win, it would not look so good for Obama to go along with Democratic [especially Mayor Daley's] desire to replace U. S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. After all, Barack has said he favored keeping Patrick in his US Attorney job. If Bush/? Win, it would not look so good for Rauschenberger, Gidwitz, Thompson and/or Hastert to quickly replace Fitz. Rauschenberger is already on record as saying Fitz should stay. And, given Fitz's Record, the other Rs would find it troublesome to oust him-- Fitz is no Jack. So, the boys downtown come up with an even better plan. Put Patrick Fitzgerald up as the U. S. Senate Republican candidate in place of Jack and Mayor Daley’s greatest nemeses, Patrick Fitzgerald and Peter Fitzgerald, are removed in one fell swoop. And, the establishment wing of the Ds and Rs couldn't be happier. You have to admire the chutzpah of the Daley/Tribune Combine. George Ryan is gone, but the Combine lives on. Kass, take note, please.

BTW, years ago, perhaps in 1999-2000, when Jack was thinking of running in the 10th CD primary, maybe even before-- Jack told me he did not know whether he had the necessary mettle or necessary toughness to run and win political office. Now, that is a question I would like to see answered. Perhaps Thursday night's the night. Jack is apparently mulling it over whether to Hold or Fold. Hard to know, using one of Jack's favorite phrases, why he would fold? Doesn't have the necessary mettle? Or, could the Party Brass turn up the heat in the kitchen even more?

Jeff Berkowitz, host and producer of Public Affairs, can be recached at JBCG@