Thursday, October 11, 2018

Avoiding talk of 'Quincy' while in Quincy key to analyzing gov. debate

Thursday is the last of the three official debates the candidates for Illinois governor will hold prior to Election Day, and there’s really one simple way of determining who comes out ahead.
We'll see a Quincy-centric world Thursday

Just how much does discussion focus on the Veterans’ Home in Quincy – the facility where several fatalities occurred from elderly residents who contracted the Legionnaires Disease.

BECAUSE YOU JUST know that Democratic nominee J.B. Pritzker is going to want to turn the entire session into a rant against how those men who served their country wound up dying while in the care of Gov. Bruce Rauner.

That’s actually a gross oversimplification of what really happened, but then again most of what gets said during a political campaign is oversimplification and distortion with only the slightest tidbit of truth to it.

So if we wind up being given the impression that Rauner is personally responsible for dead military veterans, it will mean that Pritzker will have “won” the debate – he will have been capable of having his version of “the truth” predominate.

Whereas if we wind up being given the impression that this election cycle is about a man who had the toilets ripped out of a mansion in order to get a significant property tax break (because it no longer qualified as an inhabitable home), then we can chalk up Thursday night to Team Rauner.

YOU MAY BE wondering “What’s your point?”
RAUNER: Caused negligence that killed vets?

It’s that these circumstances shouldn’t be surprising. Political debates have the great misfortune of being so filled with nonsense that it’s a wonder anything useful comes out of them. There actually are times I wonder why political candidates bother to participate in them.

Personally, what I always try to look for when watching such an event is just how quick on one’s feet one is. How they handle the back-and-forth of answering back.

And also watching for that moment (which can crop up at virtually any point in time, usually most unexpected) when a candidate goes off-script and says something from the heart. Telling us what he really thinks about an issue.
PRITZKER: A toilet-less tax cheat?

OF COURSE, THOSE moments can be dreaded by a candidate because “honesty” can often be ugly – showing us just how insipid a political aspirant truly is and all-the-more reason why we shouldn’t bother voting for that person.

For what it’s worth, Thursday’s debate between Rauner and Pritzker is meant to be the “downstate” debate. Unlike the two previous events sponsored by the Chicago Urban League and the League of Women Voters that were held in Chicago, this one is being held outside the Chicago area.

It will have a panel of broadcaster-types from Quincy, Peoria and Rockford, along with a reporter-type from the Herald-Whig newspaper of Quincy. Which means it may well have questions that focus on the rest of the state – the part of Illinois where Rauner dreams he’s the favorite and that will lead him to a victory over Pritzker.

Now I don’t doubt the downstate Illinois types will vote against Pritzker because he’s “too Chicago-ish” for them. Although how they manage to tolerate Rauner is a mystery. It must be a really tight clothespin tacked onto their nose while they cast their ballots.

EITHER WAY, I’M sure many think this election stinks.

It is a victory for Pritzker’s part that his political operatives were able to get a Quincy-based debate as one of the events, and pressure Rauner into having to accept it. I have no doubt that the governor would rather be anywhere else in Illinois than in Quincy Thursday night.
Will gov candidates muck up the shores of the Mississippi River?
And as for Pritzker, it’s probably a matter of following the old political adage – “Avoid saying anything stupid!”

Because amidst all the cheap shots and distortions that both candidates will make about each other, we need to realize we’re getting our last glance at the two multi-millionaires who want to think that their personal wealth is significant enough to buy the political post of Illinois governor.


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