“McMahon won’t challenge [Erika] Harold in GOP AG primary,” the Capitol Fax headline blared. My first thought was, “Tell us something we don’t know, Rich Miller!” Beating Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon wouldn’t be much of a challenge for any candidate.
His press release also begs the question, do you really have to announce that you’re not running for something you weren’t really running for, and you never had a shot at to begin with? I suppose I could distribute a press release pointing out that I won’t be competing for the Cubs’ centerfield spot in 2018, but what’s the point?
So, here’s how I’m guessing the conversation between Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon and Illinois Republican Chairman Tim Schneider must’ve gone:
Tim: What the hell are you doing?
Joe: Whaddaya mean what the hell am I doing?
Tim: For the first time in 50 years, we field a decent minority statewide candidate and you’re screwing it up.
Joe: How am I screwing it up?
Tim: The Illinois GOP already has more than their share of old, bald white guys, Joe. Ah! But as a black female candidate, Ms. Harold counts as ten minorities. It’s kinda like dog years when it’s applied to the Republican Party. If only she were gay and handicapped! We wouldn’t have to embrace another minority candidate for at least 20 years.
Joe: Don’t say “embrace,” Tim. It’s that whole Springfield sexual harassment thing.
Tim: (rolls his eyes) Thanks for the free legal advice, Joe.
Joe: But Erika has no chance of beating the Democratic Machine.
Tim: Of course she doesn’t. C’mon! We don’t really want to get a black woman elected. She’s simply a sacrificial minority lamb who makes the rest of us look good for supporting her. But we wouldn’t want that getting out now, would we? The plan is for all the Republican bigwigs to celebrate Kwanzaa at her house and then we cut her loose right after January first.
Joe: But I could win Tim! Really! I could! Joe Lulves and Joe Cullen told me so!
Tim: No you can’t! And they work for you Joe. What the hell do you think they’re gonna say? You suck? You’re gonna have a tough enough time getting reelected in Kane County.
Joe: But the countywide elected officials and the chairman seemed so excited about my candidacy.
Tim: That’s only because they want to get rid of you, Joe.
Tim: So are you going to get with the program and get behind Ms. Harold, or do we have to put you on the Governor’s shit list? If you insist upon running for Attorney General this time, you’ll get no party support now or in the future.
Joe: Well, since you put it that way, I guess I have no choice. But the Party will help me get reelected in 2020, right?
Tim: (Fingers crossed behind his back) Of course we will Joe! Despite your vast political naivete and the worst case of electoral tone deafness we’ve ever seen, you’re our man!
I won’t bore you with the entire thing, especially all the grammar and punctuation errors (yikes!), but McMahon concluded his I’m-not-running press release with this:
I have an incredible job; one that I am thankful for and I intend to fulfill my commitment to the people of Kane County and the People of the State of Illinois as state’s attorney for Kane County.
Why start now, Joe?