Thursday, January 17, 2008

I'm back with a question - Seals, Footlik or none of the above?

Much to the dismay of Mr. Middle, I have cast ballots in democratic primaries for most of my voting life. I have pulled Republican ballots twice - to vote for Mark Kirk when he first ran for congress and more recently in support of Judy Baar Topinka’s bid for governor.

As faithful readers know I am a huge supporter of Hillary Clinton. I plan to pull a democratic ballot come super-duper Tuesday and enthusiastically cast my vote in support of our first female president. For me it is an easy decision.

It's not so easy to decide how to cast my vote for the 10th District democratic congressional nominee – not that I’ll be voting for either candidate come the general election. This November, I’ll be one of a great many 10th district voters splitting their ticket between the democratic candidate for president, Ms. Clinton (I hope), and the republican candidate for congress, Mark Kirk. Given my support for Kirk how I should vote in the primary?

Do I vote for the guy I think would be the better congressman of the two? Neither one comes close to Kirk who has proven his ability in his past 8 years in Congress. Footlik seems to have worked hard during his race, has more government experience and is relatively strong on national defense. Seals has a credibility problem based on resume padding, is wishy-washy on defense and is too closely aligned with the radically far left. If I had to pick who would be a better congressman of the two, I’d have to say Footlik.

But maybe I should vote for the guy that would be easiest for Kirk to beat. Kirk handed Seals a 7-point loss when most democratic challengers were trouncing republican incumbents. History shows that it is unlikey Seals would win in a second try. Seals has done nothing of service to the district since his loss except insult us with his refusal to move into the district because “he is not a millionaire.” By all accounts Kirk is gearing up to mount a strong campaign based on his congressional success. Footlik may have a silly name to overcome but given Seal’s loss of composure at the Tribune editorial board, I think he is more likely than Footlik to wilt under the relentless campaign pressure that is sure to come. The nod on easiest to beat would have to go to Seals.

I could simply not vote for either of them and wait until November to vote for Mark Kirk. I truly believe Kirk is the best person to represent me and most of my neighbors. He is hard working, smart and willing to work across party lines to get things done. He is a moderate, a champion of the environment and human rights, strong on national defense and committed to finding practical solutions to difficult problems.

I really am at a loss and hope my faithful readers can help me decide - Seals, Footlik or none of the above?