This story by Stephen Thomma of the Knight Ridder news chain stopped me short this morning. The headline reads: Governor positions himself for possible presidential run.
"Assuming he wins re-election next year, Blagojevich could run for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination. His expected pitch to the Iowa Democrats who will kick off the nominating season in January 2008: I'm a fellow Midwesterner, a governor with a track record of running things and, most importantly, not a Northeastern liberal like Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and John Kerry of Massachusetts."
The problem is the Illinois Governor has made a habit of alienating big shots from his own party in his own state. Like, for instance, Senator Dick Durbin, who last week seemed to be encouraging another democrat to run against Blagojevich in next spring's democratic primary.
"In his first term, Blagojevich has angered much of the Democratic coalition, including labor unions, state House Speaker Michael Madigan and Chicago Mayor Richard Daley. Facing deficits, he cut state spending in most departments to keep the budget balanced, while increasing spending for education and health care.
What to make of this story, I doubt Thomma made this up out of whole cloth, there has to be some inkling coming from the state house that the governor has presidential aspirations. It just seems odd that a man who very well might not even be re-elected Illinois governor has the idea he is White House material. And since he chose not to live in Springfield while governor, instead staying at his own Chicago home, would the country have any assurance he would occupy the White House, assuming the impossible idea he could be elected? A puzzling story to say the least.