|RAUNER: Trying to avoid Trump burn|
So Rauner has always had to do a rhetorical dance around many issues, particularly whenever the name of Donald J. Trump comes up.
BECAUSE THE LAST thing the governor wants to have happen as he seeks re-election in 2018 is for all the people who despise the idea of “President Donald Trump” to take out that hostility by voting against him.
But there’s also the reality that outside of the Chicago area, the part of Illinois where a Rauner re-election effort will focus much of its attention, Trump has his fans.
As in Illinois would have been amongst the Great Lakes states that swung over into his favor – if only the strong Chicago-area electorate hadn’t have pushed Illinois over into the Hillary Clinton column for the Electoral College.
If Rauner goes too hard in speaking out against the incumbent president, he could wind up finding himself alienating the people he’s going to need if he’s to have any chance of getting re-elected.
SO THAT IS why it was considered somewhat of a bold move on Wednesday at the Illinois State Fair when Rauner used a political rally to rip into the nit-witted way in which Trump has handled responding to the race-motivated violence in Charlottesville, Va.
|TRUMP: Taking down all in his path?|
Under a headline of Governor lays into Trump, the Chicago Tribune reported that Rauner said, “We must stand together against hatred and racism and bigotry and violence and we must condemn those actions in Charlottesville in the strongest terms.”
Much stronger than the presidential rhetoric about how there’s blame on “both sides” and how “not all of those people were neo-Nazis. Not all of those people were white supremacists by any stretch.”
But just when one thinks Rauner is taking a side and trying to distance himself from the presidential nonsense being spewed to legitimize the people who are the source of our society’s problems, it seems he’s trying not to go too far.
TAKE THE INTERVIEW he gave Friday to WBEZ-FM, where he talked about a pending bill that would limit across the state of Illinois the ability of law enforcement to get itself involved in immigration law enforcement.
|How much are J.B., Dems counting on Rauner to beat self|
Chicago and Cook County already have such actions on their books – the measures that have caused the Trump types to threaten the federal funding our city and county receive. Rauner won’t say for sure whether he’ll sign it. “An announcement about that in the next couple of days” is as far as he’ll commit.
Could Rauner be contemplating a veto, or some sort of amendatory action, to tamper with the bill that is meant to reinforce the faith people have in their police to behave properly, and which even Rauner himself has called, “a reasonable compromise.”
Something to convince those more ideologically-inclined to keep their faith in him, and not get upset that he bad-mouthed “The Donald” – kicking the president when he’s furthest down (only 38 percent approval as of Friday, according to the Gallup Organization’s daily tracking poll).
OF COURSE, IF he goes too far, he’ll wind up antagonizing the urban electorate of Illinois. What Rauner wants is apathy amongst Chicago voters. What he needs is to not do anything that harms his own interests.
|COULTER: Expressing ideologue truth?|
Because the ideologues don’t have a natural affinity for him, the significance of that recent outburst by that ninny of a pundit, Ann Coulter, who responded to a Fox News interview the governor gave about education funding in Illinois by saying (rather crudely) Rauner, “either is retarded or is playing retard.”
The honest truth is that if a Democrat manages to win the 2018 gubernatorial election, it’s going to be because Rauner managed to blow it – not because people have any love for J.B. Pritzker or any other Dem hopeful.
Which is what all the mechanizations these days of Rauner are all about – a balancing act to prevent the Age of Trump from incinerating his political future.