Tuesday, January 8, 2013

EXTRA: ‘Mighty’ Quinn flexes flab, not muscle, on pension reform

I’m sure that in his own mind, Gov. Pat Quinn on Tuesday was very presidential.

As in he probably thinks he gave a statement during the morning hours to motivate legislators to approve something involving pension funding reform, similar to how on Dec. 31 President Barack Obama made that live televised statement telling people how “we’re not there yet” with regards to resolving the federal government’s “fiscal cliff.”

OBAMA MADE A statement that was part news update and part scolding of the Congress for those members who would otherwise have been content to play partisan politics and do nothing.

It helped to put public pressure on those politicos by making it clear how much abuse they would be subjected to from the public, and how unsuccessful they would be if they seriously tried to shift blame for the whole matter to Obama.

Quinn tried to do the same thing Tuesday morning from his office at the Statehouse – but that blank, wide-eyed look he had through much of his statement along with the tone of his voice came across more as someone who was whining about those bad legislators who won’t take this issue seriously.

Which isn’t surprising. Since all too often, the current Legislature is willing to disregard anything the governor has to say. Part of it is the aura of Madigan (as in Illinois House Speaker Michael) in terms of getting people to take him more seriously, while another part is the belief among many legislators that Quinn’s word can’t always be trusted.

SO DON’T BE shocked if it turns out that the governor’s statement gets truncated to a brief quip for the evening newscasts when they do a story about how the current General Assembly finished its business without resolving the pension funding issue.

“I’m going to work on this all day long. I’m committed to this,” said Quinn. “We’ve got to keep on coming up … until we arrive at a solution.” It’s true enough, but I suspect the rank-and-file reaction is going to be a collective yawn, and that the new veto-proof General Assembly will feel even less gubernatorial pressure when it takes over.

I’m sure it also didn’t help that Obama had his announcement carried live over the network airwaves. A president can cut into the soap operas to get his word out.

Quinn had to settle for a live stream statement on Illinois government’s website. Which may well mean that some people at the Statehouse goofed off of work by watching the governor, rather than playing poker, on their computers.

 IT’S JUST NOT the same level of impact!

A new Legislature takes over on Wednesday, and now they’re going to have to start the process all over – even though some officials are saying that enough groundwork has been done that it could be easier for them to reach a solution.


No comments: