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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Capitol Fax: The dude still abides

Gov. Jim Thompson
Rich Miller writes about former Illinois Governor Jim Thompson. He served as this state's chief executive from 1977 to 1991 and served the longest tenure.

Basically Miller wrote a lot about some the comments he made at an event that took place last week. You can read a transcript of his comments here. Of course you can always read the CapFax if you want the shorthand version. It would be nice if there was YouTube footage of the former Governor's speech.

All the same, Miller has this conclusion:
Yeah, he made his share of mistakes, kicked his share of cans down the road. I could give you a very long list of all of that. But, man, the dude was a giant, and he loved every square inch of this state and had the skills to make his visions a reality.

This used to be a great state. We still are in many respects, but we’ve slipped partly because we’ve completely lost our confidence - and for good reason. Too many clueless governors and voters. Too much inertia, partisan and otherwise. Not enough vision.

I don’t know about you, but, personally, I’d vote for Big Jim if he ran again. This is exactly the sort of leader we so desperately need in Illinois right now.
A few years ago, I shared on this blog a photo of a long gone soul food restaurant located in Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood called Gladys' Luncheonette. With that photo was a resolution passed by the Illinois General Assembly and Gov. Thompson apparently was one of the many guests that came to eat. Alas all we have are photos of this place as I found that last year this old place has been demolished. I bring it up to note that even a Republican Governor has found his way to the "ghetto".

Check out the comments at the CapFax. It runs the gamut point out some of the Thompson's shortcomings during his time as Governor and showing his best aspects. Then talks about who follows him afterwards.

Jim Edgar, I barely remember but I'm sure many look up to him as Governor. In spite of being sent to prison George Ryan (who just so happens to be the last Republican Governor after a 25 year stretch) isn't viewed by me as a terrible governor. In fact Ryan was a marked difference to Blago and Quinn and who knows what would have happened had Ryan not been hobbled by the ugliness that came from his tenure as our Secretary of State.

The point to be made here is that Illinois needs a Thompson. Another point is that the Republicans need to step to the table and elect the next Thompson. Although the Democrats need such a figure themselves because the last two Democrats weren't quite the answer.

Pointing at the Republicans were another thing seen in comments. Even Miller made some comments about the kind of Republican Thompson was: "Tough, accomplished, governing-focused and pro-business but with a decidedly humane and moderate face."

One could say today's Illinois Republicans or conservatives are a far cry from Jim Thompson. In fact one could say many of them may have their principles and core values however a lot of them aren't electable either statewide or beyond their individual districts.

Anyway time will tell if Republicans or anyone else on the Democratic side are able to step up to the plate and help make Illinois a great state once again.

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