Here's another prediction: Will Scott Lee Cohen run for Governor?

February 11, 2010

After I successfully predicted the Super Bowl withdrawal announcement from scandal-plagued Lt. Gov Candidate Scott Lee Cohen, many have asked if I have any other predictions. Here's one: Scott Lee Cohen will run as an independent for Governor.

He didn't mention it yesterday when we did Wikipedia Files, but he did leave some clues. Let's review the story:

  • Scott Lee Cohen ran as a Democrat for the Lt. Governor nomination. But almost all of his campaign funds were loans to himself. There is no way to pay that money back, thus my analysis: there is no turning back from getting elected office (no matter the scandal)
  • When the scandal broke, Cohen was called-out by almost every single Democrat, including swift judgment and comment from Governor Pat Quinn, who didn't want to run on the same ticket. There was talk of Quinn even running as an independent to avoid being associated with Cohen. Analysis: That can't sit well with Cohen.
  • Dem party chair Michael Madigan convinced Cohen to step-aside for the good of the Democratic party.‚  According to all parties, no payback deal was put in place. But, in our Wikipedia Files segment yesterday, Cohen said,
"We talked about possibly having fundraisers and stuff, but you know, they didn't say, 'Here's a thousand dollars or here's a million dollars, get out of the race.' I would never do that."
When I asked him to clarify on the fundraisers and stuff...
"We're gonna have our own fundraisers, nothing to do with the party."
Analysis: Fundraisers? For what?
  • Cohen is on a media blitz. He has offered himself up to the Chicago media to continue to tell his story. For someone who has no plans to run or continue in this election cycle, he's talking a lot. He also told us yesterday that he feels voter support and voter confidence in him is higher than it ever has been.‚  Analysis: They still have juice. The campaign still has legs. They just need an office to run for.
  • Cohen has kept mum on plans for the future, but think about it this way: He won the election and secured more than 130,000 votes.‚  That means there are 130,000 disenfranchised voters. That 130,000 mark could serve as a mighty nuisance to Pat Quinn's incumbent hopes. And with the IL GOP nominee still awaiting election results and possible recounts, this race is far from having a front-runner. Analysis: If you got publicly shamed by your party and your potential running mate, wouldn't this be a great "payback"?
There is a lot of speculative evidence here. I think I might be onto something. Obviously, I'm not reporting this or even trying to authenticate it, it's just a theory. But I've heard worse. UPDATE: I contacted Scott Lee Cohen's campaign director Baxter Swilley to get confirmation on the rumor I just started. When asked if he would confirm or deny that the camp is exploring the Governor's mansion:
Justin, you are quite imaginative. I would expect nothing less from you.

Yes, Baxter that is true. But let's break down your response. I could be imaginative and right, and they wouldn't expect less from me based on my track record after predicting the Super Bowl announcement. So I think this means you guys are running. Yep. And I asked you in the e-mail to confirm or deny my question, so in the most classless media way I can, I say with authority "Cohen's camp would neither confirm or deny."