It looks as if Barack Obama is likely to run for president. Given the choice between backing their junior senator and Hillary Clinton, who grew up in suburban Chicago, Illinois Democratic pols are clearly lining up behind Mr. Obama — and are even trying to change the date of the state’s primary to help him.
State House Speaker Michael Madigan unveiled a plan to move up the primary next year from March 18 to February 5. “If Barack is a candidate… the selection process may be finished before it reaches the Illinois primary,” he warned fellow legislators. Other legislative leaders and the state’s Democratic governor are on-board with the proposed change.
If he had stopped there, most everyone would have understood Mr. Madigan’s desire to secure political advantage for the local candidate. But Mr. Madigan went further and decided to diss other states with early primaries or caucuses by claiming the adjustment was necessary to correct presumably undemocratic flaws in the primary system. After mentioning Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina, the Illinois Speaker dismissed them all by saying, “These states are not representative of mainstream America.”
Hmmm. Exactly in what way? The residents of Nevada, which is 23% Hispanic, will no doubt wonder what he means. So too will people in South Carolina, where 29% of the population is African-American. How are they not “representative of mainstream America”?
Perhaps after Mr. Obama thanks his ally Mr. Madigan for the favor of moving up the state’s primary, he might also educate him in the nuances of diversity politics, which Mr. Madigan apparently is clueless about.
”’From John Fund’s Political Diary sent to subscribers of http://www.OpinionJournal.com. Reach John Fund at mailto:email@example.com”’