March 9th, 2008
03:20 PM ET
14 years ago

Democrat claims Hastert's former congressional seat

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Barack Obama appeared in an ad for Democrat Bill Foster."] (CNN) - A Democratic victory in a special election to fill the congressional seat held by former Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert is a sign of things to come, according to the party. Barack Obama’s campaign says it’s a demonstration of his electoral coattails.

First-time candidate Bill Foster, a physicist, beat Republican Jim Oberweis, a money manager and head of a giant dairy. The national Republican Party spent millions on his behalf.

Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen, who leads the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said Foster’s victory demonstrated to Republican candidates that “Senator (John) McCain, who campaigned with the Republican nominee, cannot save them from defeat this November against strong Democratic challengers, even in districts that voted overwhelmingly for President Bush.”

The race had shaped up to be a presidential face-off of sorts, with McCain stumping for Oberweis and Obama backing Foster.

“You may think you have to wait until November to vote for change. But here in Illinois, you can start Saturday March 8th. That’s when you can vote to send Bill Foster to Congress,” said Obama in a campaign ad for the underdog candidate.

In a statement released by his campaign Saturday night, Obama said "The people of Illinois have sent an unmistakable message that they're tired of business-as-usual in Washington."

Republicans dispute the characterization. “The one thing 2008 has shown is that one election in one state does not prove a trend,” National Republican Congressional Committee spokeswoman Karen Hanretty said Saturday. “…The one message coming out of 2008 so far is that what happens today is not a bellweather of what happens this fall.”

–CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (207 Responses)
  1. Frantz

    You Clinton supporters are something else. This is the first pro Obama article in nearly 2 weeks! And you guys are crying already. You guys want EVERY SINGLE ARTICLE in your favor or you cry foul likr the little boy who cried wolf. Its like Hillary and her supporters think there isvsome kind of entittlement owed to them from the DNC and the MEDIA!! Get over it. The democratic party is changing the guard. We need to purge the old, corrupt, politics out of the party for new blood. I am all for a woman for president, but Hillary is definitely not the one! We need to change to build this party up and bring young, and independent voters in. Its always a fight to get old corruption out of any organization, and Im sure when Hillary goes, she will have to be carried out kicking and screaming (and spewing venim). Its over for Hillary and her supporters, either in June or November. Unfortunutely, her supporters just dont know it yet, CNN has been trying to keep Hillary's campaign alive on the resperator, just so they can have a great story over the summer.Face it Clintonites, the Clintons simply have too much baggage, and too many bad memories. We need to turn the page, we need to change course.

    March 9, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  2. NC

    I don't understand the Hillary supporters. Most of them seem so hateful. When SNL was all the buzz they were "dancing in the streets". Now they are saying Obama is arrogant because another democrat won who happen to get Obama's endorsement and somebody even had the nerve to say "I bet Hillary supported him too"....pure amazement at the "silly season".

    Just be happy that another democrat made it to congress.....or is it that the Hillary supporters can't do that SNL tells them to.

    March 9, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  3. Rohit Singh

    Are the people in Ohio and PA so racist that they would not even consider a non-white person?

    March 9, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  4. Yolanda Diaz

    But it is a nice way to buy a super delegate

    March 9, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  5. James

    Hillary 08!!!!

    March 9, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  6. sylvia

    Bill Clinton need to stay out of his wife campaign. He needs to stay out of this election. He is beginning to sound very desperate just because Hillary is losing. There is no way Hillary will catch up to OBAMA. No way.

    Samatha Powers took the words out of my mouth in describing Hillary's desperate run for the Presidency. A MONSTER.

    GO OBAMA!!!

    March 9, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  7. Paul

    Yes we can,and not body will stop us

    March 9, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  8. charles

    Remember a blk person hasn't won nothing big in Pa..the governnor said that...

    March 9, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  9. Patricia wv

    Rohit Singh,

    And what will Tennessee show ?

    March 9, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  10. Rico

    "You won't see me as a vice presidential candidate, you know, I'm running for president," said Obama.

    Cocky Much?

    No, cocky is someone trailing in the democratic presidential race asking the guy leading to be her vp. That's cocky.

