There are rock star politicians, such as President Barack Obama, who once spoke before a crowd of 200,000 in Berlin. And then there are folk-star politicians, such as Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon, who couldn’t get a dozen people to show up when she announced her campaign for comptroller in Chicago.
Why can’t Simon get as much attention as Obama? Maybe because she plays the banjo. On the Tonight Show, Johnny Carson once joked that sentence least likely to be uttered in English is, “This is the banjo player’s Porsche.”
Nonetheless, Simon is making her banjo as much a part of her political identity as her father, Sen. Paul Simon, did his bow tie. This afternoon, Simon’s band, Loose Gravel, will be playing at 3:30 p.m. in the Miller Lite Beer tent at the State Fair in Springfield. The State Journal-Register reports that the tent will feature a historical display with pictures of all 46 lieutenant governors of Illinois. Also, “Simon is encouraging visitors to take used cellphones to her state fair tent to be refurbished for survivors of domestic violence. Visitors will be encouraged to take the "It Can Wait" pledge to forgo texting while driving.”
(Simon may be in a good mood tonight because her primary opponent, Will County Auditor Duffy Blackburn “suspended” his campaign for comptroller and endorsed her.)