The new Andy McKenna-Matt Murphy ticket ignores a basic rule of politics: pairing two terrible candidates together does not produce one good one.
Murphy is a state senator from Palatine whose tangled questioning of Roland Burris helped Burris avoid a perjury charge despite clearly misleading a legislators about his appointment to the U.S. Senate. Murphy is a lawyer.
Neither has demonstrated any reason to believe they will have statewide appeal; their appeal within the party is limited.
In fact, Murphy was planning to run for governor himself this time around, but must have felt that his best chance at statewide office would come through hitching his wagon to McKenna.
And if hitching your wagon to Andy McKenna is your best shot, then you didn't have much of a shot to begin with.
Now, the hitching is informal; Illinois law doesn't allow formal running mates for the offices. But they'll campaign and coordinate together as if it did.
It's not entirely impossible that McKenna-Murphy make it out of the primary. After all, one of their opponents was a spokesman for both Alan Keyes and the town of Cicero, two of the most ignomonious positions an Illinoisan could think of.
Then again, McKenna claimed last year that if Abraham Lincoln were here today, “he would have to tell a story of a house divided that’s even more outrageous than the one that lived in his time.”
McKenna and Murphy are not without their virtues. But putting two weak candidates together does not make a strong one.
Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review.