Thursday, March 30, 2006

Rod is Up for Judy. Is Topinka Up for Blagojevich?

Usually when a pol is behind her opponent in a poll, the pol who is trailing can’t wait to debate the leader. The leader in the poll, on the other hand, can’t be found when the debate discussion heats up. In an unusual role reversal, discussed here, the incumbent Democratic Governor, Rod Blagojevich, who was leading by seven points in the most recent one on one match up poll with his challenger, moderate Republican Judy Baar Topinka, seems to be chomping at the bit to debate Judy, and Judy can’t be found.

First, Blago challenged Topinka to ten debates. Team Blagojevich said today in a press release, “The Topinka campaign so far has rejected that offer.”

Second, Team Blagojevich announced today that it has:

Accepted an invitation to appear on WMAQ-TV’s City Desk on April 28 and urged Topinka to join Blagojevich there for a face to face exchange on the issues.

“The issues facing the people of Illinois are too important to wait to discuss,” said Blagojevich lead campaign spokesman Doug Scofield. “I hope Judy Baar Topinka will accept Dick Kay’s invitation to appear on City Desk alongside Gov. Blagojevich. The ball is in her court. All it takes is for her to tell Dick Kay – yes.” [Ed. Note: Scofield did not discuss why the Governor, who was too busy governing to debate his primary opponent, now has time on his hands. But, maybe Judy will want to ask that during the debate.]

So far, Team Topinka has been unavailable to Public Affairs for comment on this issue and as of COB, today, Team Topinka had not agreed to play ball with Team Blagojevich on the NBC-5 News City Desk set.

Kay’s discussions with candidates in this kind of a debate format are usually informal and informative. The voters are anxious to see a clash of ideas, programs and solutions, as debated and discussed by Blagojevich and Topinka, with Kay serving as the honest broker.

Dick Kay is retiring June 1, 2007. I am sure Dick is anxious to be in the thick of things just one more time before he rides off into the sunset.

This situation reminds me of when Pittsburgh Steeler QB Terry Bradshaw was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Bradshaw said he yearned to place his hands under his center’s butt just one more time, and take that snap.

Kay, I am sure, wants to kick off a Gubernatorial election season with a debate on City Desk, just one more time.

What will Team Topinka do? Make Dick Kay’s Day?
This is one time in which the voters will say it is OK for Judy to play ball with another pol.

What will Topinka do? Play Ball? Opening Day is just around the corner.

Rod is Up for Judy. Is Topinka Up for Blagojevich?

Inquiring minds want to know.
Stay tuned.