"I know you are, but what am I?"
That's what the Democratic side of the governor's race has turned into. A schoolyard taunt.
Mell doesn't even try to put a pretty face on his way of doing business, unlike the new-schoolers with batteries of lawyers and consultants on speed dial. Oh, and he's the father-in-law of disgraced former governor Rod Blagojevich, whom Mell created in his basement lab one day out of a slick pool of glib and hair.
Mell's spider-eating daughter, Patti, remains in legal jeopardy for her own political and real estate dealings learned at the knee of her father. (She has not yet endorsed Quinn.)
The irony of the Mell endorsement - and the support of other Machine-heads lining up behind the incumbent - isn't lost on the campaign of challenger Dan Hynes, the state comptroller.
"It would never even occur to us to seek the endorsement of the single individual most responsible for inflicting this state with Rod Blagojevich, let alone hold a press conference," Hynes spokesman Matt McGrath told The Huffington Post.
In an e-mail blast, the Hynes campaign accused Quinn of "continu[ing] his gravitation toward ultimate political insider-dom today by accepting the endorsement of . . . man synonymous with Chicago Machine politics."
This, of course, raises some daddy issues for Hynes, which didn't escape the Quinn folks.
"He is a child of the old-time Chicago Machine and owes his entire career to his ward boss father," spokeswoman Elizabeth Austin wrote in her own e-mail blast. "Without Machine backing and his father's political muscle, how could he have won statewide office at the age of 28?"
The answer to that question, of course, is, uh, good looks?
Hynes sprang from the Machine and Quinn has been adopted by it.
There's bound to be resentment between two guys who now find themselves brothers.
Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review.