Fifty members of Patriots United hear campaign consultant Jim Thacker and Don Manzullo press representative Rich Carter speak at Crystal Lake’s Park Place Wednesday night.
Thacker, who gained his reputation by managing Don Manzullo’s 1992 primary victory over former State Senator Jack Schaffer and Al Salvi’s U.S. Senate primary upset over Lt. Gov. Bob Kustra, spoke of political history and future scenarios.
During the first year of President Barack Obama’s term, Thacker said he thought the only this that could take down the Democrats was overreaching.
Evidence that they did is in the 2010 election results.
He still thinks the Republicans will have the advantage in 2012, although he conceded that some GOP members may be lost as liberal voters who stayed home this past year are mobilized by the presidential campaign.
The election situation in the U.S. Senate is more rosy with 22 out 33 seats up being held by Democrats. Thacker believes most of the Republican seats are safe ones.
The conservative political operative explained that “Establishment Republicans” are concerned about rocking the boat and that is what the Tea Party activists are all about.
“If we don’t stand for something, we’re going to lose again,” Thacker said again.
He compared President Bill Clinton’s move to the center after the GOP took control of Congress in 1994 to Obama’s attempt to emulate him. Thacker thinks it will be more difficult for Obama because he is “a committed ideologue.”
And, he believes that Obama will alienate his liberal supporters when he moves to the center.
Thacker talked of hearing Illinois Senate President John Cullerton talk about the money that would be poured into government, which the Democrat described as “an economic engine.”
“It may be an engine,” Thacker said, “but more like a steam engine. Not efficient.”
Thacker criticized the gubernatorial candidacy of State Senator Bill Brady.
“People didn’t know who he was or what he stood for” when they went to the polls. He compared Brady’s campaign unfavorably to that of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
In his Rockford neighborhood, union members hung professional literature on his door knob the Saturday and Sunday before the election. There was no similar effort by Brady supporters.
“We Republicans screwed it up,” Thacker concluded, pointing out that Democrat Pat Quinn only received 47% of the vote.
Having missed the 2010 wave election for state office, Thacker warned that 2012 will not be similarly weighted toward Republicans.
Following Thacker’s talk Jeff Ladd, Sr., expressed his displeasure with Republicans not running conservative candidates.
Setting the stage with his support for Barry Goldwater, Ladd said,
“I am voting for the most conservative person who is electable,”
stressing the word “electable.”
A woman noted that there were no young people at the meeting and urged that their recruitment be a priority.