Monday, January 12, 2015

EXTRA: Inaugural concert contact w/ people, or 'Bruce can’t dance' coverup

I find myself amused by the idea of an Inauguration concert to be held Monday night in Springfield, and not just because it reduces legendary Chicago bluesman Buddy Guy to the role of a warm-up act for Oklahoma native country music singer Toby Keith.

It reminds me of when one-time professional wrestler Jesse Ventura became Minnesota governor early in 1999 and held an inaugural concert featuring bluesman Jonny Lang and Delbert McClinton, with rocker Warren Zevon also appearing.

BOTH VENTURA AND new Gov. Bruce Rauner gave nearly identical excuses for not having the traditional inaugural ball; both said they felt a concert was something that would appeal to the masses instead of overly-stuffy politicos.

They may be right about one point – as someone who covered the Inauguration ceremonies held for Jim Edgar and George Ryan, the ball in Springfield always struck me as a third-rate attempt at replicating the Inaugural Ball held in Washington for the new president.

And maybe Rauner finds appealing the thought that Keith is a one-time Democratic Party partisan whose conservative ideology has caused him to identify with Republicans in recent election cycles.

Or maybe he just wants to hear “American Soldier.” Personally, I think Illinois could have done better – although I’m inclined to think that perhaps Guy could have been the headliner. That’s just my bias.

ALTHOUGH IF I really had to guess about the motives of Monday night’s events, perhaps it is that Rauner can’t dance all that well and doesn’t want to come across as silly-looking while trying to do the foxtrot or tango?

Let’s just hope he doesn’t slap a cowboy hat on to go with his Carhartt jacket and boots from the campaign season – that would come across as more foolish!


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