Barack Obama may not be able to spell respect, but Jim Oberweis doesn’t know how to show it–to Illinois voters. The Republican front-runner in the contest to see who will face Dick Durbin in the fall says he is “too busy” in Springfield to debate his primary opponent, Doug Truax, who is younger, more telegenic, more informed on healthcare issues, and is not (unlike Oberweis) a gaffe machine.
Well, if the five-time electoral loser Oberweis is so committed to his job in the state legislature–his first elective office–then why is he running for the U.S. Senate after only two years? That shows little respect for the constituents who kindly elected him. And why is he refusing to debate Truax even once? That shows little respect for Republican voters, who deserve to see both men side by side. And why did he go to Florida this week while the rest of the state battles the snow? He’s too busy to debate but not too busy for a late-winter vacation in the sun and sand? That shows little respect for our intelligence.
Apparently he thinks this is all wrapped up. That shows little respect for the process. And he has the temerity to present himself as “humble” in a new radio ad!
If Oberweis the dairy magnate wins the primary on Tuesday (based on his superior money and name recognition), he will still lose the election to the polished Durbin, who is nothing if not a loyal Democratic Party hack. But that will be all right. Oberweis has declared that his Sunshine State condo is his primary residence, not his home in Illinois. So all I can say to Oberweis, who doesn’t have the sense to know he is unelectable, is this: Take your ice cream to Florida, and don’t let the door hit you in the rear end on the way out.