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Mark Kirk's Illinois Win Makes Obama's Bad Night Worse

Talk about rubbing salt in the wound. Try as he might, President Obama couldn't even keep his old Senate seat in Democratic hands. And he did try, making appearances in Chicago for the Democrat.

But Republican Rep. Mark Kirk, won the seat anyway, in an exceedingly tight race between the GOP nominee and Alexi Giannoulias the Democrat, both of whom turned off many voters.

With 97 percent of the vote counted in Illinois, Kirk had 48.4 percent of the vote compared with Giannoulias' 46 percent. The small lead flipped as votes were counted during the evening.

The victory in Illinois bring the Republican pickups to six of the ten seats they need to gain a majority in the Senate.

And it leaves the president looking even more badly wounded than he did after losing the Democratic House majority that helped him pass his agenda evaporated and became a Republican majority. And that's saying something.

Of course, once the recriminations really get under way, a significant amount of the blame for the lost seat will go to Rod Blagojevich, the former Democratic governor, whose dubious way of filling the seat after Obama won the White House helped to set the loss in motion.

If Blagojevich, who faces a federal retrial on corruption charges related to allegations he essentially tried to auction the seat to the highest bidder, had allowed his successor to fill the seat, the Democrats likely would have had a better than even chance to hold onto the seat.

Pat Quinn, Blago's successor, is known as a reformer which would have given his choice an advantage.

Instead, Blago picked long-time Illinois politico Roland Burris the senator. And unfortunately for Democrats, Burris was tainted by that as well as the suspicion, never proven, that he offered to raise campaign money for Blago in the hopes of getting the seat.

So it's just one more thing for Illinois Democrats to be furious at Blago about. Not that he will will much care, at least, publicly.

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