Tea Party Victory Shakes Up New York Politics Tea Party favorite Carl Paladino took the GOP by surprise when he won the Republican gubernatorial nomination in New York's 2010 primary. A real estate developer, Paladino has vowed to serve only one term if elected governor. Paladino joins NPR political editor Ken Rudin to discuss his priorities and the midterm elections.
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Tea Party Victory Shakes Up New York Politics

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Tea Party Victory Shakes Up New York Politics

Tea Party Victory Shakes Up New York Politics

Tea Party Victory Shakes Up New York Politics

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Tea Party favorite Carl Paladino took the GOP by surprise when he won the Republican gubernatorial nomination in New York's 2010 primary. A real estate developer, Paladino has vowed to serve only one term if elected governor. Paladino joins NPR political editor Ken Rudin to discuss his priorities and the midterm elections.


Lisa Murkowski teaches Alaska to spell her name. Hawaii Democrats cast their fates to Abercrombie, and Bill Maher enchants Christine O'Donnell.

Ms. CHRISTINE O'DONNELL (Republican Senatorial Candidate, Delaware): I dabbled into witchcraft. I never joined a coven.

CONAN: It's Wednesday and time for a Satanic altar edition of the Political Junkie.

President RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.

Former Vice President WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad. Where's the beef?

Former Senator BARRY GOLDWATER (Republican, Arizona): Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.

Former Senator LLOYD BENTSEN (Democrat, Texas): Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy.

President RICHARD NIXON: You don't have Nixon to kick around anymore.

Former Governor SARAH PALIN (Republican, Alaska): Lipstick.

President GEORGE W. BUSH: But I'm the decider.

(Soundbite of scream)

CONAN: Every Wednesday, NPR political editor Ken Rudin joins us to talk about the week in politics. He's here in New York City with us today. In a bit we'll talk Tea Party with the Republican nominee for governor in the Empire State, Carl Paladino.

The Democrats dispatch the first lady to select states. Elizabeth Warren is in. Larry Summers is out. Later in the program, the reality of climate change in a nation that may be underwater before the century ends.

But first, political junkie Ken Rudin joins us here in our New York bureau. As usual, we begin with a trivia question.

KEN RUDIN: Hi, Neal. Well, okay, here's the trivia question. We're in New York, of course, and there are two Democratic senators on the ballot this year. Chuck Schumer is running for his third term, and Kirsten Gillibrand, she was appointed to the seat that Hillary Clinton gave up to become secretary of State.

So this is kind of a tricky question, but who was the last Democratic senator from New York to be defeated at the polls?

CONAN: If you think you know the answer, give us a call, 800-989-8255. Email us, talk@npr.org, the last Democratic senator from the state of New York to be defeated at the polls. Of course, the winner gets a fabulous no-prize T-shirt in exchange for a promise to take a picture of him- or herself with it on so we post that on our Wall of Shame.

And Ken, you were on the road last week.

RUDIN: I was. I was in the lovely city of St. Louis, and I want to give a little shout-out to the folks at St. Louis Public Radio, KWMU. They were wonderful. The people there are madly in love with public radio.

Barbara Eagleton, the wife of the late Senator Tom Eagleton, opened up her house to us to talk about what's going on at NPR and things like that. And they were great. And wherever I went, and this is true, they always said: I love the Political Junkie segment with you and what's-his-name. And I wanted to share that with you.

(Soundbite of laughter)

CONAN: Ken, it's always such a delight to have you on the program.

RUDIN: Thank you so much.

CONAN: Again, if you think you know the answer to our trivia question this week, 800-989-8255. Email us, talk@npr.org. We're also going to be talking with Carl Paladino about his upstart race for the Republican gubernatorial nod and, well, now for the governor's seat in Albany, 800-989-8255. Email talk@npr.org. Stay with us. It's the Political Junkie from NPR News.

(Soundbite of music)

CONAN: This is TALK OF THE NATION from NPR News. I'm Neal Conan. This week, we're in New York City for the U.N. General Assembly. As usual, we talk politics on Wednesdays. Today, Ken Rudin, NPR's political editor and our political junkie, is with us here in New York City. You can always get more of a fix on his blog at npr.org/junkie, and you can find his ScuttleButton Puzzle there and his All Things Politics podcast.

Today, we've got a trivia question out there. We'll get to those and more of the potpourri in just a minute. But joining us now is Carl Paladino. He's the Republican nominee for governor here in New York, and he joins us from his office in Buffalo.

