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Today’s quotables

Monday, Mar 17, 2014

* Kirk Dillard

“People are catching on to the fact that Bruce Rauner is a social liberal, and a vacation buddy and a member of Rahm Emanuel’s inner circle,” Dillard said. “And buyers better beware. They better know who Bruce Rauner is. He has a ton of scandals in his business background with many people that were his associates in federal penitentiaries. We’ve been down that road with Rod Blagojevich before.”

Dillard disputed Rauner’s claim to be a political outsider.

“He’s an insider to the max. He’s the worst kind of insider — the one that does the buying,” he said.

* From NPR

Democrats are eager to paint Rauner as the second coming of Mitt Romney, only worse — an arrogant rich guy seeking to buy his way into top political office.

“There is hardly a more flawed candidate running for office in the country today,” claims Quinn consultant Mark Mellman. “He’s done Romney-like dismemberment of companies to his own benefit.”

* From Politico

“I believe Rauner’s probably the only one who could beat Quinn,” said a veteran Democrat operative who did not want to be named. “The message he has is resonating in the Republican Party, but I think it is also resonating with independents and disenchanted Democrats. … And Rauner’s run a very good campaign, he’s proven to be a very good candidate.”

Some outside observers agree Republicans have a good shot at this one if Rauner wins the nomination on Tuesday.

“You’re starting with the fact that it’s a blue state, so for a Republican to win in Illinois, the right set of factors have to come in place,” said Brad McMillan, former chief of staff to then-Rep. Ray LaHood (R-Ill.) who runs Bradley University’s public service institute. […]

But Democratic strategist Pete Giangreco, who ran Bill Daley’s short-lived primary challenge of Quinn before the former White House chief of staff dropped out, said the governor couldn’t pick a better challenger than Rauner.

“He’s probably the best guy for Quinn to run against,” Giangreco said. “Bruce Rauner is as phony as a $2 billion bill. This is a guy who has spent a record amount of his own money and he has defined himself negatively in a lot of people’s minds because all they know about him is he’s a billionaire and they see these ads where he looks like such a phony. They don’t buy him as a reformer. … And you can’t say that about Pat Quinn, that he’s dishonest. People don’t buy that.”

* Crain’s

Going into this election, Mr. Quinn’s approval ratings are even worse than in 2010. The spread has widened, with 34 percent saying he has done a good job and 60 percent saying he has not, according to Raleigh, N.C.-based Public Policy Polling’s latest survey in November.

Since then, however, Mr. Quinn had perhaps the biggest accomplishment of his term, getting statewide pension reform enacted.

“In the final analysis, Quinn doesn’t run against his job approval rating, he runs against another human being,” says David Yepsen, director of the Paul Simon institute.

* New York Times

“It’ll be a rock ’em, sock ’em campaign,” Mr. Quinn acknowledged last week as he left a church basement in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood, where he was promoting efforts to raise the state’s minimum wage. “This is a tough state politically,” said Mr. Quinn, whose approval ratings, at times, have dipped to miserable lows.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


32 Comments
  1. - Sunshine - Monday, Mar 17, 14 @ 10:14 am:

    Perhaps it is time to try a “social liberal”?

    The man is involved across party lines, and that is bad how?


  2. - wordslinger - Monday, Mar 17, 14 @ 10:17 am:

    Rauner raised $6 million from donors to run against other Republicans. Just imagine how much more they’re going to contribute to beat a Democrat.

    I suspect Quinn won’t be able to keep up with money, especially from national Dem sources. There’s no map at stake and all eyes are directed on the Senate.


  3. - Pete - Monday, Mar 17, 14 @ 10:17 am:

    The worst kind of insider is the one that sells out. I disagree with Dillard on this. He should have taken the position that the state isn’t for sale and built his campaign around that. Instead the message I read is that, he’s not as sleezy as Rauner cause he only takes the money and doesn’t give it.

    YUCK!


  4. - Plutocrat03 - Monday, Mar 17, 14 @ 10:19 am:

    “He’s the worst kind of insider”

    Mmmmm, no…. the worst kind of insider is the one who sells his/her public position for personal gain.


  5. - Carl Nyberg - Monday, Mar 17, 14 @ 10:26 am:

    The system is designed to be rigged in favor the rich and powerful while retaining a plausible claim that there aren’t explicit quid pro quo transactions.


  6. - SO IL M - Monday, Mar 17, 14 @ 10:26 am:

    I agree with Giangreco, Rauner is the best guy Quinn can hope to run against. The reason is in the quote from Yepsen. When you give people the choice between keeping the Liberal they have or electing a Liberal they don’t really know, they will vote to keep the one they have.


