Republican Jim Oberweis Loses Election, Shows Up To Congressional Orientation Anyway
On Thursday afternoon, the Associated Press announced that Illinois Democrat Lauren Underwood would retain her seat in Congress, having won her election to continue representing the 14th district by over 4,500 votes. Yay!
Also on Thursday afternoon, her Republican opponent, Jim Oberweis, the guy whose ice cream we don't buy because of how he uses that money to fight gay rights and reproductive choice, went ahead and showed up to Congressional orientation anyway. He showed up on Friday, too. Guess he figured everyone would admire his moxie and just let him into Congress without requiring him to win an election. You know what they say — 80 percent of being an elected official is just showing up. Or "I think I am a member of Congress, therefore I am ... a member of Congress." Or "A seat in Congress in the hand is worth two in the bush."
If this scenario seems a tad familiar to you, that is probably because it is basically an episode of Seinfeld. You know, the one where George quits his job over not being allowed to use the executive bathrooms, then realizes he has no other job prospects and so just shows up the next day like nothing happened?
George go back to work and pretend he never quit www.youtube.com
Granted, his job was not in Congress.
Oberweis' rationalization for this is that he's not going to concede the election and will be pursuing a recount, and they only do a new member orientation once — so, hypothetically, if they do a recount and it turns out they somehow misplaced over 4,500 ballots in his favor, he won't have missed it.
Oberweis spokesman Travis Akin told reporters Thursday that Oberweis would not concede would seek a recount.
On Friday, Akin said Oberweis "was on the plane when the AP called the race" on Thursday.
When races are not called or otherwise undecided, it is common practice for candidates to attend the freshman orientation.
Akin said Oberweis attending the sessions was not an "in your face" statement. It was "something he was advised to do so he did," Akin said. New member orientation is held only once. [...]
Akin said Oberweis will pursue the recount once ballot counting is complete on Nov. 17 and the results are certified. Akin said the "numbers being reported are accurate" but Oberweis has a chance of winning because "we think there are more provisional ballots out there than have been said."
Yeah, Illinois' 14th district is pretty big — with a population of 718,232, it has more people in it than both Wyoming and Vermont — but it's probably not "Jim Oberweis can make up 4,688 votes in provisional ballots big." It is probably also not a problem that can be solved by slipping a mickey Nancy Pelosi's drink and getting Julia Louis-Dreyfuss to flirt with her. He's just going to have to stick to the ice cream business (do not buy his ice cream) or, you know, consider a career as a latex salesman for Vandelay Industries.
Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse