Chicago Sun-Times Washington reporter Lynn Sweet had a column Friday entitled,
“Durbin a voice of reason; Walsh a screamer.”
That made me wonder if she has figured out that Walsh might be Durbin’s next Republican opponent.
Why else talk about a freshman congressman in the same breath as the second-ranking Democrat in the U.S. Senate?
Durbin is the consummate insider. When he was Parliamentarian of the Illinois Senate, working for Lt. Gov. Paul Simon, I worked with him in a campaign to elect Denny Kelley mayor of Springfield. Republican Bill Cellini was the main man behind the unsuccessful effort to beat Sangamon County Coroner William Telford.
All that talent (not referring to mine) was not enough to capture the mayor’s office.
Durbin is at all the important meetings about the budget and debt ceiling, Sweet points out.
Walsh’s only role is to use the bully pulpit on TV shows like Chris Matthews’ “Hardball,” where he presents the Tea Party viewpointas articulately as any politician I have ever viewed, even in the face of withering attacks on his position.
And, even ideological opponents running the shows like Matthews want him to come back, because of the fire in his belly.
When Walsh is on TV, he is not boring.
“I came here figuratively to scream from the mountaintop,”
the man who beat three-term Melissa Bean told the Sun-Times reporter.
Durbin, on the other hand, who will hold a press conference at the drop of hat every times he comes to Chicago, does not throw off sparks of excitement when he talks.
Sweet mentions Walsh’s use of the Chris Matthews’ interview in a fund raising pitch: “I need your help to stand up to the liberal media and Democrats.”
I give Sweet credit for pointing out the obvious.
She ends her article with this statement: “Lawmakers run on platforms and pledges–but they are not solo acts.”
Undoubtedly, the sentence was written before Walsh gathered 86 signatures on a letter to Republican House Speaker John Boehner.