  7. - Dave Dahl - Monday, Mar 17, 14 @ 10:35 am:

    Invoked by the guv … http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joDjwtjIQS8


  8. - From the 'Dale to HP - Monday, Mar 17, 14 @ 10:38 am:

    I agree, on paper, Rauner is Quinn’s best matchup. However, Rauner has run a heck of a campaign (assuming he closes it out tomorrow and wins by about 8 or more points) and I don’t think he is Quinn’s best matchup because of what we just saw over the last six months or so. While I still think Dillard gives the GOP the best chance to win, Rauner gives them the second best chance.


  9. - Timmeh - Monday, Mar 17, 14 @ 10:44 am:

    I think Dillard went too socially conservative to win; he just doesn’t have enough positives to win and I think he’s pretty phony as well. Rauner still has a chance. I think that chance hinges on whether Democrats and Independents get informed on Bruce Rauner and feel like they need to show up to vote against Rauner.


  10. - Timmeh - Monday, Mar 17, 14 @ 10:45 am:

    (for the above, I was talking about the general election. Not that it matters, Dillard won’t make it there.)


  11. - Pensioner - Monday, Mar 17, 14 @ 10:46 am:

    Food for thought. In a Rauner/Quinn matchup who do you think Madigan wants to win?


  12. - wordslinger - Monday, Mar 17, 14 @ 10:47 am:

    I think that “Rauner is the guy Quinn wants” is just crazy talk.

    Have you been watching the lackadaisical campaigns the Other 3 have run? Who wouldn’t rather run against one of those guys?

    They’ve all been running for governor for years, yet Rauner went through them like Sherman through Georgia in a matter of months.


  13. - langhorne - Monday, Mar 17, 14 @ 10:48 am:

    i have to give rauner credit for keeping to his playbook, and doing much better than i ever expected. it reminds me of blago bashing judy with all those ads.

    i expected him to implode, bec he never struck me as someone who thought policies through (beyond platitudes and name calling), or appreciated the inherent conflicts in getting anything worthwhile done.

    while i am disappointed in the likely choices for november, i am also greatly disappointed in the failure of the media to make rauner flesh out ANYTHING about what he would actually try to do.

    lets see, more jobs, better schools, less spending, real term limits. if you dont think about it too hard, who can be against any of that?

    if someone wants to “fundamentally transform government”, i damn well want to know how.

    everyone wants government to spend less, sure. but where do you cut? with what result? rauner says he wants to overhaul medicaid. how, exactly? eligibility? cutting services? reducing nursing home rates? docs and hospital services? prescription drugs? whats the plan?–he has lots of plans, you just cant see them.

    i hope the media is embarrassed at their failure. they may strive to come out hard after the primary, but that remains to be seen. quinns campaign will do their best to make it very uncomfortable for rauner in this area.

    if rauner is elected, i expect blago 2.0. if quinn is elected, i think the dems realize now is the time for them to do big things while they have the numbers. pensions (possible adverse court decision), debt, budget gap. all could lead to sweeping changes in the sales tax and a shot at a progressive income tax. and a complete rewrite of education funding for good measure.


  14. - OneMan - Monday, Mar 17, 14 @ 10:48 am:

    Well no well known Democratic strategy/campaign person is going to go on record as saying…

    “Oh S**t the last guy we want to run against is X”

    I don’t think I have ever see that. Also not to be real cynical here but if Rauner wins the nomination there will likely be more outside money coming in which is good for all these guys saying running against Rauner is the best thing…

    Also I suspect no one close to the Quinn campaign is going “Great we are running against a guy who is willing to spend a ton of money to beat our guy”


  15. - Northsider - Monday, Mar 17, 14 @ 10:54 am:

    The only winner in the pending Quinn/Rauner contest is H.L. Mencken, who is proven correct yet again: “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”

    Is this the best we can do? Seriously?


  16. - Hey There - Monday, Mar 17, 14 @ 11:02 am:

    Quinn’s narrative matches up best with Richie Rich Rauner. (Dillard would be real trouble for Quinn.) However, the questions I have are: how much money will Rauner and his allies spend and how early to further define himself and Quinn post-primary and help shield Rauner from the negatives; and, will Quinn and his allies have the money to effectively counter it (since there is no way they match or exceed the cash of Rauner and Friends).
    Two other interesting questions in my mind are: how soon does Rauner tack to the center for the general; and, how far to the center does he tack. By avoiding answering questions on social issues and some other sticky wickets in the GOP primary, Rauner is posed to head to the center with less risk of having “flip-flopped.”
    I also wonder what Rauner’s positions on the abortion and gun control issues will eventually be.


  17. - 47th Ward - Monday, Mar 17, 14 @ 11:10 am:

    This is a funny business. Last week we were joking about Quinn’s bad numbers vs. Hardiman. Tomorrow the GOP will nominate a guy who can turn Quinn’s numbers around over night.

