As if out of a scene in a Republican Passion Play, Judy Baar Topinka denies George Bush three times in a radio interview yesterday with WMAY’s Jim Leach.
Jim has a post about this on his blog (yes, he’s blogging again after being AWOL from the blogosphere for three weeks).
I particularly like this quote from Topinka when asked for the third time is she thinks the country is moving in the right direction under George Bush:
Well, I don't know all of these things. I mean, I pick up what I pick up on the national level, basically, from what you all write, and what I can accumulate. I'm trying to deal on the state level with what we have to do, which gives me more than enough to handle.... I mean, we have congressmen to handle that angle of it. I'd like to confine as much as I can of my interest here…Oh my, it is hard to get any good information about what’s happening in Washington. And lordy, what on earth does the goings-on in the nation’s capital have to do with Illinois? It’s not like there are any Illinoisians serving in Iraq or that gas prices are high here or we use any healthcare or education or have highways or mind being spied on.
Of course, endorsing the Bush administration would be foolish here in Illinois where the president’s popularity must be close to single digits by now. So Topinka has to, on the one hand, not appear to be a hypocritical, disloyal opportunist by slamming Bush but, on the other hand, she knows getting behind this administration too strongly would be political suicide.
In 2006 it’s political advantage to hang George Bush around your opponent’s neck. I would expect the Blagojevich people, who aren’t politically shy, to play this up as the campaign progresses. And you know what, to the extent that a Republican governor could assist in the advancement of the Bush agenda, it should give people pause. I think it’s a legitimate campaign issue.