By Kevin Robinson in News on Nov 29, 2006 2:50PM
The Chicagoist offices were abuzz yesterday with the petition that Illinois' senior senator, Dick Durbin e-mailed to his supporters, urging Barack Obama to run for President in 2008.
Although Durbin's press secretary was unavailable for comment when we contacted his office, CBS 2 scored an interview with Durbin, and he pretty much denied any coordination with Obama & Co. on this, claiming "I didn't tell him in advance I was gonna do it." Obama's press secretary confirmed as much, saying that Obama is "flattered that Dick Durbin thinks so highly of" him, but that the two offices hadn't spoken about the matter that day.
As much as Chicagoist loves Obama, we feel that this is just more hype. The Tribune is reporting that Barack is testing the waters, asking the Big Names in Iowa to hold back for a minute and stay neutral while he makes up his mind, and making speaking engagements in New Hampshire. (Both are early primary states.) We might add that his book is now number one on the non-fiction best-seller list. Strangely enough, Lynn Sweet hit the nail right on the head with an astute political analysis of Durbin's potential motives. As much as this is all prognostication, Chicagoist believes that this is an attempt to A) keep Obama's name at the forefront of voter's minds when they think President, and B) more closely insinuate Durbin (who is running for re-election in 2008) with the Democratic Party's star player. While we're no Nostradamus, we suspect that Barack is going to politely decline an offer to be a Vice Presidential candidate in 2008. Which is all part of the plan.