Saturday, January 28, 2017

Rauner or Rahm – Who gets hurt the most by Trump presidential presence?

It may seem odd to some that a person who appears to be as clueless about Chicago and as uninterested in learning about its realities as the president is, that he’s going to be a significant factor in two of the upcoming election cycles we will engage in.
RAUNER: Could he suffer more severe blows?

Yet that’s going to be the case – the existence of Donald J. Trump in the Oval Office is going to create headaches both for Gov. Bruce Rauner when he seeks re-election in 2018 and for Mayor Rahm Emanuel when he tries to retain his post come 2019.

IF ANYTHING, THE president may become a bigger pain in the behind for the guy who’s supposed to be his partisan colleague – both he and Rauner claim to be Republicans who want to bring their business-type ways of doing things to government.

While a part of me wonders if many of us who truly want to dump Rahm Emanuel may wind up coming to see his antagonistic ways as being the thing that protects us from the whims of Donald J. in the White House.

I don’t doubt that if Trump himself were asked the question about our political scene, he’d cite Emanuel (the man whose “crimes” in the eyes of ideologue Republicans is that he does not hang his head in shame at the thought of having worked on the staffs of both presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama) as the guy who has to go.

The one upon whom he’ll focus his wrath – just as he’s already delivering the first of what will be many pot shots against Chicago during his presidency.

HE’S GOING TO talk a lot of trash meant to make Rahm Emanuel look bad, and perhaps he thinks he’s stirring up the resentment against Rahm for the ’19 election cycle.
EMANUEL: Chicago's defender?

Yet the problem is that Trump’s underlying views on so many Chicago-oriented issues are the exact opposite of what we want to see happen. Rahm and his “Go to Hell” approach to political life may come to be seen as our most solid defender!

As in someone we can’t afford to lose, no matter how much we may despise the man personally. And I don’t doubt that sentiment exists – it already has Jesus Garcia talking in terms of trying once again to challenge Emanuel for mayor.

Yet the kind of people who’d back Trump most likely are the ones who would view Chuy as the absolute worst option for mayor – someone who’d take the city in a direction even further away than what they’d desire.
GARCIA: Would anybody back Chuy in Trump brawl

EVEN TRUMP-ITES WHO reside in Chicago (and I realize their numbers are few, as little as 2 percent in certain wards of the city) may wind up preferring Rahm if 2019 comes down to another Emanuel vs. Garcia brawl like we had in 2015.

Then, there’s Rauner, who ever since the name “Trump” popped up in political circles a couple of years ago has gone out of his way to distance himself. It actually rivals the way Emanuel tried to avoid saying anything during the 2008 Democratic presidential primary that would take sides between Obama and Hillary Clinton – the latter of whom actually believed that Rahm actually belonged on her side.

Rauner does not want to get tied into any of the ding-dong partisan policies that Trump is cooking up to appease the nativist element that was key to his presidential election.

But it also seems that the same elements were largely responsible for the political gains Republicans made in rural parts of Illinois. Rauner may want us to believe those folks simply hate Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, but it’s more likely they love Trump in Cairo, Ill., as much as they do in Jackson, Miss.

SO IF RAUNER tries too hard to distance himself from Trump, will he wind up losing rural Illinois types who could suddenly find themselves in a “shotgun weddin’” with Chicago-area voters who already have their own reasons to want to “dump Bruce” more than any rural voter wants to “dump Madigan.”
TRUMP: Will dumping Donald in '20 be bigger?

Then again, if Rauner doesn’t join in the Trump bashing with Emanuel, he may wind up stirring up the resentment of the more urban parts of Illinois who already are looking at political life for the next few years as crafting ways to keep that orange-dyed goof in the White House from making a complete mess of issues.

A part of me almost feels sorry for Rauner, since I suspect he’s going to get hurt no matter what he does.

Then again, for those of us who are disgusted with the inactivity of Illinois state government the past two years and Rauner’s role in creating the logjam, perhaps getting caught in the Trump crossfire might wind up being the appropriate penalty before we shift focus to a “dump Trump” effort in 2020!


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