Basically Eddie Haskell to Obama's Wally Cleaver, State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias is a former 'Bama b-ball buddy, emaluator of the president's mannerisms, and failed candidate for Illinois' junior Senate seat. He lost to Mark Kirk, receiving 46.1% of the votes to Kirk's 48.4%.
The youngest person ever to be elected State Treasurer, Giannoulias has youthful vigor and charisma on his side, and a track record of modest in-office accomplishments. But during his Senate campaign, Giannoulias was dogged by allegations that his Bright Start college savings program was not as successful as publicized, and that as chief loan officer of his family's Broadway Bank he made hundreds of millions of dollars of bad loans that, four years hence, resulted in the bank's collapse.
But in defeat, Giannoulias may have found his voice. His concession speech on election night was heartfelt and genuine and, to anyone listening, Giannoulias left the impression he would be a presence in Illinois politics for years to come.