My car was Ilya-bombed last week. I left it out of the garage for an hour or so and came back to quite a scene. It looked like my car had been in an accident with the truck of the guy who prints the Ilya lit and all of it was wasted because I already voted for John Tree.
I picked up one of the mailers and read, stopping to laugh at the Howard Dean quote about IL-10 candidate, Ilya Sheyman, "dedicating his life to ...." It's sort of a reach to talk about one dedicating a life when you're talking about a 25 year old. Nonsense. It just makes Dean look foolish.
When I was field trained, I learned that you're supposed to stay away from cars and mailboxes.
Brad Schneider's got my mailbox more than covered--what with at least three mailings each week--but he is doing it legally with all his AIPCA Israel first and foremost money.
Vivek also has a mailer to which I awarded the Golden E earlier this week. Vivek's a nice guy with a lot of policy ideas and a good eye for campaign lit style, but he hasn't got a prayer of beating Bob Dold.
So who does?
John Tree can beat Bob Dold, plain and simple. He's not bombing everyone with lit, but he has a progressive message for the base and appeals to the middle with his business and military background. He's an affable guy who is easy to talk to and he's lived a life with ups and downs and has learned a few things along the way. He's the kind of guy you'd want to represent you because he does represent you.
Tree did great in all the candidate forums and will beat Dold in any debate. Dold won't be able to use the old Mark Kirk arguments that were used against pre-Dan candidates because they just don't exist against Tree. Dold can't call Tree weak on defense and he can't call him inexperienced.
Brad thinks he can win with the Israel message because it worked for Kirk, but I don't think so. For starters, most of the people who vote based on the Israel issue, who like Brad, believe that all US policy decisions, both foreign and domestic, should first take Israel into account, probably already vote Republican. Then, you have to consider all the people for whom Brad's donations to Mark Kirk, Mike Johanns, Mike Rogers and Bill Bennett are a non-starter. Even if you can argue that the media supported the notion that Mark Kirk was a moderate, Johanns, Rogers and Bennett are anti-women, anti-civil rights, and way out there on the right.
Then, Brad has to temper his core and most natural message for the people it offends, so his message is really mixed, to some, Israel all the way, and to others, caring about the economy, jobs and women's issues. It's hard to know what Brad is really saying or where Brad will stand if he actually got to Congress. Bottom line is that while Brad could win the primary, he's not all that electable against Dold.
Ilya's argument is that the district has changed, and if Dan Seals had this new district, he would have won. That, of course, assumes that everyone who voted for Dan will vote for Ilya and that assumption is making a huge leap with little evidence to support it. I know a lot of former core Dan Seals supporters who are not in Ilya's base. A lot of Dan's base was in our now lost Cook County part of the district (Dan always has a lot of New Trier support in both hard working activists and campaign contributions). It's also hard to see Ilya pulling much from the middle. Ilya has a lot of progressive groups from out of the district and a lot of kids with time on their hands to lit-bomb my car. That does not mean he has a lot of voters in the district.
So, if Democrats want to win in November, they really need to think hard about those Brad and Ilya votes. Just because those two got into the race early on does not mean they can go all the way. It's ok to change your mind now. There's good reason to do so if you want to win.