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.