Former Bears coach and eternal Chicago icon Mike Ditka once called himself an "ultra-, ultra-, ultra-conservative" and considered running against Barack Obama in the 2004 U.S. Senate race, so he's just about the last person you'd expect to endorse a liberal reformer like Gov. Pat Quinn, but that's just what Ditka has done.
Quinn is "good people," Ditka says in one of a series of videos at the QuinnForIllinois YouTube channel.
“He’s a good man," Ditka says in his (36-second) video, which is one of 11 testimonials posted.
"I think this is a great state and great states deserve great leaders. I think doing the right thing for the people that put you in office is more important than what you can do for yourself in office. And I think he understands this is a great state and to keep it that way, you have to have good people running it."
Ditka campaigned for the McCain/Palin ticket last year, and has made federal campaign contributions of about $20,000 to Republican candidates and party committees since 1989, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
The Quinn team is also featuring a video from former state senate president Emil Jones, another surprising endorsee given Jones's status as an obstructionist, anti-reform hack.
Still, the videos - also posted on his campaign website - may be the slickest thing Quinn has done.
"[M]ost of the Quinn campaign videos have fairly strong production values, especially for what most people consider an amateur campaign effort so far," writes Rich Miller at Capitol Fax.
Miller notes that a Quinn campaign staffer has been following the governor with a hi-def camera.
Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review.