And Mr. Paladino, congratulations on your winning the primary.

Mr. CARL PALADINO (Republican Gubernatorial Candidate, New York): Well, thank you very much. It's really appreciated. I'm humbled. I'm humbled by it.

CONAN: And what do you think, to what do you attribute your victory over Rick Lazio, the former congressman who was, just a few weeks ago, considered a shoo-in?

Mr. PALADINO: It's the people. It's the message. People want a grounded government. They want a government that's going to be responsible to them. They want a government that's going to deal with the reckless spending, the reckless taxing, the overburdening bureaucracy that throws all these rules and regulations intruding into our businesses and the lives of the people of this state.

They want change. They want an end to corruption. And most importantly, they want to focus on jobs. And our state government, as we've known it, it appears to do everything that it can to scare jobs out of this state.

Well, we're going to put an end to that. We're going to go to Albany, and we aren't tweaking up the government. We're going to go to Albany, and it's going to be somewhat destructive. We're going to restructure the state government into a government that's responsive to the needs of New York state taxpayers. And that's what it's going to be about.

CONAN: We mentioned you were initially thought to be a long shot for the nomination. Immediately afterwards, after the primary election last Tuesday, you were thought to be a long shot for the general election, too, but the latest poll shows you within six points of the Democrat, Andrew Cuomo.

Mr. PALADINO: The people are speaking. They're as soon as they hear our message, they engage with us. The reason is very simple. Andrew -Andrew's just not ringing their bell. Andrew's about the status quo.

Andrew is a poster child for everything that's wrong with our government today. Andrew doesn't have the fortitude to get out there and speak to the issues. He, to this day I mean, it's been eight days since the primary, when we challenged him to debate us in a series of debates.

I think there's 43 days left. We would debate him every day for 43 days so that the people can hear his views, and they can hear our views on the various issues and then let the people make a decision. That's the only fair way to do this.

Andrew shows the people disrespect by not agreeing to debate us. He shows tremendous disrespect by not taking any Q&As. He won't even meet with the press. He reads from a teleprompter when they talk to him.

For God sakes, he just - he doesn't want to engage the people, and the people are no longer letting party rulers tell them what to do. They're going and I'm speaking, this transcends all party labels. This has nothing to do with Republican, Democrat, conservative, whatever, all right? None of that matters. This is the people and the people versus the establishment this year. They're tired of them. They want them gone. They want somebody who's going to take care of business, their business and only their business.


RUDIN: Mr. Paladino, several things. First of all, obviously your nomination says a lot about the state of the Republican Party in New York, which backed a different candidate, Rick Lazio, and even before that, there was somebody else. They backed somebody else. And you had to fight your way by petition to get on the ballot.

Most of the but let me talk a little bit about the media. Most of the coverage I've seen about you since the moment you announced has been pretty harsh and pretty critical and pretty negative, similarly with Christine O'Donnell, another conservative Tea Party person in Delaware, who won the nomination despite everybody else saying that she was -there's no way she's going to win.

What does this say about the role of the media and whether people are seeing - how they see the role of the media when it comes to primaries like your own?

Mr. PALADINO: I think the media has been in denial just like the party regulars have been in denial. They just don't understand that the government that we have today is not what the people want as a government.

They think that three men in a room is okay, and anybody that suggests anything otherwise is outrageous or going against the grain or unfit for public office.

What nonsense that is. You know, the press, especially the young people in the press, they've never seen anything any different than what they experience. They think that our government functions as it should.

Just think about our government today. It's a one-man dictatorship, Sheldon Silver and a couple of plants in a room.

RUDIN: Sheldon Silver being the speaker of the Assembly of New York.

Mr. PALADINO: Yes, and he has a positive in the state that's somewhere down in the 12 to 15 percent range. He announced this morning, I guess, that I read on the Internet that if I'm elected, he's going to leave the state of New York. Well, my God, thank you. We finally communicated.

CONAN: You talked about respect earlier, and Andrew Cuomo's lack of it. You've run an ad showing him taking a mud shower and called him gutless and questioning his manhood. Is that respectful?

Mr. PALADINO: Respectful of a man that tells us he can change his stripes? He's lying to the people. He's a liberal progressive. He's telling the people oh, I'm a new conservative Democrat right now. Hey, this is the same guy that started the meltdown, the subprime meltdown. And here he is 12 years later. His handlers want to tell us, oh, he's matured. He's much smarter now.

