Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Can Mark Kirk Recover From His Roger Clemens Moment?




    "Misremembered." We've heard that phrase on Capitol Hill before, back in 2008 -- but it came from the mouth of a stammering, embattled all-star pitcher. That was Roger Clemens. He's under investigation for perjury.

    Now, with five months to go in his race for the Senate, Congressman Mark Kirk has taken to the phrase. Will it be enough to derail his campaign?

    "They decided to play this card now and put Kirk on the defensive," said UIC political science professor Dick Simpson, referring to the Giannoulias campaign, which tipped off the Washington Post about Kirk's inaccurate resume. "If they didn't, the fundraising would dry up so much and the momentum on Kirk's side so much, they wouldn't be able to recoup."

    It's unusual this kind of disclosure is levelled this early, Simpson added, and it's an indication of how tough of a fight this race will be.

    As for the candidates, neither Kirk nor Giannoulias have made any public statements today.