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“Baron von Carhartt”

Monday, Jan 13, 2014

* Zorn

(W)ags at the Capitol Fax blog have taken to referring to [Bruce Rauner] as “Baron von Carhartt” after the brand of the rugged work jacket he wears in an attempt to look like a regular guy

* Kirk Dillard’s campaign appears to be behind a related Twitter account. From a now deleted tweet posted last night

* From the Baron’s Twitter page

* I’m not big on political nicknames. The Tribune has been notorious over the decades for tagging politicos with various monikers. For instance, the diminutive Mike “Hinky Dink” Kenna supposedly got his nickname from Tribune publisher Joseph Medill back in the day. John Kass has enthusiastically appropriated the historical practice, perhaps too enthusiastically for my taste.

But this one sure seems to, uh, fit.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - 47th Ward - Monday, Jan 13, 14 @ 10:49 am:

    Can you verify which commenter got here first? I think MrJM hit on Baron Carhartt, and someone, maybe Norseman or Arthur Anderson added the von.

  2. - Wensicia - Monday, Jan 13, 14 @ 10:54 am:

    I believe MrJM used Baron Carhartt first.

    As for the Twitter account, it was inevitable, as I suggested last week.

  3. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 13, 14 @ 10:55 am:


    MrJM was the first.

  4. - OneMan - Monday, Jan 13, 14 @ 10:56 am:

    Not a bad idea

  5. - walker - Monday, Jan 13, 14 @ 10:58 am:

    “Wagging” the dog.

  6. - Conservative Republican - Monday, Jan 13, 14 @ 11:08 am:

    == I’m not big on political nicknames. ==

    What about “Congresscritter”, which I have written I dislike?

  7. - too obvious - Monday, Jan 13, 14 @ 11:09 am:

    Sounds like the kind of immature stuff Dillard would spend his time on.

  8. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jan 13, 14 @ 11:11 am:

    ===What about “Congresscritter”===

    That’s not an individual nickname.

  9. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Jan 13, 14 @ 11:12 am:

    Absolutely MrJM, who has quite the Tweeterer himself.

  10. - eastsider - Monday, Jan 13, 14 @ 11:28 am:

    The ad hominem is a sign they are scared and out of ideas.

  11. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, Jan 13, 14 @ 11:33 am:

    Thanks Eastsider - this message brought to you by Rauner for Governor.

  12. - just sayin' - Monday, Jan 13, 14 @ 11:33 am:

    Rauner deserves more criticism than Baron Von Carhart. Anyone who whines about this so-called ad hominem attack on Rauner is a Rauner kool-aide drinker feeling the heat.

  13. - OneMan - Monday, Jan 13, 14 @ 11:45 am:

    Also finding the Dillard campaign via a twitter account giving Rauner a hard time about the minimum wage kind of ironic…

  14. - DuPage Rep - Monday, Jan 13, 14 @ 11:46 am:

    Is Dillard’s campaign really this bad? At least have someone else using a fake name tweet it. No wonder he is polling less than 10%

  15. - SonofSuperAbe2014 - Monday, Jan 13, 14 @ 11:51 am:

    How about a Kirk Dillard nickname? Heavy Edgar

  16. - Soccermom - Monday, Jan 13, 14 @ 12:02 pm:

    I am still a fan of “The Abominable Milkman.”

  17. - DuPage Rep - Monday, Jan 13, 14 @ 12:09 pm:

    Just picked this up from Dillard supporter and conservative blogger Dave Diersen. Wonder if D-Lard will be tweeting about this.
    – Look for reports to come out on Ogden & Fry’s gubernatorial poll taken January 11, 2014. Rauner got 18.8%, Rutherford got 9.5%, Brady got 8.4%, and Dillard got 5.8%. 57.5% were undecided. - Dave Diersen

  18. - olddog - Monday, Jan 13, 14 @ 12:22 pm:

    @ eastsider — When you see Mr. Smithers, tell him I’m still available … I’ll only charge $7.25 an hour, and I’ll say anything you want me to say.

  19. - shore - Monday, Jan 13, 14 @ 1:02 pm:

    If anything Dillards spent the last 5 years boasting of his political credentials, networks and mentors, with Rauners rookie experience showing now might be the last window he’s got to put those decades of political experience to work.

    We’re waiting.

  20. - MrJM - Monday, Jan 13, 14 @ 1:47 pm:

    The ad hominem is a sign they are scared and out of ideas.

    “Baron Carhartt” is obviously an ad hominem critique of Bruce Rauner.

    “Ad hominem” is Latin for “to the man”. In this case, the man in question is a political candidate who is spending unprecedented sums to portray himself as an “aw-shucks” regular fella who just wants what’s best for Illinois. But the reality of Bruce Rauner the man is much, much different.

    The reality is that the man is a multi- multi-millionaire with a cheap watch. The reality is that the man a hyper-connected political player wearing a spotless Carhartt jacket. The reality is that the man not only intends to use his untold wealth to buy the governor’s mansion, he intends to buy a sycophant legislature as well.

    When a political campaign is rooted in a series of ads that cartoonishly portray its candidate as a hybrid of John Henry and “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”, it’s perfectly valid to question whether that professionally-constructed populist caricature bears any resemblance to the man.

    “Baron Carhartt” is just shorthand for the complete and total disconnect between Bruce Rauner’s disingenuous and misleading campaign persona and Bruce Rauner the man.

    Would Rauner’s critics on CapFax like to engage him on substantive issues? Sure, we would. But how can we do that with someone so utterly lacking in substance?

