Following a 90-minute audition meeting today with Gov. Rod Blagojevich, Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. said he was confident in the process the governor is using to make his choice for a Senate successor to President-elect Barack Obama.
But Jackson also touted his credentials for being Blagojevich’s choice, saying that in his 13-year House career serving the South Side and south suburbs, he has only missed two votes. Jackson also said there are three factors that the next senator must be able to fulfill.
“He has to be able to legislate. Or she has to be able to legislate,” Jackson said, noting there are 105,000 Illinois jobs dependent upon a bailout of the nation’s automotive industry.
“They have to be able to work the state, to develop relationships across the state, in order to potentially run for re-election in 2010 successfully. And they obviously have to raise a considerable amount of money in 14 months,” he said.
Democratic leaders nationally have said their preference is for Blagojevich to appoint a successor who could run and hold the seat for Democrats when it is up before voters in the 2010 election.
Jackson has mounted the most highly visible campaign among several people who are being considered for the Senate post. He said the meeting with Blagojevich amounted to a “very productive conversation, very thoughtful” that covered a broad range of issues.