This is the guy that said every person in America is going to own a home, all right? I'm going to give you 105 percent mortgages, and you're going to get a discounted interest rate. He never told those poor people that their rates are going to double in three or four or five years because of their adjustable-rate mortgages. He never informed them of that.

And what happened? All those poor people, millions and millions of people lost their homes. And he wants us to forget about that because he's the entitled prince? He's the guy, he's the number one man in the cesspool of Albany? He's orchestrating this entire nonsense. He's pulling out every one of his stooges in Albany to come out and criticize me?

He's pulling them out of the cesspool. Take a look at the people that the press have given, all right, credibility to or tried to give them credibility: Al D'Amato. He's a joke. The man is clearly in the Cuomo camp. He's been a lobbyist now for the last umpteen years. He's all about money. He doesn't have the people's interest at heart.

Ed Koch, Ed Koch is a lobbyist, hello. He gave the largest contribution that you can give to the Cuomos months and months ago.

CONAN: Mike Bloomberg, though, is...

Mr. PALADINO: And you're using him as an objective source?

CONAN: Mike Bloomberg is the mayor of New York, though, and he's expected to endorse Mr. Cuomo today.

Mr. PALADINO: Oh, well, that's just wonderful. And we think it's great for Mr. Cuomo to have Mr. Bloomberg, who sides with him on the mosque issue. I mean, these guys are in another world. They're not standing up for the rights of the American people and the rights of the people of the state of New York. They're not protecting the honor of our soldiers and the honor of our fallen.

Three thousand people died at ground zero. Their families are entitled to a little bit of respect, to respect the memory of those poor people that died there. And how about the families of all those soldiers that died in the two ensuing wars? Aren't they entitled to a little bit of respect - the kids, the wives, the parents?

How sad is that when your public officials only think about politics and make an excuse that it's freedom of religion? How sad is that? And Mr. Bloomberg and Mr. Cuomo, they deserve each other.

CONAN: Mr. Paladino, thank you very much for your time today. Again, congratulations on your nomination last week, and we look forward to seeing what happens in the campaign. We'll obviously try to see if we can get Andrew Cuomo to come on and talk to us, as well.

Mr. PALADINO: Okay, that's fine. Hey, maybe we'll get a little debate going.

CONAN: Okay. Good luck with that, too.

Mr. PALADINO: All right.

CONAN: That's Carl Paladino, the Republican nominee for governor in New York, much against the wishes of the Republican establishment in the state of New York.

RUDIN: What's left of it.

CONAN: What's left of it, the Tea Party candidate. We had Mickey Carroll talking about what's left of it on the program last week.

Ken, it is astonishing that within a week of his nomination, he's within six points of somebody considered a shoo-in for the...

Mr. PALADINO: Well, that's the Quinnipiac poll, and of course, you know, polls have been weird all along. But they have shown very surprising things. I mean, we saw that, you know, Christine O'Donnell was very close to Mike Castle in Delaware, you know, last week in that Senate primary, and all of us said no, that can't be the case. And it certainly was the case. She beat him by four or five points. And that was not supposed to happen.

Do I think that Paladino will run close to Cuomo? Who knows? I mean, who knows about anything? The point is Paladino does make one point, and that is Cuomo will do anything he can to win. But he may not debate, and maybe voters are tired of that.

But I wish Paladino would tell us how he feels about things.

CONAN: I know. He's so shy.

RUDIN: He is. It's embarrassing.

CONAN: In any case, we have some people on the line who think they know the answer to this week's trivia question, which again is, is two Democratic U.S. senators on the ballot this election year in the state of New York - who was the last Democratic senator to be defeated at the polls in November? 800-989...

RUDIN: By the voters.

CONAN: By the voters.

RUDIN: Right.

CONAN: 800-989-8255. Email: talk@npr.org. And we'll start with Bob(ph), Bob with us from Manchester in New Hampshire.

BOB (Caller): Hi, this is Bob Sixta(ph) in Rochester, Minnesota.

CONAN: I'm sorry. I misread the screen. I apologize.

BOB: (Unintelligible). I'll be - this is on the lighter side of New York as opposed to your last interview. I'm going to guess Arthur Goldberg in 1968.

RUDIN: Well, actually, Arthur Goldberg was never senator.

BOB: Okay. I didn't think he was, but I...

RUDIN: He ran for governor against Nelson Rockefeller in 1970, as you well remember. And matter of fact, his running mate was Basil Paterson, who's the father of the current governor, David Paterson.

