Friday, July 30, 2010

Democrats catch break with trial's early end

Jurors were out of sight on their first full day deciding the fate of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. But the scene at the federal courthouse could have been far uglier for Democrats if his corruption trial had played out as expected with the party gearing up for tough elections.

And because of Blagojevich’s antics, which range from appearing on reality TV to singing an Elvis song at a street fair, some argue that he is no longer defined first and foremost as a Democrat.

“I think there is often a line that you cross when you go from being associated with a party to being just your own off-kilter personality,” said Democratic consultant Chris Lehane. “And wherever that line is, I think he crossed it a long time ago.”

But Chris Mooney, a political science professor at the University of Illinois at Springfield, said that won’t keep Republicans from hammering away.

“You can be crazy and a Democrat,” Mooney said.

Mooney's comments were featured in a July 29, 2010, article by the Associated Press.

Download a PDF of the article