Politico reports on Obama’s recent stumping for Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias:
Replacing President Barack Obama in the Senate was always going to be a tall order for Illinois Democrats. But never has the scale of that challenge been so clear as it was this week, when Obama embraced the man nominated to fill his seat and pleaded with voters to make Alexi Giannoulias “the next senator of the great state of Illinois.”
At a fundraiser here for Giannoulias’s campaign, Obama offered an endorsement that doubled as a defense of the candidate’s moral fiber. As Giannoulias, the Illinois state treasurer, struggles to overcome questions about his tenure at his family’s failed bank, Obama declared: “Alexi is my friend. I know his character. I know how much he loves this country. I know how committed he is to public service for all the right reasons.”
“You can trust him. You can count on him,” Obama insisted, with Giannoulias seated behind him on stage at Chicago’s Palmer House Hilton.
It was a valiant effort to help Giannoulias move past the ethics questions that have dogged his campaign. National Republicans have tagged the Democrat a “mob banker” because of loans the Giannoulias family-owned Broadway Bank gave to felons. Days before the trip for Giannoulias, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched an ad campaign, urging voters to “look at his record of economic failure: Giannoulias was an executive at Broadway Bank, which was driven into the ground and taken over by the feds.”