Politicking at the Illinois State Fair Print
Commentary/Politics - Illinois Politics
Tuesday, 20 August 2002 18:00
E-Mail To Ellicia (from Vanessa Miller, age 16): Hey hun, how are you? I am doin’ just fine. I just got back from the state fair. These last two days have been awesome for me. I have my own press pass for future use and I can pretend that I am all-important. Ha!

Anyway, Republican Day was Wednesday, my first day on the job as a professional intern for my dad. Not really professional but I would like to think that. It was a really depressing day. Everything was all dark and gloomy. The sky was all gray and everyone was in that “Hey, it is really depressing out here” state of mind.

My father led me around and introduced me to all of the “big time” Republicans. They were very nice to me and actually treated me like an adult and not like some dumb kid. I really hate it when someone comes up to me and asks, “Oh, where is your Daddy?” Daddy? I mean, come on!

As I was taking notes, I noticed that Jim Ryan was being followed a lot by people with cameras. What if he sneezed and his snot flew all over the place? Or what if he tripped? Now that would be the only thing the press would be talking about. “Screw his ideas!! I want some tripping action!”

He seemed a little ... too sure about his winning the election come November. But so were the Democrats. I guess you have to be convincing to yourself in order to be convincing to others, am I right?

Thursday was Democrat Day, it was a lot more exciting for me. Everyone was super nice and they were all laid-back, down-to-earth type of people. They smiled a lot, they were fun to hang around. And most of all, they would actually come up and talk to you right out of the blue! I had fun there, I talked to a lady who was really excited about the candidate for governor. I would say her name but I am not too sure how to spell it! She was very friendly and told me she was a fan of my dad’s newsletter! [Dad’s note: The kid might get a car after all.]

Well, the food was wonderful both days and all of the people were friendly. Thursday was a little different, music was being played and people noticed that it had blossomed into a wonderfully sunshiny day. But the Democrats were a little egotistical about the whole “It’s sunny for us but the Republicans got it bad!!” thing. La De Da. Maybe they were just lucky, but who knows? Maybe they were meant for sunny days.

I just wanted to add something for you to think about. Is a white man hating a black man the same thing as a Democrat hating a Republican? Or not? Maybe I have a different grasp on what things are really like. I am inexperienced ... but I would love to learn more.

It is time to make my lovely exit. Hey now ... WAKE UP!! I didn’t bore you that much did I?? Until next time, stay smart and always remain a fan (lol). Always A Friend, Vanessa

Dad’s Turn:

Vanessa pretty much nailed the tone of Republican and Democrat days. This year’s state fair only served to highlight Republican divisiveness, gloominess, and collective embarrassment at the ongoing scandals, while the Democrats came off as happy, boisterous, and ravenously hungry for victory. The turnout for the Democrats’ festivities was bested in living memory only by President Richard Nixon’s massive Republican Day rally that filled the state- fair grandstand 30 years ago.

State-fair rallies don’t win elections, though. Unless we’re heading into yet another historic power shift, the governor’s race will eventually tighten up. If Jim Ryan can somehow activate his base and convince independents that Rod Blagojevich is a Chicago ward hack whose only goal is to move that giant pile of state pork and corruption from one side of the political table to the other, he might possibly be able to win this thing.

And it’s also possible that the Democrats might become too overconfident and start making mistakes. Blagojevich and House Speaker Michael Madigan sniped at each other for a few days last week, for instance.

But Jim Ryan had better get his act together now or his not so lovely exit from politics will be this November.

Rich Miller also publishes Capitol Fax, a daily political newsletter. He can be reached at (http://www.capitolfax.com).