Friday, August 29, 2014

Can JRW kids become a factor if Quinn achieves political victory on Nov. 4?

I'm not sure what to be more repulsed by -- the fact that Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner blew off the elaborate ceremonies meant to offer praise earlier this week to the youthful ballplayers from the Far South Side and surrounding suburbs who participated in the Little League World Series?

Or that Gov. Pat Quinn is so eager to let us know he showed up at that Millennium Park rally (how many people whined when White Sox announcer Ken Harrelson hosted the event)!

I WASN'T SURPRISED to learn that Rauner chose to go on another of his rural Illinois bus tours, and was at a restaurant in Braidwood (out past Joliet) at the time when the kids of the Jackie Robinson West Little League program were getting their moment in the sun (literally).

Perhaps he thinks that making his rounds on the "Shake Up Express" tour (he was in Greenville, Carlyle, Lebanon, Waterloo, DuQuoin and Edwardsville on Friday) will get him more voter support than the urban crowd would have attracted to his campaign on Wednesday.

But then I got the e-mail message from the Quinn campaign letting me know how proud the governor was of those kids -- who admittedly are getting praise from politicos all over.

There are many suburban communities with the weakest of links to the team that are desperate to now issue proclamations honoring their efforts. Perhaps they find drafting such a resolution more interesting than the process of purchasing a new lawnmower for their Public Works department?

QUINN MANAGED TO include so many photographs of himself with the kids, while wearing a yellow t-shirt with the team's logo on it. Along with video snippets.

It came across as Quinn trying to use the Jackie Robinson West kids as an excuse to give his campaign yet another jolt to try to close the gap that various polls have shown exists for the Nov. 4 election cycle.

Now I expect political people to pander for votes. They'll use whatever they can to try to find themselves favorable attention. So we shouldn't be shocked by the actions of either Rauner or Quinn.

I just want to know that if Quinn winds up giving a victory speech on Election Night, will he acknowledge these kids -- and everybody else whom he has glommed onto -- as the reason people voted for him?


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