Hull learning nothing fair in Illinois politics

For the next few paragraphs, don't think like a voter. In campaigns, voters are the objects of the exercise.

Instead, think like a political operative. And by this I don't mean some cartoon with a cigar and a pinky ring.

Operatives are the guys who do the feeding. The clever operatives can feed millions and never leave their fingerprints on the silverware.

In thinking like an operative, you wouldn't ask how the release of the Hull divorce papers hurts his candidacy because, as an operative, you'd have started polling on this question as the first stories appeared, if not before.

So ask what an operative would ask: Who does it help?

The common wisdom would suggest that State Sen. Barack Obama (D-Chicago) will benefit from Hull's troubles and that Obama will win support from women peeling away from Hull.


Yet the problem with common wisdom is that it's so common. And you're not common.

So you might figure that Hull's troubles also help Illinois Comptroller Dan Hynes.

Hynes, son of former Cook County Assessor Tom Hynes, is the candidate the Daleys of Chicago would like in the U.S. Senate.

Hynes is running a low-profile campaign by design. The strategy is that he'll have the ward bosses and organized labor churning out votes in Chicago, Cook County and far southern Illinois.

One lie about politics is that it's all about addition.

In a low-turnout party primary, it has never been about addition.

It has always been about subtraction.

The many Democratic candidates will take just enough from their demographic, leaving Hynes with the organization vote.

Hull, a card counter, didn't understand about subtraction. And he has spent millions to learn.