Cohen Quits “For the Good of the People.” Really?

Here’s a first: Two successive posts inspired by politics.   But, hey, we’re talking about Illinois politics here.  There’s always something or someone provocative to write about.  Make  that “blog” about.

It’s been three days — since Super Bowl Sunday — that a political newcomer named Scott Lee Cohen announced he was relinquishing his nomination as the Democratic standard bearer for Lieutenant Governor in the November 2010 general elections.  He did so during half time, while seated in a North Side bar, his fiancee and children beside him.  Oh, and why was this maverick pawnbroker-turned-politician dropping out?

Well, this is Illinois, after all, and there were allegations of steroid use, failure to pay child support and his one-time girlfriend at the time charged him with assault.  (By the way, the girlfriend was once arrested for prostitution.)

Enough background. Here’s my thoughts:

1.  Cohen spent $2 million on the campaign.  Most probably was spent in advertising, but some was spent to enlist PR counsel.  I know because I received emails with well-written, well-conceived announcements about the candidate’s efforts to promote jobs by organizing job fairs.    Hiring a public relations team is not novel, but I’m glad he did.

2.  The Chicago Tribune, in an editorial, took some of the “blame” for Cohen’s rise to the nomination.  The editors noted that the media in Illinois did not properly investigate Cohen, who’s only real political involvement was to launch a web site last year promoting the ousting of former Governor Rod Blagojevich.  Kudos to the Tribune on this one.  I wonder if the Trib, Sun-Times and other “serious” media would have vetted Cohen if they had the seasoned political reporters on staff from a few years ago.  You know, before social media and bloggers decimated journalism.

3.  As I noted in my most recent post, my state is in dire straits for a lot of reasons.  We’re morally bankrupt figuratively, and nearly bankrupt literally. Cohen’s rise, fall and departure only communicates to the rest of the nation and the world that lots of things are, indeed, very rotten in the Land of Lincoln.

Not sure what public relations could do to help my state out.  I welcome any and all comments.

3 thoughts on “Cohen Quits “For the Good of the People.” Really?

  1. Hey Ed,
    Well, for months I’ve been enjoying your writing and your posts on Facebook. I’m glad that tonight I finally I have some time to write and a comment to share.

    Lots of us have reasons to be appalled by Scott Lee Cohen’s candidacy. One thing, of no importance to voters but curious just the same, that hasn’t been mentioned is what happened the evening when he made his “dropping out” media announcement at a bar in my neighborhood

    It is is about the kids. Actually they were two teenage boys: his own son and his new girlfriend’s son. While Cohen was alternately wrought with emotion or crying during his interview, both kids were also captured on video crying uncontrollably throughout the event. I’m still trying to understand what streak of vanity or egotism led him to include and subject these youngsters to such a circus show.

    Well, I want to share with you my take on the media culpability angle here. “The Fourth Estate asleep at the wheel in Chicago – as usual” is the theme of a commentary which I posted on my Facebook page before he announced he would step down (by the way he hasn’t filed the formal withdrawal forms yet) here:!/note.php?note_id=456948265102

    Peace, Michael J. Harrington

    • Good Morning Michael:

      Thanks for your reply and the link to your Facebook comment pertaining to the Cohen election fiasco. I thought it was appalling that he didn’t have the decency to announce his departure at a more “traditional” venue, without his kids in tow. I don’t read the Sun-Times very often, so I didn’t read Lynn Sweet’s commentary; but I agree with you totally: One key part of the media’s job is to analyze those running for public office. Wonder why Cohen’s opponents didn’t investigate his past. And, it was the Tribune that broke the story of his arrest, but after the election. Think I’ll stay away from political blogs for a while, unless Huffington calls. Need to stick to PR, but it’s fun commenting on the antics within our political arena. There’s always something going on.

  2. Accurate to an extent, which is a big piece of the reason the Conservatives begun exiting the Republicans a whole decade ago, or at the very least ended voting for their candidates. Im fairly conservative, but no way was I going to vote for a Bush or McCain. Yet, the Presidency merely has so much force – they CANNOT pass and a more accurate assesment of spending comes from looking at who is working the House and Senate, not the White House. The Obamabots are making a differentiation when it fits them as their President contends to enact his agenda, and the Bushies did the comparable when the spot was converse later in his Presidency.

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