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Love is not political

Monday, Feb 3, 2014

* State Rep. Jil Tracy

“How can it help rebuild our Republican Party to elect a governor who has voted in the 2006 Democratic primary, and … when asked about his donations to Democrats rebuts it and says his liberal Democrat wife is the one that made those,” Tracy said of Rauner at a Sangamon County Republican Network lunch at the Sangamo Club. Also speaking was Tracy’s running mate, state Sen. Kirk Dillard, R-Hinsdale.

“I don’t want a first lady in the mansion that’s a liberal Democrat,” Tracy added.

You gotta be kidding me.

* Sen. Dillard’s response

Dillard said Tracy “has her own opinions,” but he thinks there are “plenty of issues” he can use against Rauner “without involving his wife.”

Exactly, and Rep. Tracy ought to do the same. I mean, c’mon.

I’m pretty sure that I’ve told you this before, but it’s worth saying again.

* When I was growing up, my father was a Goldwater/Nixon Republican and my mother was a Gene McCarthy Democrat. As you might imagine, I was witness to more than a few political, um, discussions.

And it continued after my dad left the Republican Party in disgust and backed Barack Obama for president. My mom enthusiastically supported Hillary Clinton and was heartbroken when she lost to Obama.

But those heated disputes never stopped Mom and Dad from loving each other. They celebrated their 52nd wedding anniversary last fall. The heart is a weird thing sometimes. And nobody else has a right to judge that.

* So, in context, this response was appropriate

Mike Schrimp, spokesman for Rauner, said via email, “While Rep. Tracy may have forgotten that the governor’s mansion belongs to all the citizens of Illinois, I am confused why she wants someone who made a TV ad for Barack Obama and teamed with Rod Blagojevich to increase the state’s debt to live there.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        


28 Comments
  1. - Smoggie - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 10:00 am:

    You know Jil, if you cover your ears and hum then you will never have to hear the sound of a single liberal Democrat!

    Great to see that D-Lard has chosen somebody with the emotional intelligence of a six year old for Lt. Gov.


  2. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 10:03 am:

    There is enough there about Bruce Rauner to not make it about a political affiliation of the spouse and living in the Mansion.

    I, myself, have asked if Bruce wrote the checks or his wife, in the context of throwing his wife “under the bus”. Rauner’s Firm and the doantions are of Bruce Rauner’s doing. The voting for Forrest Claypool, again, is of Bruce Rauner’s doing.

    There is making a “point”, and then there is “missing the point.”

    Context. Making it about throwing the wife “under the bus”, is far different than worrying about a spouse, and waking up in the Mansion.

    Please, understand what you are trying to do to “frame the discussion” about Bruce Rauner.


  3. - too obvious - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 10:14 am:

    Rich, with all due respect, I think you’re being a tad obtuse on this one. Yes, of course people can love whoever they want. But at the same time, a Republican voter is not a bad person for taking into consideration the worry that a First Lady could use the Mansion as a platform to further her very liberal causes.

    That’s a great story about your parents. Seriously. But neither was a top public official where the spouse would be getting a major public platform to work against the “home team.”

    That said, yes I definitely agree there are much bigger issues on which to take on Rauner. The fact that BOTH Dillard and Tracy are lawyers and they still can’t articulate a narrative on things like Rauner’s nursing home issue, just shows how miserably unqualified they are for top jobs. And Dillard’s at a big Chicago law firm full of partners who presumably he could tap into for expertise and analysis. But he’s just too clueless and weak.


  4. - A guy... - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 10:18 am:

    There’s something in the water on that campaign. The Candidate, then Hodas, then the Lt. Gov. Candidate. This guy proves the adage “misery loves company”. When you reach for the spouse, well, then you’re reaching.


  5. - justsayin' - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 10:24 am:

    This really deserves clarification. As a Republican, I am no fan of Dillard’s bit in the Obama ad. However, from what I understand, Dillard was thanking Obama for his vote in the ethics bill that helped put Blagojevich away. The bit wasn’t intended to be used in a campaign spot for Obama - Barack did that on his own. The upshot: Dillard was stupid for allowing the Obama campaign to do that. But this pales in comparison to Rauner’s support of the Democrats with financial contributions for decades. Remember guys, this is a GOP primary - not a Democrat one. Those hundreds of thousands in Democrat contributions matter to GOP voters - they just aren’t being told about Rauner’s background. The media is giving Rauner a pass on pretty much everything here. No other GOP candidate would survive what is record shows. GOP primary voters pretty much have no idea about his connections to the Democrat Party or Rahm. All they really know is the snow globe, etc.


