Sam Boyd

Sam Boyd is a former assistant web editor at the Prospect

Recent Articles

THEY DO SAY THAT SUNSHINE IS THE BEST DISINFECTANT.

Noted without comment: He dismissed the notion that his pick would be tainted by the cloud of a federal investigation hanging over his administration. Blagojevich says there is no cloud hanging over him, only "sunshine." On a more serious note, the fact that Blagojevich is talking to Jesse Jackson Jr. doesn't mean much: After all, even if he has decided not to pick Jackson, Blagojevich still benefits from making a show of considering him. Previous Obama -replacement coverage here . --Sam Boyd

EMIL JONES: NOT SO SAFE.

Rich Miller and Larry Handlin point out that retired Illinois State Senate President Emil Jones has some serious problems of his own that might make him a poor choice to replace Obama in the U.S. Senate. Miller makes the case : So, his wife’s redesignation to get a pay raise, his stepson’s millions of dollars in state contracts, his son’s last-minute appointment to the ballot, “food stamps,” “pay raise,” recall, multitudinous failures on his supposedly pet issue of school funding reform, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc. are all nothing to be concerned with? The man is probably the single most reviled politician in Illinois next to Todd Stroger . The point of my original post was less a defense of Jones than an argument that the safest Senate choice for Gov. Blagojevich seems to be a black candidate who won't run again -- simultaneously avoiding angering black voters, whom Blago will need in a primary if he wants to be reelected, and earning some good will form those who've argued that a...

ILLINOIS SENATE UPDATE.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich has given his longest and most detailed interview so far about who will replace Obama in the Senate to Lynn Sweet , but it just ends up making the picture less clear (for a roundup of some possible candidates see this piece by Adam Doster ). First of all, Blago denies that he's ruled out a two-year placeholder appointment as Rep. Louis Gutierrez claimed last week, though he does say he'd prefer not to go that route. Also, he doesn't sound so keen on Jesse Jackson Jr. : "He's got a right to do it," Blagojevich said, "and he obviously believes in himself as a candidate for the United States Senate and his public campaign is, you know, something he obviously believes appropriate and helpful, and all power to him." The two will meet soon to discuss the appointment, however. And Blagojevich will certainly get a lot of heat if he doesn't pick a black person for the seat. Rich Miller at the Capitol Fax Blog has some choice quotes , including this one from the always-...

SENATOR PALIN?

Politico reports on a new statement by Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski , who warns Sarah Palin not to challenge her for the GOP nomination when Murkowski runs for reelection in 2010. Assuming Palin could win (not a sure thing, but probably more likely than not given Murkowski's ethical issues ) would that help Palin win the GOP presidential nomination in 2012? I doubt it. First of all, the Senate primary would be distracting. While it would keep Palin in the public eye, she'd be in the public eye attacking a fellow Republican -- and one who hasn't fallen to the Dick Cheney -like levels of unpopularity that her father, former Gov. Frank Murkowski , reached before he was defeated in the 2006 Republican gubernatorial primary by ... Sarah Palin. And if Palin won a race against the junior Murkowski, some Republicans would surely see her as selfish, destroying the little seniority Alaska has in the Senate and ending the career of an able Republican solely for personal gain -- not helpful when...

GUTIERREZ DECLINES SENATE SEAT, BUT WHY?

Rep. Luis Gutierrez said yesterday that he was asked by Gov. Blagojevich if he'd like to be appointed to Obama's Senate seat, but declined because the governor wanted someone who would run for reelection in 2010. If that's true, it probably rules out Emil Jones as a candidate. Valerie Jarett also seems to have taken herself out of contention. It also probably means Jesse Jackson Jr . has a better shot at the seat than I might have thought. That's because, if Blagojevich did want to pick Guttierrez, it suggests he's looking to shore up support among non-white Democrats for a reelection bid -- support he certainly would need given his abysmal approval ratings (and there aren't any other plausible Latino picks that I know of). For more on the other potential picks, see Adam Doster 's piece on the main site. On an related note, Guttierrez's willingness to serve for two years but no longer is curious, until you consider that Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley is up for reelection in 2011...

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