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Should Illinois Pols Go to Mikva To Get Clean?

By Daniel Treiman

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Leading liberal journo Michael Tomasky argues in the Guardian that Illinois pols should tap Obama mentor, ex-congressman and former federal judge Abner Mikva to fill the president-elect’s Senate seat. Tomasky writes that Mikva “was known in his day as a foe of corruption and the old Chicago Democratic machine. Of stature and above reproach? He’s certainly both.”

Tomasky gives the following reasons for why the 82-year-old would be a perfect pick:

  1. Mikva will automatically remove any cloud that might hang over the Senate seat; being neither corrupt nor ambitious, he would be doing this solely for public-service reasons.

  2. Mikva is close to Obama and has more or less Obama’s politics, which makes it fair that he fill out Obama’s term. The people of Illinois voted for a non-machine progressive Democrat in 2004 when they elected Obama, and there is precedent in such situations for the idea that a person of a similar profile fill out the term.

  3. He would promise to retire after two years, so the people now ogling the seat will be even with one another at the starting line two years’ hence. The one who can succeed in the political marketplace between now and then will be the one who wins, as it should be. And he or she will win it under (presumably) clean circumstances.

And in conclusion, Tomasky writes: “Mikva, you might say, would be a mitzvah.”

There you have it folks, a commandment and a ritual bath all rolled up in one!


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