Illinois: Oberweis Begins Charm Offensive for Rematch

Posted May 14, 2008 at 6:49pm

Dairy magnate Jim Oberweis (R) is trying to soften his image in suburban Chicago, according to local media reports, going so far as to cold-call reporters in search of why he lost ex-Speaker Dennis Hastert’s (R) seat in a March special election.

Dubbed the “What Went Wrong Tour” by The Aurora Beacon News, Oberweis is trying to overcome his smug reputation, earned after four highly negative political campaigns on which he has spent millions of dollars of his own money.

“People like to support people they feel like they know and can identify with,” an Oberweis spokesman told the newspaper. “We can do a better job of letting people know who Jim is.”

In the first of the National Republican Congressional Committee’s disastrous 2008 special election troika, Oberweis lost to now-Rep. Bill Foster (D) on March 8. The two are headed to a November rematch.

— Matthew Murray