Saturday, February 10, 2018

Pritzker on race – blunt-spoken B.S.? Or simple-minded electoral analysis?

I held off a couple of days on commenting about Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker’s thoughts about the realities of various elected officials on Illinois’ political scene, largely because I have heard many people throughout the years say similar things about black officials.
PRITZKER: Too blunt, or too simple?

If I were to trash Pritzker for his somewhat-insulting analysis (J.B. himself admits he wasn’t all that diplomatic in his decade-old thoughts), I feel like I’d have to recall every nitwit who has ever tried to spin my thoughts about politics.

BUT THE BIT about all of this is the way some officials are trying to make it out as though they have “exposed” Pritzker for saying something radical and offensive, and that this now single-handedly trashes his electoral chances come the March 20 primary.

Even though many of the people spewing such thoughts against Pritzker are also the ones who have said such things themselves.

This particular round of political rhetoric was spouted out by the continuing use for campaign purposes of the recordings the FBI made back in the days when they were trying to get then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich to say incriminating things on tape to be used as evidence against him in criminal proceedings.
WHITE: Did J.B. praise, or denigrate, him?

As we all know, Blagojevich is now a convicted felon and still has another six-or-so years to serve before he can think of returning to his spouse, Patti, and their two daughters.

DURING THOSE TALKS, Blagojevich spoke with prominent Democratic financial contributor Pritzker, and I’m sure the fact it might create the impression amongst the clueless that Pritzker himself did something illegal pleases the J.B. opponents.
JACKSON: Used to have a political future

But as for what he said, it was Pritzker suggesting that Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White was the best possible replacement Blagojevich could pick to fill the vacancy created when our state’s U.S. senator, Barack Obama, became president in 2008.

Because he was not “crass” like then-Illinois Senate President Emil Jones. Besides, getting White out of the secretary of state’s office would have meant Blagojevich getting to pick a person who could then fill the mass of jobs controlled by that office – which does much more than just issue your driver’s license.
JONES: Oft-overlooked

As for then-Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., Pritzker made it clear he sympathized with Blagojevich not wanting the son of Rev. Jesse Jackson to have such a political post – even though the speculation back in ’08 was that Jackson might be the most-logical person for the post.

EXCEPT TO BLAGOJEVICH, who had the ego all outraged that he had been surpassed on a national sense by Obama and would get dumped on again by Jesse, Jr.

In short, a lot of this would have been considered stating the incredibly obvious a decade ago. For all I know, there may be some people who will read such thoughts coming from Pritzker who will think he’s on to something and may be more likely to vote for him.
BLAGOJEVICH: Reliving pol history?

Personally, I think some of the thoughts were expressed a little crassly themselves.

But then again, since when is anybody on our local political scene all that eloquent or articulate? What about any of this would truly make Pritzker worse?

WE MAY WANT to fantasize that Obama rose our state’s political sensibilities to a higher moral plane. But Barack was someone who knew how to make his political accommodations – he wouldn’t have got elected to the top political post if he hadn’t.

So as for the people who want us to think they’re now looking out for black people at large by criticizing Pritzker, I suspect many of them could really care less about anyone other than themselves.
How much does it add to White's appeal?

They’ll use race if they think it can benefit their own political interests, but then back away once it no longer serves their purposes.

Besides, a part of me has always thought that one of White’s political benefits was his athletic background – a one-time baseball player in the Chicago Cubs organization. Is that denigrative of the man’s political acumen to bring that point up?


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