He knows how to play the media like a concert violinist.
He makes potential opponent State Rep.Jack Franks, a potential candidate for Congress, look like an amateur.
After last month’s Chicago Sun-Times child support attack on a dispute filed months before, right after he was elected, any ordinary politician would have rolled up into a fetal ball and disappeared.
Joe Walsh didn’t.
When President Barack Obama tip-toed into Western Illinois last month, Walsh invited him to meet real people at a joint Town Hall Meeting in his district. (A friend who was in Henry County the day before the President was coming asked farmers if they were planning to go. “No. Got better things to do,” was the answer.)
Walsh agreed to a feature interview on Chicago Tonight Wednesday before an appearance before the Nunda Township Republican Precinct Committeemen. Obviously, he knew personal questions would be on the table.
And they were in the long interview on WTTW.
Walsh replied calmly throughout the interview.
He pointed out that the Chicago Tribune ran no articles on his campaign last fall, when he was talking about his personal problems “day after day.”
The questions were thorough. His critics will quibble with Walsh’s answers, but they can’t say that he was not calm–not exactly the image the media is trying to pin on Tea Party folks.
Last night he grabbed what may have been the lead story on ABC’s Channel 7.
In late afternoon, Walsh sent out a press release saying that he was not going to attend the long-promoted speech on jobs that President Barack Obama is giving next week.
Certainly no reason to go to hear the President’s content. It will be everywhere, spread by a mainstream media that desperately wants Obama re-elected.
The question was asked by WTTW’s Eddie Arruza about whether he would run in the 14th Congressional District against Randy Hultgren.
Walsh demurred, said he had not decided, but that he was running for re-election.
So, what’s Walsh’s strategy?
My guess is that he is going for the red meat Republicans who cannot stand having President Obama in office–the kind of people who would wear an “OMG” tee shirt with the initials standing for “Obama Must Go.”
Will that be enough to get past local Republican Establishment support of Hultgren, should Walsh decide to run in the district where he lives?
Hard to tell in a two-way primary.
It worked in a mufti-candidate field in 2010.