    Should we engage with the Bruce Rauner who demanded action from Springfield on pension reform, or with the Bruce Rauner who opposes Springfield’s bi-partisan pension reform? Should we engage with the “flippant” Bruce Rauner who casually proposed that the minimum wage in Illinois to be lowered, or with the “floppant” Bruce Rauner who now wants it raised? Bruce Rauner’s repeated fumbling-flopping on the issues goes a looong way towards explaining why his campaign videos keep the focus on their props.

    The only thing that makes Bruce Rauner look like a serious candidate is that his campaign is fueled by his vast fortune. Without it, he would be an unadulterated laughing-stock. But Bruce Rauner’s vast fortune is exactly what his “aw-shucks” regular fella campaign is designed to conceal.

    “Baron Carhartt” is a recognition that Bruce Rauner’s campaign was carefully crafted to hide the one thing that makes his campaign viable: Bruce Rauner’s millions and millions and millions of dollars.

    So is Baron Carhartt an ad hominem critique of Bruce Rauner? Of course he is.

    But even so, Baron Carhartt is still more substantive than Bruce Rauner.

    – MrJM

  21. - Ghost - Monday, Jan 13, 14 @ 2:08 pm:

    I wonder if this nickname actually hurts him outside if a few staunch political junkies.

    Dillard has persuaded me to switch to dillard

  22. - Juvenal - Monday, Jan 13, 14 @ 2:37 pm:

    i think Baron Von Carrhart resonates because of the reference to robber barons, a term which originated in Germany and was popularized during America’s previous economic upheaval.

    It is not just that Rauner is a multi-millionaire. lt is that he used his political connections to amass his wealth, a portion of which he then reinvests into increasing his political connections.

    Rahm Emanuel is certainly the most famous beneficiary of the Baron Von Carrhart Internship Program, but it would be foolhardy to think he was the first or last intern, or that Walter Peyton was isolated.

    What was The Baron’s defense of Peyton? “i just did what any parent would do.” Sure. Any parent who had the Secretary of Education on speed dial.

  23. - cover - Monday, Jan 13, 14 @ 2:50 pm:

    = Should we engage with the “flippant” Bruce Rauner who casually proposed that the minimum wage in Illinois to be lowered, or with the “floppant” Bruce Rauner who now wants it raised? =

    Will “floppant” become the hot new word of 2014? I like it! And it has no relation whatsoever to “twerking”…

  24. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 13, 14 @ 3:26 pm:

    - MrJM -,

    Great stuff, all the way around and then some.

    Your longest Post… ever… was worth every word, and reinforces an already impressive reputation you enjoy here.

    You have the “Baron’s number”, and that is not good news for the “Baron” - lol

  25. - Wensicia - Monday, Jan 13, 14 @ 4:08 pm:


    Your above post should be an Op-Ed in the Chicago Tribune.

  26. - Anonymous - Monday, Jan 13, 14 @ 4:35 pm:

    ==Your above post should be an Op-Ed in the Chicago Tribune.==

    Or somewhere more reputable.

  27. - Juvenal - Monday, Jan 13, 14 @ 5:16 pm:


    Isn’t it ALREADY somewhere more reputable?

    I mean, when the Baron needed somewhere to flipflop, he was in the Trib >thisfast

  28. - Eastsider - Monday, Jan 13, 14 @ 5:33 pm:

    MJM and OW - thanks for the lesson in rhetorical theory and argument. I guess my Master Degree in Communication with an emphasis in message design and symbolic cues missed that…oh wait, no it didn’t. Your Latin definition is technically right, but actually incorrect. When an argument falls to the “man” and not the point the argument is fallacious on it’s face. Attacking the “man” is a weak approach which conveys the aggressor has nothing of substance on which to argue against - leaving only the personality of the opponent (ie, I know you are, but what am I). My point is not supportive of Rauner per se, rather it is indicting the weakness of the other candidates and the fact they pulled this card so early in the process - before the vast majority of the electorate is paying attention. Nice try though.

  29. - Norseman - Monday, Jan 13, 14 @ 5:41 pm:

    MrJM - Excellent.

    Rich, I hope your advertising department isn’t too upset with your commenters. The Baron may never advertise with Capitol Fax again.

  30. - MrJM - Monday, Jan 13, 14 @ 6:56 pm:

    I guess my Master[s] Degree in Communication with an emphasis in message design and symbolic cues…

    So you never covered fallacious appeal to authority?

    – MrJM

  31. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 13, 14 @ 7:44 pm:

    ===…I guess my Master Degree in Communication with an emphasis in message design and symbolic cues missed that…===

    Resumes are funny things. Usually those quoting their résumé are those trying to prove to themselves and others they are relevant and important and are usually neither.

    With that Masters, you can’t see a fraud right in front of your face? Either that school better take the Masters back before iu embarrass then any further, or you better ask for a refund, since all that “skoolin’ …” is lost on you

  32. - Roadiepig - Monday, Jan 13, 14 @ 8:24 pm:

    A little off subject , but has anyone noticed that the Baron’s most vociferous supporter here on the Capitol Fax name seems to change each week, but the writing seems awfully similar in each defense posted ? Or could I just be imagining this after today’s exchanges?

  33. - olddog - Monday, Jan 13, 14 @ 8:43 pm:

    @ Eastsider — if you were studying the logical fallacies of classical rhetoric at the master’s level, you were covering stuff I used to teach in freshman English. Why don’t you ask your boss to clout you into a better school?

  34. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 13, 14 @ 8:57 pm:

    Raunerbots are fun.

    They say so little, by not defending so much hypocrisy.

    If it is the same person/group/office, don’t let them know we caught on. We all are keeping these Dopes busy and wasting time defending. Plus, the humor, or unintended humor is so delicious.., I hope it wil last.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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