Fitz for VP!


Blogger (and fellow IU alum) T.J. Brown cites an old column of mine and says McCain should select the guy who once held Barack Obama's Illinois seat in the U.S. Senate, ex-Sen. Peter Fitzgerald.  It isn't going to happen.  But it would have been a pretty bold and inspired move. 

Fitzgerald actually is what both Obama and McCain claim to be—an advocate for change and a straight talker, respectively.  And he was willing to risk his political career for it.  During his tenure in the Senate, Fitzgerald stood up to then- House Speaker Denny Hastert and the GOP leadership, refusing to help procure massive pork barrel and corporate welfare grants for his home state, over Hastert's objections.  He also wouldn't play ball when the party pressured him to nominate a local GOP prosecutor for the vacant U.S. attorney position in Chicago.  Fitzgerald wanted to be sure then-GOP Gov. George Ryan was properly investigated on corruption charges, and wasn't confident someone with ties to the state party would suffice.  So he nominated a prosecutor from out of state, earning him wrath from both his own party and the local media.

Naturally, Fitzgerald was soon drummed out of his party—the GOP refused to support him in his first re-election primary.  After a sex scandal bounced the party's initial nominee, Illinois Republicans had to settle for Alan Keyes, who was then trounced by Obama.