Thursday, September 19, 2013

It’s Quinn vs. whoever! Those who can't accept that fact should get over it

The way the election cycle for Illinois governor is shaping up these days, there seems to be only one concept that prospective voters agree about.

HARDIMAN: Still in the running
Nobody takes seriously Tio Hardiman’s bid for the Democratic Party nomination for governor.

HARDIMAN IS THE former director of CeaseFire Illinois, a group that is concerned about the level of violence in urban areas. He also is a product of public housing in Chicago – which gives him a perspective on life that we rarely see amongst our public officials.

But it also is one that many people prefer to ignore, which is why would-be voters aren’t taking seriously the notion of Hardiman even though he technically is the only challenge that Gov. Pat Quinn faces now in his bid for re-election.

It is now considered a given that Quinn will be the Democratic Party candidate for governor in 2014 – although some are feeling desperate enough to want to talk people such as Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle or former Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulis into considering a bid. Some people think that the departure of William Daley from the primary scene is to Quinn’s advantage.

He can now focus on being governor and roaming around the state doing gubernatorial things while the four guys in the running for the Republican nomination are beating up on each other.

THE GOP “WINNER” will be bloodied and bruised, while Quinn will be fresh and will have had the chance to use the coming months to build himself up a campaign fund of sufficient size that he can go on the attack the day after primary election day.

Of course, there also are those who want to think that all the public attention will now be paid to the Republican candidates. They will be beating up on each other, while no one will be paying the least bit of attention to Quinn.

QUINN: The presumptive nominee
He’ll become a political nobody; as in not all that liked by his alleged Democratic Party allies and in the dreams of all GOP operatives who have the taste of blood in their minds.

Personally, I think that’s a bit over the top; primarily because there are the advantages of incumbency that Quinn will have as he tries to get himself a second full term as Illinois governor.

QUINN MAY NOT have high approval ratings these days. Then again, Quinn himself has never been well-liked by his “colleagues” in electoral politics. Quinn is the equivalent of the high school classroom nerd whom people wish they could completely ignore – but somehow manages to do things that forces himself into public attention.

BRADY: Giving it another go
I’m not saying that I believe Quinn is a shoo-in for re-election. He’s going to have a challenge. People, by and large, are dissatisfied with the performance these days of Illinois government. They will be looking for someone whose head they symbolically can put on a pike when they cast their votes in the primary and general elections next year.

I’m just not convinced that the Republican candidates are any more liked than Quinn these days. In fact, I wonder how much the ideological nonsense taking place in Washington these days will wind up reflecting badly amongst people back here.

Some may approve, but others won’t. And let’s not forget that Quinn got himself elected in 2010 largely because of a sense amongst an urban majority that the Republican gubernatorial candidate would be openly hostile toward their interests because he came from the “other third” of Illinois – as in not city or suburbs.

RAUNER: Wishing he could be rural
EVERY TIDBIT I have heard coming from the GOP primary candidates makes it seem as though they are interested in focusing their campaigns on the rural part of the state – which could make them equally unattractive to Chicago-area voters in 2014.

It’s going to be confusing. It’s going to be chaotic. It’s going to be a mess. Who knows at this point who’s going to be governor?

Except that it won’t be Hardiman; even though he probably should be taken seriously because he at least talks passionately on his pet issues.


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