Oberweis and the 14th
First off, let me say that unlike Charlie, I feel no amount of sympathy for Oberweis. His “political mistakes” were not merely the early foibles of a “good, if often frustrated, politician.” They were, more often than not, bitter, negative and highly aggressive (and not to mention expensive) attacks that back-fired. And rather than demonstrating a “learning curve,” his series of unsuccessful campaigns revealed him to be a man looking for a powerful office (any office), not a chance to serve his fellow citizens.
While Oberweis may have had a claim to a “team player” reputation after 2004, he ruined it in 2006. Writing a check and smiling at the unity breakfast did nothing to undo millions of dollars of extremely negative ads smearing the eventual nominee. I’m certainly not saying that Judy would have won if not for Oberweis, but, on balance, what he did to hurt her (and thus the party) far outweighed what he did to “help” after the primary.
Strictly speaking, Charlie is right to say that the 14th district race could play to “all of his strengths and few of his weaknesses.” Unfortunately, Charlie fails to recognize that the few weaknesses that will be exposed are significantly more important than any financial or tactical advantage. Most important, as I alluded to above, is that while Obwerweis was getting his statewide “learning curve” on, Schmitz, Lauzen (and LaVia) were all working hard, serving large constituencies within the 14th district. You’d think that after his multi-million dollar losses to Durkin and Topinka, he would have learned that primary election voters value ‘working your way up' over walking around with a bag of money, hunting or an office to hold.
Also posted, with comments, at Illinoize