Which is almost a laughable statement for him to make, since he’s seeking a second term come the Nov. 6 general election, and there are those who are convinced he’s already doomed to defeat.
“THIRD TERM?” HE’ll be lucky if he becomes anything more than a one-termer – and one who barely got to live in the Executive Mansion in Springfield, what with the way it had to be remodeled extensively for much of the four years he served in office.
I’m sure Rauner is trying to score points with those people who like to think that term limits are a serious issue, and one upon which we should base our political choices.
Pick the guy who has no intention of making a career out of public service. And is most definitely different from Michael Madigan – the long-time Illinois House speaker whom Rauner has made into his nemesis. Madigan, after all, has been on the state payrolls for nearly a half-century now, and has been the Big Boss of Springpatch, so to speak, for just about the entire time since the early 1980s.
Like it or not, Madigan will be remembered by the political geeks of this state, whereas I suspect The Rauner Years will quickly lapse into the crevasses of our minds where we will manage to forget the details.
NOW THE REASON I have trouble taking Rauner’s talk – which the Chicago Tribune reported he said during a meeting with Crain’s Chicago Business – is that there is absolutely nothing binding about his “pledge.”
There’s nothing in the law that would require him to keep his word. He could easily decide when the time comes that he thinks his presence is still needed on the political scene.
Any promise to depart after a certain amount of years doesn’t mean a thing.
Personally, I always think of Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., whenever this issue comes up.
THE CONGRESSMAN FROM the part of Illinois near St. Louis campaigned back in 1990 on a hard-and-fast promise that he would not serve more than 10 years in Congress. He wasn’t going to make a career out of being a part of the Capitol Hill scene. He really wouldn’t.
Yet here we are, 22 years later, with Shimkus having built up his seniority and showing no signs of even contemplating his one-time pledge to leave after five, two-year terms. Instead, he’s seeking term number 12.
Which actually is fine, if that’s really what the people of that particular congressional district want. Actually, I think they could do better, but I don’t have a vote in that district.
As well it should be. My votes are for the portion of metro Chicago in which I reside, and where I have every right to exercise my right to cast a ballot (where we’re likely to send Robin Kelly back to D.C. for yet another term in the House of Representatives).
SO FOR RAUNER to say he’s not interested in having a third term in office? It’s empty rhetoric. It’s not binding. It borders on self-righteous political rhetoric.
Because too many people are going to look at the governor’s race just over a month from now (actually, early voting centers will open Oct. 22) and see how badly Rauner has failed – not only in accomplishing any of his desired goals, but also in managing to muck up the operations of government so as to intensify the financial problems our state confronts.
Even for those people who think there’s anything noble about the Rauner efforts to mess with organized labor influence in Illinois, they’re going to find their own reasons to despise the idea of another term for Bruce. They’re the ones seriously looking to Sam McCann and his “Conservative Party” for a vote.
And Rauner’s talk of a nobly turning down a “third term” will come across as absurd and ridiculous a statement as we’ve ever heard in partisan politics. Except for maybe that self-righteous talk that President Donald Trump gave this week to the United Nations -- the one that had the world's delegates bursting out in laughter.