From Greg Hinz at CHICAGO BUSINESS:
The Democratic and Republican nominees for the U.S. Senate, Alexi Giannoulias and Mark Kirk, gave their views on planning and environmental issues at a Metropolitan Planning Council lunch on Monday.
But the news was what happened afterward: Mr. Kirk literally ran out the hotel door rather than answer questions about a host of recent reports that he repeatedly has exaggerated his experience and credentials.
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The Peter Cottontail moment happened at the downtown Hyatt Regency, where about 1,000 folks were on hand for MPC’s annual big do.
Mr. Giannoulias, on the way in, stopped for a couple of minutes to chat with reporters.
Mr. Kirk arrived after lunch, coming in via a side door.
He spoke for about 20 minutes, than walked down from the dais to have his picture taken with MPC President MarySue Barrett.
As soon as that was done — with a swarm of TV cameras and reporters moving toward the front of the ballroom — Mr. Kirk bolted for a back door.
With media in hot pursuit, he raced through a Hyatt kitchen and into the back seat of a black SUV — I believe it was a Cadillac Escalade — which instantly peeled out.
Mr. Kirk, of course, has been under increasing scrutiny for falsely suggesting that he was named the naval intelligence officer of the year, commanded the Pentagon’s war room, came under fire while on active duty, and declaring he learned about the impact of guns while teaching at a British prep school for a year at an upstate New York nursery school.
In addition, a Pentagon official has said Mr. Kirk improperly engaged in political activities — media interviews and Tweets — while deployed overseas.
Mr. Kirk has not been available to discuss any of this, and obviously didn’t want to on Monday.
Frankly, I’m kinda stunned about this. Bad publicity is bad publicity, but there’s a way not to make it worse. Given that the congressman can’t hide until November, he’s going to have to confront those nasty reporters sooner or later.
Sound familiar? From David Weigel at Right Now at The Washington Post:
Washington Post colleague Paul Kane talked to Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) Tuesday and got an explanation of sorts for the decision of Nevada U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle to play Marcel Marceau with the political press.
You’re going to have complete, 100 percent access to her… it just makes sense at some point. But I think she needs to get staffed up and prepared.
Angle is continuing to talk to conservative media outlets, though — none are interested in asking about damaging stories appearing at places like TPM, but none are able to let her go without something strange coming out. For example, her chat with NRO’s [National Review Online] Robert Costa includes more more musings about Social Security privatization and, interestingly, a deflection of the charge that she backed a Scientology-sponsored prisoner rehab program that more or less defends the (please, nobody sue me) religion often accused of cultish tactics.
What we’re seeing here is a very slippery slope. Whenever religion becomes the focal point — we saw this during John F. Kennedy’s race and also, to some degree, in Mitt Romney’s race — whenever this becomes the focus, we Americans should be very, very concerned. We have a First Amendment that guarantees us all the right to worship as we please. We as Americans should, even if we don’t agree, should defend their right to have that right. It shouldn’t come into play in any political arena.