Monday, April 7, 2014

Which political curtain does Rauner not want us to look behind on this day?

Bruce Rauner went through the Republican primary portion of this year’s elections trying to ease the concerns of his party that he’s too Chicago-oriented and not socially conservative enough by engaging in the tough-talk against organized labor.

Rauner the Almighty Oz? Or that weaselly guy?
So much so that the unions themselves used their political action committees in an unsuccessful attempt to try to defeat Rauner before he could get the GOP nomination for governor.

BUT HAVE YOU noticed that the little bit we’ve heard from the Rauner campaign in the past couple of weeks has had little, if anything, to do with his views on organized labor?

Heck, most of what we have received comes from that nonsensical image he calls “Quinnochio” – an attempt to hold incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn up to ridicule.

But the dominant image we have got in recent weeks is that we’re now being introduced to Rauner’s wife – Diana.

We got to see her on Election Night, and now she’s in a new campaign ad with Rauner – where she lets us know she considers herself to be a Democrat. Albeit one who’s not going to support the party nomination of Quinn for re-election come Nov. 4.

AS THOUGH RAUNER wants all the would-be Democratic voters who are appalled by his primary rhetoric to reconsider on the grounds that, after all, his wife is, “one of us!”

My guess is that this is the way the general election cycle is going to continue. Rauner – the venture capitalist who made his fortune buying companies cheaply, then selling them off for a profit to people who actually understood the respective businesses involved – will try to moderate himself into an acceptable urban alternative to Quinn.

For all I know, Rauner’s campaign is gambling that the electorate has a short memory-span, to the point where they will have “forgotten” all that tough talk he used against labor unions – whom he was quick to demonize as the reason that Illinois government is so flawed.
And heck, his wife is “one of us.” She voted for Barack Obama for president, his campaign aides told the Chicago Tribune (he better hope that doesn’t backfire against him amongst rural Illinois voters?).

QUINN: How much do we dislike him?
OF COURSE, THE newspaper also reported about how 91 percent of the campaign contributions Diana Rauner has made to were to Republican candidates or socially-conservative interest groups.
There’s nothing illegal about that. She can give her money to whomever she wants. And I’m sure a close analysis of anyone’s financial donations would show that few have a rigid “100 percent” ideological strain to them.

But it literally does remind me of that moment near the end of “The Wizard of Oz,” when Dorothy peeks behind the curtain to see that the Great Oz is just another schnook – no more powerful or wonderful than anyone else!

In the primary, we were told not to look at any aspect of Rauner other than his distaste for labor unions. Because his GOP opposition was lacking in any serious funds of its own to pull aside other curtains, we in Illinois did what we were told.

NOW, WE’RE BEING told to look at his wife. Don’t pay attention to anything else – particularly not any speculation about those nursing homes with questionable actions that Rauner’s companies owned for a time.

What will we be told next to look away from? And how long until we’re told to quit paying attention to the fact that Rauner and Rahm Emanuel have their own ties that would enable them to put aside personal differences and work together.

Possibly more closely than Emanuel could ever work with Quinn?

Although that might be a point that Quinn would want to come out. Because there are those in Chicago who despise Emanuel and wish they could defeat him for mayoral re-election in 2015.

BECAUSE THEY LIKELY won’t be able to do that, they’ll have to settle for beating up on Rauner come November.

Just as much as those Illinoisans from outside of the Chicago area are so eager for a Republican gubernatorial victory that they’ll tolerate the thought of Rauner if it means beating Quinn. Or maybe not!

Which means the bottom line of Election ’14 appears to be the same one that we have experienced in so many recent elections.

Quinn vs. Rauner – Who Do We Hate More?!!


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