    Dillard had a chance of splitting Quinn’s base and taking advantage of Quinn’s weaknesses. Rauner does a lot to unite Quinn’s base in organized labor. Rauner has to make inroads in Chicago and with suburban women, places Brady proved incapable of appealing. It’s doable for Rauner, but his nomination gives Quinn a boost from the outset.

    Like I said, it’s a funny business. And by funny I mean strange.


  18. - Langhorne - Monday, Mar 17, 14 @ 11:23 am:

    Rich guys running for gov also includes rockefeller in Arkansa, of all places


  19. - Ghost - Monday, Mar 17, 14 @ 11:23 am:

    “Oh S**t the last guy we want to run against is X”

    saw a few of those during the obama v clinton run off.


  20. - Langhorne - Monday, Mar 17, 14 @ 11:29 am:

    Factoid–winthrop rockefeller pushed thru arkansas’ first min wage law in 1967. I guess similarities only go so far


  21. - circularfiringsquad - Monday, Mar 17, 14 @ 11:42 am:

    The unions should have tried to scare the whackjob/wingnuts that Mitt Rauner was a social liberal rather than Stu Levine
    THey might have told the media that Mitt’s first records campaign cash went to George Ryan in 1998 amd that he made payments using the name Vincent rauner
    If they can produce turnout for D-lard on Tuesday it might get interesting
    It also appears to confirm how little the media matter — including the internet — really means.


  22. - Walker - Monday, Mar 17, 14 @ 11:43 am:

    Rauner has run a smart and professional campaign, so far, even with all the advantages money can buy. The previous rich, inexperienced candidates guys all blew away their advantages.

    Rauner’s been the one all along that could give Quinn fits. He’s got the political goods.


  23. - shore - Monday, Mar 17, 14 @ 11:43 am:

    Bill Hyers, quinn’s campaign strategist was brought in because of his work for de blasio playing the “tale of two cities” or 99 percent card. Key to winning that race was convincing middle class families that a moderate technocrat leading a government built on efficiency -in that case quinn/bloomberg was/would be cold, out of touch and unable to support regular new yorkers. I think if he wants a similar plan to work here he has to paint rauner as quinn/bloomberg redux but quinn really needs some grand fresh new plan to show that the next 4 years are going to be better because unlike de blasio the change won’t just be him there instead of a bloomberg.


  24. - OneMan - Monday, Mar 17, 14 @ 11:47 am:

    Actually Walker brings up another point that might make this race interesting assuming Quinn V Rauner.

    Rauner has generally been very well disciplined, I would say much more so that I would have expected. Quinn is the exact opposite of disciplined when it comes to campaigning to some degree.

    It will be interesting to watch Goofus and Gallant go at it.


  25. - A modest proposal - Monday, Mar 17, 14 @ 11:48 am:

    Just received a call from JBT asking me to vote for tom cross NEXT Tuesday… Kinda confusing


  26. - Ghost - Monday, Mar 17, 14 @ 12:06 pm:

    Oneman the curse, er I mean proverb you are looking for is: “May you live in interesting times.”


  27. - Soccermom - Monday, Mar 17, 14 @ 12:40 pm:

    I was talking to an elected official today who said something that made my head explode.

    “Consider this — Rauner has been a Democrat most of his life. Is it possible that he really wants Quinn to win and was afraid the Governor wouldn’t be able to beat Dillard or Rutherford? Maybe he was willing to spend all that money because he knew the only way to assure Quinn’s November victory was to give him a Richie Rich plutocrat to run against?”

    An unlikely scenario, admittedly. But I thought it was fun and worth repeating.


  28. - Walter Mitty - Monday, Mar 17, 14 @ 1:06 pm:

    Soccermom… I think it’s outlandish that he would do that to lose to Quinn… But does Madigan want someone else to share the blame of this state with the other party? My guess is you bet.


  29. - Soccermom - Monday, Mar 17, 14 @ 1:36 pm:

    Walter — My “source” said that it would probably cheaper to spend and control $6 million of your own dollars than to try to funnel that amount to the Governor.

    Not saying I believe it, but I thought it was an amusing conspiracy theory on a chilly pre-primary day.


  30. - Upon Further Review - Monday, Mar 17, 14 @ 2:37 pm:

    I can see Madigan wanting a Republican governor do the heavy lifting and shouldering the blame for voter outrage that will follow. Does anyone remember Governor Richard B. Olgivie? Daley pressed for a state income tax and then saw to it that Olgivie was blamed for it.


  31. - Skeptic - Monday, Mar 17, 14 @ 3:50 pm:

    I don’t think a veiled Democrat would boldly propose cutting minimum wage. Actually I’m disappointed that whole gaffe and subsequent backpedal/flipflop has fallen by the wayside. That struck me as more telling than Peyton Prep.


  32. - persecuted - Monday, Mar 17, 14 @ 8:00 pm:

    Madigan could not care less who the governor is.


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