For the last few months I've been making bets with other political junkies on who will make the first move if Barack Obama's senate seat becomes vacant.
Early guesses were split between U.S. reps Jesse Jackson and Jan Schakowsky.
Looks like the smart money was on Schakowsky.
Over the weekend on Carol Marin's talk show City Desk, the congresswoman from Evanston said she was interested in being appointed, adding: "I think it is unseemly and untimely right now to do much beyond stating my interest in that."
You can say that again. For one thing, Obama has to win first. And for another, Governor Blagojevich would have to pick Schakowsky over all the other senatorial wannabes, including, but not limited to, Jackson and state comptroller Dan Hynes.
In any event, Schakowsky got off to a quick start by sucking up to Blagojevich. "We do have a working relationship," she told Marin. "I agree with him on his priority of health care and applaud him for the work he has done as the health care governor."
If I were Schakowsky, I wouldn't be too eager to talk about my relationship with Blago, with witnesses testifying in the Rezko trial about unseemly corruption reaching into the governor's inner circle.
I suppose there's nothing wrong with a politician being ambitious, but there's something a little amusing, if not self-defeating, about Schakowsky cozying up to Blagojevich. Whoever he appoints will hold office for all of maybe six months before having to run for "re-election" in the 2010 Democratic primary. And then he or she will have to deal with the fallout of having been the handpicked nominee of a governor held in wide contempt by his own party.
For all we know, he won't even be governor if and when Obama moves to the White House. Over the weekend lieutenant gov Patrick Quinn suggested he might get behind a movement to recall Blagojevich. Maybe Schakowsky should start sucking up to Quinn.