On Tuesday, Robin Kelly became the de facto U.S. rep for Illinois’ Second District by winning the Democratic nomination to replace former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. As chicagotribune.com points out “Kelly didn’t mention Michael Bloomberg by name during her victory speech. But he made his way into nearly every news story about her landslide win.” The media narrative is no surprise; the gun control jefe spent $2.2m on ads for Kelly. Even before she won, the media painted Kelly’s electoral ascension as evidence that Bloomberg, the billionaire behind The Mayors Against Illegal Guns, is becoming the new NRA, only in reverse. Only he isn’t. Not according to the Trib . . .
She may be little-known in New York or even in broad swaths of metropolitan Chicago. But she is well known throughout the south suburbs, which make up most of the freshly reapportioned 2nd District. She had a message that connected, a message that went well beyond guns.
Yes, Bloomberg’s money made it difficult for Kelly’s opponents to keep up with her. Yes, the attacks on Halvorson’s pro-gun record propelled Kelly into a strong position. Gun violence resonated with voters here.
But it was more than just money that helped her collect more than half the votes in a contest with so many candidates. You can take that to the bank.
You can also take this to the bank: gun violence had sweet FA to do with this election. See: video above. Kelly made all the right noises in all the right places to convince voters that she isn’t a gun grabber. Even though she is.
Besides, we’re talking about Chicago, where only the good die young—and then cast their vote. In other words, the Chicago Machine may pay lip service to civilian disarmament but elections there are about guns like Gor C’s sex appeal is about her wardrobe.
The question remains: when and where will gun owners get a chance to show their power by un-electing disarmament proponents? Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and, I’m thinking, for the rest of their lives.