I had dinner over the weekend with a friend of mine from college who works for a Chicago area political consulting company that does work mainly for Illinois Democrats. He gave some very interesting insight into the up-coming Presidential election.
Needless to say, many in the Democratic establishment in Illinois aren't too keen on Kerry's chances in the fall. The biggest concern seems to be that Kerry was virtually "handed" the nomination after Howard "media's darling" Dean's campaign was proven to be all hype and that his Senate record, which will now be under a microscope, is troubling to many as far as his electibility.
They are also great concerned that Kerry's history of flip/flop on just about every issue will allow GW Bush plenty of ammo to get cheap laughs during debates and on the stump, which will eventually take their toll.
While Illinois democratic politicos will be "good democrats" and publicly support Kerry, watch for their focus to be getting a democrat to replace retiring republican senator Fitzgerald elected and letting the presidential chips fall where they may. Though things like the Move-On ads have them worried that middle-class blue-collar workers might be turned off by 7 months of those ads and hurt the Senate and Congressional candidates for the party.
For those that have any doubts, check out Rich Daley's comments about the Bush campaign ad "controversy." Hardly a condemnation.
We also talked at length about "local politics", and it was certainly an entertaining, facinating and educational experience.