If I were a Democratic precinct committeeman in the Illinois 17th Congressional District I would not be asking potential candidates how much money they raised in their last race or whether they had the backing of party leaders in Springfield or Chicago. Those are things the county chairmen are impressed by when they make a selection. But the county chairman are not going to have any more say this time than any other precinct committeeman. If I were a committeeman I would go to the candidate forums being organized by Don Johnston, Mary Boland and John Gianulis looking for someone I could get excited about the way John Kennedy and Lane Evans excited me and the way Barak OBama excites me now. I would want to vote for someone who seemed to care about more than just raising money and getting elected.
The news media and Ray LaHood are trying to convince us that the national Republican Party is going to be pouring money into this race and bringing in party heavyweights to help Andrea Zinga. If I remember correctly early in the campaigns of 2000, 2002 and 2004 such things were said but it never happened. Perhaps it will happen this time now that it is an open seat. Whether it does or not the Democrats are not going to win by nominating someone who gives voters the impression that he/she will do or say anything to get elected.
In the 2004 presidential primary I voted for John Kerry not because I liked him best but because I thought he would have the best chance in the general election. I was wrong. If the precinct committeemen vote for a candidate that does not excite them but because someone in the newspaper or some party heavyweight tells them raising money is the most important thing they will be making the same mistake I made in 2004.