BOB: Yeah.

RUDIN: But forget about it. You're wrong. You're wrong.

BOB: Okay. I'm wrong and thank you very much. I enjoy your show.

CONAN: Thank you very much, Bob. Now, let's go next - this is Amanda(ph). Excuse me, Charlie(ph), Charlie with us from San Francisco.

CHARLIE (Caller): You want a Democratic defeat, huh?

CONAN: Correct.

RUDIN: Yeah. Who do you have?

CHARLIE: I was going to go D'Amato for Republican defeat.

RUDIN: D'Amato was the last Republican senator. I'm looking for the last Democratic senator.

CONAN: Okay.

CHARLIE: Yeah, sorry.

CONAN: Thanks, Charlie. Let's now go to Amanda. Amanda with us from Oglesby, Illinois.

AMANDA (Caller): Yeah, I'm thinking of Edward Murphy Jr.

CONAN: Ed Murphy Jr.

(Soundbite of laughter)

CONAN: I'm seeing a blank look across the table.

RUDIN: Well, I will tell you that Edward Murphy Jr., whoever he may have been, was never elected by the voters of New York to be the U.S. senator.

AMANDA: Yeah, I thought that was the hitch. He was elected by the state legislature.

RUDIN: Yeah, no. I'm talking about...

CONAN: This is before the 17th Amendment.

RUDIN: Right. Since 1913.

CONAN: All right.

AMANDA: Okay. Thanks.

CONAN: Thanks, Amanda. Email, this from a listener: Elizabeth Holtzman.

RUDIN: Elizabeth Holtzman was not a senator. She was a member of Congress who ran against Jacob Javits and lost to Al D'Amato in a three-way race in 1980, but she was not a member of the Senate.

CONAN: And this is another email. This one from Niles(ph). Charles Goodell.

RUDIN: Charles Goodell was defeated, indeed, in 1970, but, alas, he was a Republican.

CONAN: And let's see if we can go next to - this is Paul(ph). Paul with us from Myrtle Beach.

PAUL (Caller): Hello there. I'm guessing Senator Wagner.

CONAN: Robert Wagner.

RUDIN: Robert Wagner retired actually in 1949, replaced by Herbert Lehman, who beat John Foster Dulles - I don't know why I know that. But he was a Democrat so he was - one, he was not defeated. He was never defeated.

PAUL: Got you.

RUDIN: He retired.

CONAN: All right. Thanks very much. Let's see - let's go - we got some potpourri to go to, too. And this is Arthur(ph). Arthur with us from Palo Alto.

ARTHUR (Caller): Yes, you just mentioned the race. It was actually Jacob Javits, who was defeated in a Democratic primary in 1980 and ran as a liberal candidate against Elizabeth Holtzman and Alfonse D'Amato. And Alfonse D'Amato won because Elizabeth Holtzman and Jacob Javits split the Democratic vote.

RUDIN: You're right about everything except the fact that, no, Jacob Javits lost the Republican primary to Al D'Amato. He did not lose the Democratic primary.

CONAN: And he was a Republican.

RUDIN: And he was a Republican.

CONAN: But good try. Let's see - this is from Elias(ph): Hillary Clinton.

RUDIN: As far as I know, she has not lost. She resigned to become secretary of State. She did not lose.

CONAN: All right. Ken.

RUDIN: The answer is - I'm sorry - there has never been a Democratic senator in New York defeated by the voters. It was a trick question, but I was hoping somebody would know that there has never been a Democratic...

CONAN: All right. We'll find one that gives away two T-shirts next week.

RUDIN: Well, somebody will just stop me on the street in New York and beat the crap out of me.

CONAN: We're talking with Ken Rudin. It's the Political Junkie. You're listening to TALK OF THE NATION from NPR News.

And there's a lot of political news to talk about and see if we can get to it all. One of which really shakes up the race for the Senate in Alaska. This is Lisa Murkowski who, of course, was defeated in the Republican primary.

Senator LISA MURKOWSKI (Republican, Alaska): Now, we know - we know that the mechanisms of a write-in, they tell us this is impossible. You cannot do it. Alaskans can't figure out how to fill in an oval and spell M-U-R-K-O-W-S-K-I.

Unidentified Group: K-O-W-S-K-I.

Sen. MURKOWSKI: Yeah. All right.

(Soundbite of cheering)

CONAN: So for a write-in campaign, they spelled it right there. Unfortunately, not in the first ad.

