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Chicken men

Monday, Jul 7, 2014

* From my Crain’s Chicago Business column

I was chatting recently with a couple of folks who work for Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner, and they truly believed that the more the news media focused on “chickens,” the better off their candidate was.

I kid you not. And Mr. Rauner’s not alone.

Read the rest by clicking here.

* Related…

* Korecki: Governor’s race needs referee before it jumps the shark

- Posted by Rich Miller        


48 Comments
  1. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 9:17 am:

    ===… and they truly believed that the more the news media focused on “chickens,” the better off their candidate was.===

    I guess “Shake Up Springfield” and “Bring Back Illinois” got stale.

    When you have no substance, any flash will do, even if the flash is farce.


  2. - Dave Dahl - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 9:17 am:

    I think the phrase “jump the shark” has … outlived its usefulness.


  3. - Joan P. - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 9:25 am:

    Right now, I think I’d rather vote for the chickens than either of these two clowns.

    I know it’s been a long time since campaigns have actually focused on substance rather than sound bites, but these guys have carried the non-issue campaign to a whole new level.


  4. - Anonymous - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 9:26 am:

    The low information voter is effected by these silly things lacking in any substance or fact. If we had a candidate that came out and said exactly what he would really do and it was serious, well thought out and would put Illinois back on track fiscally the voters would turn on him. We get exactly what we deserve in our government. The GA and the Gov. are a reflection of the our society as a whole. Heck there are probably a majority of people in Illinois that would gladly break the constitution just to stick it to the state retirees. They fail to understand that the next group that would be illegally effected might be them…certainly in time it would be.


  5. - wordslinger - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 9:26 am:

    I think we’ve seen all we’re going to from Rauner as far as “substance.” The strategy is platitudes and “I’m not the other guy.”


  6. - facts are stubborn things - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 9:26 am:

    The low information voter is effected by these silly things lacking in any substance or fact. If we had a candidate that came out and said exactly what he would really do and it was serious, well thought out and would put Illinois back on track fiscally the voters would turn on him. We get exactly what we deserve in our government. The GA and the Gov. are a reflection of the our society as a whole. Heck there are probably a majority of people in Illinois that would gladly break the constitution just to stick it to the state retirees. They fail to understand that the next group that would be illegally effected might be them…certainly in time it would be.


  7. - facts are stubborn things - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 9:27 am:

    Sorry for the anonymous post.


  8. - Mason born - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 9:28 am:

    Rich in the full piece brings up the truly sad aspects of this election. Two truly pitiful candidates with no real ideas. Neither of which deserve to be elected dogcatcher.

    Nice column Rich. Welcome to Il when you need an Abraham Lincoln you get a choice between the R or D version of jimmy carter.


  9. - facts are stubborn things - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 9:29 am:

    Rich,

    Thanks for the spell check.


  10. - Stones - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 9:41 am:

    Gotta love the “Jump the Shark” reference!


  11. - an independent - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 9:47 am:

    I think it is all about getting some new faces in Springfield. I don’t like the Crain’s article.


  12. - former southerner - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 9:47 am:

    “Welcome to Il when you need an Abraham Lincoln you get a choice between the R or D version of jimmy carter.”
    Mason Born, I didn’t vote for Carter but at this point I wish one of the two candidates even approached that dubious level of quality.

    All we need to make this farce complete is someone like the McDaniel tea party idiot from my former home state of Mississippi to enter the race.


  13. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 9:49 am:

    “If I didn’t know better, I’d think all this chicken talk was a conspiracy “hatched” by both men to allow them both to avoid anything remotely resembling substance.”

    Great comment by Rich in his article, and great article.

    Rauner is in a box. If he supports more tax revenue, that risks alienating some or many of his supporters. If he wants to balance the budget on the backs of state employees while not raising taxes or cutting social programs, that too is risky, as he found out when he almost lost to Dillard.

    Quinn has far more guts than Rauner, but Rauner might be smarter than Quinn to say as little as possible. Quinn, in his bravery in dealing with the pension crisis, risked alienating his union supporters (many of whom probably held their noses to vote for him to begin with).

    Quinn was brave to advocate for keeping the tax increase, and to enact it in the first place. That’s not popular. Rauner looks like he’s trying to ride the incumbent’s unpopularity to victory. We will see if this is enough for Rauner to win in November.


  14. - Ahoy! - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 9:51 am:

    –they truly believed that the more the news media focused on “chickens,” the better off their candidate was.–

    That actually makes sense, that way it highlights a goofy story under Quinn (using a state plane to transport chickens) instead of a goofy press conference that offered no substantive plan for fixing the state budget.