  6. - walker - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 10:26 am:

    I bet the audience applauded.

    Tracy sometimes gets lost in trying to appear “Righter than Right”.


  7. - Ghost - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 10:27 am:

    My two favorite political commenter are carvel and maitlin :)

    That said if the worst thing you can say about Rauner is his wife helps people in need; well he just got vote.


  8. - lake county democrat - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 10:39 am:

    Sadly, not all marriages can be so open/accepting of political disputes. When I canvassed in Iowa for the presidential campaign (where volunteers are allowed to collect absentee ballots - it’s odd), I came across more than one woman who confessed to secretly voting Dem.


  9. - Conservative Republican - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 10:42 am:

    I largely agree with “too obvious” on this one. There is a difference between “mixed marriages” among ordinary citizens and those wherein one partner has a high political profile. It is difficult to come up with good examples of such politically mixed marriages among high ranking elected officials, and when they do occur it is the usual pattern that the spouse who is not in office conforms their politics to be hugely supportive of their mate.

    I can see the Obama White House working a good deal of mischief against a Governor Rauner — such as appointing Mrs. Rauner to a prominent federal commission. Mrs. Rauner will pose a significant political problem for Rauner (presuming he overcomes the issue anyway to become the nominee, which is not a certainty) within the Republican Party while he is governor, unless she does what other spouses have done and tones down her liberalism big time.


  10. - Bemused - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 10:43 am:

    I think once again OW has the right of it.


  11. - Demoralized - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 10:54 am:

    Well, with the Rauner insinuations against Rutherford and now this nonsense about Rauner’s wife I see that the Republican primary race has now slipped into all out mud slinging.

    But I do enjoy seeing the comment pop up that actually agree with Tracy. It shows there’s people out there receptive to all kinds of messages. I just happen to think this is a completely silly message to take to heart.


  12. - DuPage Bard - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 10:55 am:

    Up in NI it’s the Sox vs. Cubs battle, how many households are split on that issue alone? I would contend that most times sports means far more to people than politics, maybe they should find out what teams Rauner owns then claim he is an outsider who really has no loyalty to his home state?


  13. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 10:58 am:

    ===Mrs. Rauner will pose a significant political problem for Rauner (presuming he overcomes the issue anyway to become the nominee, which is not a certainty) within the Republican Party while he is governor,…===

    Unless you are living under a rock, Bruce Rauner is taking on all Career Politicians, starting his own PAC to elect his own GA Caucus, and really cares less about the aparatus, except when faux support can prop up the “Bruce Rauner” as a Republican. If Rauner gets out of the Primary, a strong lean left will begin, and will be abled by the arm of, “I am not Pat Quinn, the career politican, so if you are a Dem or a Republican, I am your man for the job.”

    Bruce Rauner wins, the ILGOP will be forever changed, and hijacked by wealthy outsiders with an agenda that is purely theirs, and not really concerned about any parites’, Dem or GOP, beliefs, goals, or governmental style.

    It is what is at 100% at play here. That is why thnose trying to educate on Rauner find most disturbing. If you are worried about an Obama appointment, after a possible $30 Million spent in the Primary and General combined, and the PAC… you nede to catch up real fast as to what is going on.

    A “Mrs. Rauner appointment” isn’t even remotely a concern to “Gov. Bruce Rauner (’My Party’ - Illinois).


  14. - wordslinger - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 11:05 am:

    Another GOP candidate, another peek in the bedroom window.

    Enough already. Will someone let the grownups in, please?


  15. - Soccermom - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 11:16 am:

    Dear Senator Dillard,

    Yesterday, I told Soccerdad that the problems in Rutherford’s campaign might actually hand this election to you. I am happy to see that your running mate is doing a fine job of keeping this from happening.

    Please give my very best regards to the Illinois GOP, who have been snatching defeat from the jaws of victory for the past decade. As a Cook County Dem, I deeply appreciate it.


  16. - Amalia - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 11:16 am:

    we love your mom, Rich!


  17. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 11:29 am:

    This is also a good example of campaigns (Brady, Dillard, Rutherford) that have no idea to focus on a campaign theme, run with that theme, and to take on the challengers within the theme of the challengers looking “bad”, and their own campaign, being the “champion”.

    Rauner has taken the idea of “career politicans, and Union Bosses” and willnot frame any discussion unless one or both can be at play to continue the narrative.

