Rep. Aaron Schock is still five years too young to be president, but he’s not one to waste time before beginning his campaign for a higher office. And, as Barack Obama can tell you, one of the advantages of being an Illinois politician is that Iowa is right across the Mississippi River.
On Wednesday, Schock crossed a bridge to campaign for Mitt Romney in Clinton, Iowa. Wearing a gray blazer with a blue windowpane pattern, and blue jeans, Schock lambasted “Chicago politicians.” The Peoria metrosexual also attempted to tie Obama and David Axelrod to soon-to-be-imprisoned ex-governor Rod Blagojevich.
In Axelrod’s case, that’s fair. Axe managed Rod Blagojevich’s runs for Congress, although he refused to join Blago’s campaign for governor, doubting the candidate’s maturity, sincerity and sense of mission.
In Obama’s case, it’s not so fair. Obama supported Roland Burris in the 2002 primary for governor. As a partisan Democrat, he backed Blagojevich, but the two were never close. Obama thought Blagojevich was a corrupt Northwest Side hack and Blagojevich thought Obama was an elitist Hyde Park airhead. The governor didn’t even show up in Grant Park on Election Night 2008.
Of course, if Schock does want to get elected president, he’ll have to win statewide office first. And one of the advantages of campaigning for a candidate in the Iowa caucuses is that it’s right across the river from Illinois. Clinton, Iowa, is part of the Quad Cities media market, which reaches Moline, Rock Island, Sterling and Rock Falls.
Right now, Schock isn’t running for anything but re-election to his congressional seat. But he’s always alert for opportunities. As he told me in early December 2008, in Illinois, you never know who’ll die, retire, or get indicted. The next week, Blagojevich was indicted.
As I said, the guy looks ahead.
Buy this book! Ward Room blogger Edward McClelland's book, Young Mr. Obama: Chicago and the Making of a Black President, is available on Amazon. Young Mr. Obama includes reporting on President Obama's earliest days in the Windy City, covering how a presumptuous young man transformed himself into presidential material. Buy it now!