Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Ill. '18 gubernatorial dreamer pool starting to winnow itself down to size

Cheri Bustos, the member of Congress from the Illinois part of the Quad Cities, has let it be known she is not going to be a candidate for governor come next year’s election cycle.
BUSTOS: Out, w/o ever being in

An announcement, I’m sure, that elicited a whole lot of yawns from political geeks, particularly those from the Chicago area, who probably figured that a Bustos candidacy wouldn’t have had a chance of succeeding anyway.

THEN AGAIN, I’M figuring there are probably many people who live in the other third of Illinois (a.k.a., downstate) who are thinking it equally ridiculous that 47th Ward Alderman Ameya Pawar has delusions of someday being allowed to live in the Executive Mansion in Springfield.
PAWAR: Can he gain political traction?

Yet Pawar was the first person to declare himself an actual candidate – a status that Bustos never made it to. Even though there were some who figured that she had a chance to gain some votes just because she would have been the only significant candidate for governor from outside of the Chicago metro area.

Except that I think the kind of people who are inclined to want to vote in elections for someone from outside of Chicago are exactly the kind of people who will unite in 2018 behind Bruce Rauner’s re-election dreams.

Because his “Dump Madigan” strategy is really one that will only appeal to non-Chicago people. Those of us more urban voters will see the strategy for the nonsense that it is – because we know our local political officials aren’t nearly as united behind anybody, particularly the Illinois House speaker, as they want to believe.
Are we really destined for a Kennedy ...

IF IT TURNS out that Rauner dominates the rural Illinois vote, there might not be enough non-Chicago voters left for any other campaign to gain significant political support from.

The real significance of Bustos’ announcement that she prefers to run for another term in Congress is that the gubernatorial field is starting to shrink – even though we have just over a year before any votes are cast in that particular primary election.

Although it may still be a few months before the candidate field winnows down to where we can say who is actually running. And I still won’t be surprised if there’s at least one person who winds up running a serious campaign whose name hasn’t emerged yet.
... vs. Pritzker brawl to see who wins ...

I know some political observers are determined to view this upcoming election cycle as the Chris Kennedy vs. J.B. Pritzker primary. Although I’m pretty sure there are others of the Democratic persuasion who would wretch at the very thought.

THE IDEA OF the politically-top heavy family taking on the family with enough cash that they could afford to match the millions of his own money that Rauner says he will spend to try to get himself re-elected ALONG WITH a Legislature more to his liking than the incumbents.

They may think that a Democratic version of Rauner (ie., a rich guy) is the last thing the party needs, just like some Dems are going to forevermore be convinced that we’d be spared the thought of a “President Donald J. Trump” if only voters last year had dumped Hillary Clinton and gone with Bernie Sanders instead.

But then again, I wonder how many people aren’t going to be enthused about the notion of Illinois getting its very own Kennedy. The family has had members run for political posts in so many states, but our own local Kennedy tales focus on how Chicago supposedly “won” the 1960 presidential election for Chris’ “Uncle Jack.”

I don’t doubt that many voters will be desperately scouring all the other names in search of somebody, anybody, else whose candidacy they can latch onto in their desire to beat Bruce Rauner.
... the right to challenge Rauner come Nov. '18?

BECAUSE THEY FIGURE the absolute last thing Illinois needs is to have eight years without a budget. Yes, political people really are capable of being that stubborn, unless voters themselves take matters into their own hands at the ballot box.

I really do believe that Rauner is vulnerable because of the inability of state government to operate the way it’s supposed to. While some will be willing to blame Madigan, this is still an urban-leaning state politically.

But the inability to pick a credible candidate to challenge Rauner is most definitely why no one should write off his chances of getting “four more years” and giving us voters more partisan agonies to endure.


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