    The “3″?

    Who is who’s wife, ignoring the framing of ALL (Dems, the GOP, Unions, Government) being bad, and Rauner is the only “good”, and you “3″ Dopey Campaigns let him do it from months on end.

    A spouse, you hammer the idea that Bruce Rauner takes no responsibility for himself, and willing to toss his wife under the bus.

    It is like teaching remedial politics … in Chinese … to the “3″.

    If Rutherford fades, and I have no idea how any/all his situation will go, or if there is fallout, but Brady and Dillard are haplessly, and aimlessly going about running a campaign based on what Tuesday might be, and not about themes, or a vision, or tying together who or what they want/are, and why they are the best to lead Illinois.

    Rutherford is now on the defensive side of the football, and he is trying to flip it, but this might be a tall task, or this might lead to a surge. The jury is out.

    If anyone of the “3″ thinks their campaign is stellar, (by any measure; money, message, aparatus, and the GOTV), you have yet to convince me that getting to a finsish line and beng the victor is possible.

    But, make sure you mention who sleeps where, and what you all think is appropriate from which spouse. It will keep you all warm after March 19th.


  18. - Upon Further Review - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 11:30 am:

    This is silly stuff, but sometimes a spouse can become an issue for a candidate: Barack Obama had to defuse Michelle’s comments about “being proud” for the first time in her “adult life.” Theresa Heinz Kerry was a definite liability for her husband in 2004. Blair Hull and Jack Ryan exploded due to their former spouses opening up.

    We do not know much about Rauner’s spouse, but this makes me scratch my head. Is Rauner another Michael Bloomberg? Is he posing or campaigning as a Republican because that nomination is an easier way to enter the general election?


  19. - Soccermom - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 11:33 am:

    UFR — Rauner is a Raunerite. He doesn’t care about party, he doesn’t care about people. He cares about money and he cares about himself.

    Hope that helps.


  20. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 12:49 pm:

    This is a very, very good point, Rich. Thanks for making it.


  21. - Bobbysox - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 12:52 pm:

    Sometimes even Sox fans and Cubs fans marry each other!


  22. - Juvenal - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 1:20 pm:

    Willy -

    A strong lean left after the primary?

    I think you underestimate Team Rauner.

    They are gonna “Shake the etch-a-sketch”.

    The only policy Rauner will still be talking about in six months that he is talking about today will be term limits.

    He is already drifting center…clarifying he isnt against all union bosses, only public union bosses. In two months, it will only be AFSCME. By labor day, it will be gone from his talking points.


  23. - Liandro - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 1:32 pm:

    “Is Rauner another Michael Bloomberg?”

    I just had to point out that this is a very good question in a Republican primary; a well-framed opposition narrative would probably include something to this effect.


  24. - Ghost - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 2:32 pm:

    It strikes me that Rauner is really a third party; but instead of trying to launch an unknow third party he is buying an exisiting party and using their name for its brand recognition. But he is basically keeping the name but gutting the company and putting in his own.


  25. - Endangered Moderate Species - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 2:43 pm:

    In an odd way, Dillard, Rutherford and Brady have shown that Rauner may be the only one of the four whom can beat Quinn.

    Could it be that the real money in the GOP was tired of providing funds for losing campaigns? Why not support one of their own? Rauner has proven to this point, he has the discipline and the money to stay consistent with his message.

    A Quinn/Rauner race will be long, dirty, ugly and muddy.


  26. - Juvenal - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 4:46 pm:

    Endangered Species:

    I think the length of the campaign is unaffected by whom the nominee is.

    I am also not that sure it will be that dirty or muddy.

    In the primary, the more heavily funded rauner could throw haymakers at his opponents.

    So far, they have largely responded by dancing around the ring and namecalling.

    With Quinn, Rauner will likely take a more cautious approach. mostly jabs in the early rounds looking for weaknesses.

    Or, hey, maybe he will do the opposite, spending 10 million attacking quinn all summer and forcing quinn to spend every penny he has before Labor Day.

    if he wins the primary, we will know soon enough.


  27. - Think About It - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 6:18 pm:

    Dear Ghost….Carville and Matalin don’t live in a house the taxpayers pay for. They live in the one they bought. And if you read their book, their differences almost cost them their marriage.


  28. - collar observer - Monday, Feb 3, 14 @ 6:22 pm:

    well now - Dillard/Tracy just lost my vote in the primary. Why would you risk losing D votes in your R primary? Geez


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