RUDIN: Exactly. The Murkowski people put out an ad that misspelled her name, which is kind of ironic given the fact that she's trying to teach everybody how to spell her name. Only one senator in history - Strom Thurmond in South Carolina in 1954 - was elected on a write-in campaign. Murkowski has a tough battle against her, but she says that Joe Miller, the guy who defeated her in the primary, is too extreme on the right. And Scott McAdams, the mayor of Sitka, is a nice guy but unelectable, too liberal. She thinks she could win by pulling in moderate voters.

CONAN: And by the way, if we're talking about three-way races, Rick Lazio, the former congressman, defeated by our previous guest, Carl Paladino, in a Republican primary, still has his name on the ballot as a conservative. They're talking to him about seeing if he'll pull out.

RUDIN: Right, he's the conservative party nominee, and he says I don't care what the party establishment has to say because they're obviously ineffectual so far.

CONAN: Let's go to Delaware, where, after another big Tea Party surprise last week, we've learned a lot about Christine O'Donnell, the new GOP nominee.

RUDIN: And Republicans are not always happy about what they've learned. A lot of it is the fact that she has been on the talk shows on "Bill Maher" and all those shows for many, many years pushing her anti-, you know, premarital sex campaign, that masturbation is adultery, all that stuff that she's been pushing for the longest time. And some of the stuff she said on the "Bill Maher" show years ago was kind of like bizarre. She said that she, you know, went to - she dabbled in witchcraft. She went - she had a date with a witch and went on a satanic altar, I mean, sort of like the way I got my job at NPR...

(Soundbite of laughter)

RUDIN: ...but I don't think this is what Republicans - like Karl Rove and other conservatives are saying this may be trouble. The last poll I saw saw Chris Coons, the Democratic nominee, with a 15-point lead over Christine O'Donnell.

CONAN: And Chris Coons, not exactly a household name in the state of Delaware.

RUDIN: But he is in the house of Chris Coons.

(Soundbite of laughter)

CONAN: Let's see - there is - we had the rally, the big Glenn Beck rally with Sarah Palin on The Mall. And it turns out, there's going to be dueling rallies coming up. Jon Stewart, The Comedy Central host, asked his listeners if they were the kind of people who might show up at this rally.

(Soundbite of TV program, "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart")

Mr. JON STEWART (Host, "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart"): The fact that you would even stop to ask yourself that question as opposed to just, let's say, jumping up, grabbing the nearest stack of burnable holy books, strapping on a diaper and just pointing your car towards D.C., that means I think you just might be right for it.

(Soundbite of laughter)

CONAN: Stewart's is the Rally to Restore Sanity. His partner-in-crime, Stephen Colbert, has a tongue-in-cheek title, March to Keep Fear Alive. We're going to have to see how those are attended when they debut on The Mall.

Ken Rudin, our political junkie, is with us. A little bit more with him after we come back from a break. We're also going to be talking with the ambassador from the Seychelles, an island that could be, if the seas continue to rise, largely underwater by the end of this century. Stay with us. I'm Neal Conan. It's the TALK OF THE NATION, from NPR News.

(Soundbite of music)

CONAN: Right now, we're talking with political junkie Ken Rudin, also here with us in New York to take a bite out of the big political apple. And you can get another slice of politics on his blog at npr.org/junkie. Ken, last primary over the weekend in Hawaii.

RUDIN: Hawaii and, of course, it's interesting because, of course, this is President Obama's home state. He was born there. The president got -received 72 percent of the vote there, 2008, and yet it has a Republican governor, it has a Republican member of Congress. Democrats are hoping that Neil Abercrombie, the Democratic member of Congress who resigned to run for governor, will take back the governorship, but that will be a very tough race.

Same-sex civil unions is a key issue there. If the fact that the Republicans - this is such a Republican year, but the Democrats are hopeful that this could be one of their shining lights in Hawaii.

CONAN: And the president, well, we know he's sending his wife out to some states, to Illinois, to California, to Washington state, I believe, and some other places. But...

RUDIN: All big Senate races.

CONAN: All big Senate-races states. But he himself is also on the road. He was at a town hall meeting this week on the economy, hosted by CNBC, and felt the frustration from some voters in his inability to turn things around.

Velma Hart, a veteran from Upper Marlboro, Maryland, who voted for him in 2008, had this to say.

(Soundbite of TV program, "Investing in America: A CNBC Town Hall Event with President Obama")

Ms. VELMA HART (Chief Financial Officer, AMVETS): I'm one of your middle-class Americans and, quite frankly, I'm exhausted. I'm exhausted of defending you, defending your administration, defending the mantle of change that I voted for.

