March 12, 2004
With each day that passes and with each desperate and negative flyer I receive in my mailbox, Hull’s campaign becomes sadder and sadder. The latest poll has him in 4th now, behind the bizarre Maria Pappas. It’s just one poll of course, but it’s clear at this point that his support is eroding fast. Yes, he’s been treated harshly in the press, but as a millionaire with no political experience he should have expected that. I guess all that money can’t buy you consultants smart enough to anticipate that voters and the press would put some pressure on an unproven outsider.
From the ads this past weekend to the tone of the flyers, Hull is clearly trying paint himself as a victim of the Illinois political machine, which according to him has had to resort to personal attacks because his outsider status was a threat to their inside game. That claim would have more resonance however if these attacks weren’t so revealing of how thin of a candidate he always was. Had he been an articulate man with more acumen in the public eye, he may have recovered from the Sexton affair. Had his platform been based on less rhetorical chicanery and more substance, he would also probably still be in a lead position. But none of that was true; leaving us with the lesson that money alone does not make a promising candidate.
What I think is most sad about his whole campaign is that he could have spent 1/20th of his money and ran for a statewide office and won with little difficulty. He could have then taken the rest of the 30 million and started any number of philanthropically organizations that could have worked to research and enact his grand visions of health care and educational reform. Six years from now, a guy named Blair Hull with legislative experience, a proven commitment to Illinois social issues, and a half billion dollars would be a formidable U.S. Senate candidate indeed.