    March 9, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  11. Charlotte

    Obama is not responsible for this guy getting elected. The people of Illonios are. I would have to know more about this election and the parties involved before I would give Obama credit of any kind. Were they tied and somehow Obama was able to break that tie? I vote for a candidate based on my perception, not by some other persons. I guess you got to grab credit where ever you can, since you have none of your own. One things for sure, this guy did not vote for the war in Iraq. Maybe he made a speech about it though? How many more months,( currently 13) do we have to hear Obama say he did not vote for the war?

    March 9, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  12. nadeem

    The people in Ohio and PA are not racists. PA has not voted yet, and Ohio was tricked by Clinton lies about NAFTA, the truth was Clinton told Canada to take her comments with a grain of salt, told her media friends at CNN it was Obama, knowing full well by the time the truth came out the polls would be closed.

    You are right about Hillary fans, very bitter people.

    March 9, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  13. Trevor

    This is the change we seek. Obama must come forcefull about the lies that Hillary is sending out on Obama. On the Canadain NaFTA , it was Hillary who contacted the Canadain but turn it on Obama why cnn and the other news not talking about this, on Sundat 9, 2008 the Candaian Broadcasting Corp was on C_SPAN that said Obama didnot say what Hillary said he said and I am not seeing the cnn or any body reporting on this after she lie and won the election. I am very concern because it was a lie that put us in war today and if we elected someon eon lieing what do you think we are going to get from Asmin... wake up American... see what we are doing we must vote Obama in right now!

    March 9, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  14. Wendy

    I have fond memories of the Clinton presidency; great economic growth!!!

    March 9, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  15. For Obama

    Bush has already divided this country. OBAMA 08!!

    March 9, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  16. Ellie

    For once I agree with a Kennedy! Go Obama. Future primary states.......please vote for a change in the US, and that change is definetly not Hillary Rodham Clinton or whatever she happens to be calling herself these days.

    March 9, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  17. Murali

    OBAMA is the man.

    March 9, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  18. mel

    Come on people, do you really think the republicans that voted for Obama in the democratic primaries, are going to vote for Obama if elected the democrat nominee in the November election. We are falling for this mind game hook, line and sinker. Wake up and smell the politics.....

    March 9, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  19. Joe, Chicago West Suburbs

    Bill Foster is a good Person and a good Businessman committed to serving this country and making it a better place. The Republicans put up a perennial loser in Oberweis who campaigned dirty. It is great day to be a Democrat.

    Hope can prevail over fear. This is a telling indicator. When Obama gets through the Primary we will be on the home stretch; this is the right direction for the country.

    March 9, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  20. hinda

    Rohit Singh March 9th, 2008 3:28 pm ET
    Are the people in Ohio and PA so racist that they would not even consider a non-white person?

    YES they are...The Gov Ed Rendell of PA said it few weeks ago

    March 9, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  21. Dee

    Yes, Obama will probably take Mississippi since blacks are 70% of the registered voters there. It seems like people lately are voting in accordance with race or gender, as opposed to the issues.

    March 9, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  22. Charlotte

    March 9th, 2008 5:42 pm ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    I hate to tell you Obama-bots this, but the Superdelegates will most likely determine the outcome of this election. With that in mind, they must look at which candidate won what states. They have no choice but to look at the states that are most likely to vote for a democrat and the ones that most likely go to the Republicans in November. Since Obama has not won a large democratic state, they will have no choice but to consider this in their decision. There are RED and BLUE states and that's a fact. JFK lost the popular vote but won the election, because he carried the BIG BLUE states. Hope you guys are at least prepared for the possibility

    March 9, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  23. PCS / North Carolina

    Curliss wrote March 9th, 2008 12:47 pm ET

    "they both need to be on the ticket. Obama has already rejected that…so, whose the divider?"

    Are you kiding? Hillary is asking Obama to be the running mate !! when he had won more states, more delegates and more popular votes. Is she dillusional ?

    March 9, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  24. Ramcharan

    I understand that the Obama camper did call Clinton a 'monster', but is that not what Ms. Bill is..."HER" supporter said that Hillary wants Obama to join her "IN THE BACK OF THE BUS"...sure sounded that King-Kong was on Larry King last week to me....or am I mistaken...
    Have we not progressed past that level of sure hits hard when 'a WOMAN' is trying for the White House, and does not remember how tough the road for a Woman also was.
    You make me ashamed Hillary.

    March 9, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  25. An Agnostic Democrat

    Like Hillary had anything to do with this. Don't worry, she or Bill will try to spin it otherwise. New? Hardly ...

    March 9, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
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