President BARACK OBAMA: Right.

Ms. HART: I'm deeply disappointed with where we are right now. I have been told that I voted for a man who said he was going to change things in a meaningful way for the middle class. I'm one of those people, and I'm waiting, sir. I'm waiting.

CONAN: And she's not the only one. We see in a new opinion poll, the president's approval ratings are down, well, now, well below 50 percent.

RUDIN: You know, it's one thing for somebody to yell out at President Obama that you're a socialist or that you're really not a citizen. I think, you know, White House has heard all that stuff. But when you hear from erstwhile supporters, from people who supported him in 2008, that they're so disappointed that they're exhausted of trying to defend him, that has to be the most disheartening news for the president. And that is an indication right there in that soundbite why the Democrats are in trouble coming in, up on November 2nd.

CONAN: Got a lot of reaction to our talk earlier with Carl Paladino. This from - email from Lee(ph) in San Francisco: I'm a left-to-center guy who thinks Obama is too conservative, i.e. the war and the economy. I have to say Mr. Paladino is very interesting. I appreciate his upfront remarks. It's certainly nice to hear someone speak so frankly even though I disagree on several items, particularly on the mosque issue.

And this from Matt(ph) in New Orleans: Your guest, Mr. Paladino, is the epitome of fuzzy thinking and poor reasoning. Religious freedom is exactly what this great nation was based on. To denounce it now to current politics is self-serving sacrifice of our fundamental belief system.

RUDIN: It's going to be a very ugly race in New York because both Andrew Cuomo and Carl Paladino are street fighters who know how to fight dirty.

CONAN: And it's interesting that the Cuomo people had a meeting yesterday to decide how to respond. First idea was the Rose Garden approach, to take the high ground. Lisa Murkowski took the high ground.

RUDIN: Exactly. And Andrew Cuomo has never had a love affair with the press either, and so it would be just fascinating to see how we, the media, cover this race because both are flawed candidates. The fact that Cuomo may be within six points of Paladino, or Paladino vice versa, is just startling. I'm not sure if it's true, but it just shows for a very eventful November 2nd.

CONAN: And speaking of some interesting poll results, interesting results from the Senate races in Pennsylvania and in Arkansas.

RUDIN: Right. There's a Quinnipiac poll that says - that had the two candidates, Pat Toomey, the Republican, and Joe Sestak, the Democrat -this is for Arlen Specter's seat. They were tied several months ago. Now Toomey has opened up a, I think, a seven point lead.

And also in Arkansas, Blanche Lincoln, one of the two Democrats who voted against repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell yesterday, you know, all the Republicans stayed united, but it - they didn't have all the Democrats either. Blanche Lincoln voted against them. But anyway, she's down 14 points in the latest Reuters poll to John Bozeman, the Republican congressman. That looks like it's a lost seat for the Democratic Party.

CONAN: And as we look ahead - not merely to this election, but to the next one, for the mayor of Chicago. And one of the perceived candidates on the Democratic side, Jesse Jackson, Jr., in some political trouble.

RUDIN: Well, he has been because his name has been mentioned from the beginning, all this Blagojevich stuff and whether what he did to try to get -curry favor with the governor to try get appointed to President Obama's Senate seat. The Chicago Sun-Times reported yesterday that he offered to give $6 million - raise $6 million for Governor Blagojevich if he can get appointed to the seat. He said that's nonsense. It's no true. But, again, he's been throwing out his name as a possible candidate for mayor. His wife, who's a member of the Chicago City Council, has been putting out her name as a possible candidate.

CONAN: And speaking of street fighters, Rahm Emanuel.

CONAN: Rahm Emanuel, absolutely. There's a report that he may resign from the White House sooner than later, even before this - even before the midterm elections, and two other names: former Senator Carol Moseley Braun and Congressman Danny Davis have both started circulating petitions for a possible run for mayor of Chicago.

CONAN: We're going to have to take the show to Chicago. Anyway, Ken Rudin, thanks very much for being with us.

RUDIN: Thanks, Neal. Neal, some of these(ph) tall buildings.

CONAN: They're tall.

RUDIN: It's unbelievable. Anyway, I can't believe it.

CONAN: All right. Ken Rudin, our Political Junkie, with us every Wednesday. In just a moment, we'll be talking about climate change and where - a place where it's having real effects.

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