  15. - Wensicia - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 9:52 am:

    They remind me of two guys playing chicken, but it’s the state that crashes as a result.


  16. - The Old Professor - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 9:53 am:

    If Illinois had the “none of the above” option on Election Day, there’s no doubt who would win for governor.


  17. - VanillaMan - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 9:54 am:

    Voters know what they want and they know what is important to them when they vote. Due to the campaigns for governor, voters will be told repeatedly what it is each candidate’s message handlers want them to be told.

    It isn’t much though, is it? On the issues voters are most effected by, neither candidate wishes to tell voters that we will need to end the budget games, find a way to pay our bills, or curtail the care Illinois currently provides those citizens seeking care. The Feds are broke as well and we can no longer wait for others to avoid making the decisions no elected official wishes to publically admit that we need to make.

    We always see challengers run on hot air and hope, but we are now seeing incumbents doing the same. Both parties want voters to believe that someone else is responsible for our current problems not being addressed. Neither party is talking to voters like they are adults who could be reasoned with. We have a party in power who seems to see voters as ignorant children who need to be lied to, and a party out of power who cannot keep from being labeled as heartless clods.

    So we have chickens. The loser here are the incumbents who can SHOW voters their accomplishments in office and give voters real reasons to vote FOR them, instead of against the challengers. Sadly, our incumbents are perfectly fine winning reelections in the worse ways imaginable.

    When Blagojevich was renominated and reelected, Illinois discovered that the bar for running a successful incumbent campaign was so low, it was essentially buried in the mud. Since then, neither party has made any attempt to fix that.

    Voters tired of all this chicken talk will either continue their cycle of hatred towards our governments and politicians, or vote into office new blood until the issues which concern them the most, seem to be addressed under the Dome.

    Whoever does that first, wins.


  18. - Sun - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 9:55 am:

    The media is too focused on chickens…and two media outlets are writing about it. Seems like a chicken/egg sort of thing.


  19. - A guy... - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 9:56 am:

    I’m not sure that Gay Marriage is a great issue of the day. I’ve been working Softs and Independents and it never comes up on the porch. Honestly, I think since it passed, most people are OK with it and if it’s an issue for them, they’ve just accepted that it’s the law now. I don’t sense any traction on this one. Even in partisan circles, the response is “why are we even discussing it?”.

    Sad that this chicken business resonates so much. In some manner, I think our state problems have become so complicated that people glaze over it to grab onto something they believe they can understand more easily. Once the numbers get as high as they are in Illinois, it’s tough for folks to relate.


  20. - ZC - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 9:58 am:

    We seem to be in a state where nearly all the tough choices get made and positions are taken -after- the election, in the subsequent lame duck.

    So I’ll wait until about December of 2014 before I declare Illinois politics thoroughly broken. Not that this is a healthy place to be in now, clearly.


  21. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 9:58 am:

    ===I’m not sure that Gay Marriage is a great issue of the day.===

    Except for those banners at the Pride Parade and rallies, other than that…lol


  22. - Soccermom - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 10:02 am:

    Rich, thanks to you I spent quite a long time in the car with my family singing their personalized version of The Chicken Dance song.


  23. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 10:03 am:

    ===The loser here are the incumbents who can SHOW voters their accomplishments in office and give voters real reasons to vote FOR them, instead of against the challengers.===

    Elections with two candidates are not referendums.

    It’s one or the other. Good track record, bad track record, but not voting for incumbents, means voting for another or not voting. There are choices and frames well beyond “yes or no” to an incumbent.


  24. - Team Sleep - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 10:04 am:

    Mr. Dahl is right. Since the last Indiana Jones movie was on Spike TV last night, I suggest the phrase “jump the shark” be replaced with “nuke the fridge”.


  25. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 10:12 am:

    Read the column yesterday. Truly an awesome bit of work there my friend! It’s dangerous to throw stones when the walls of your glass house are so darned weak.


  26. - DuPage Dave - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 10:15 am:

    Quinn has lost my respect but to be fair he put a budget plan out there, which was voted down by the G.A. Rauner has no plan, only slogans.

    DuPage County voters fell for a guy with the slogan “Ax Taxes” a while back. Guess what- no taxes were axed and that guy is long gone.


  27. - midway gardens - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 10:19 am:

    So why does BR want to be governor?
    If it was that he wanted to live in Springfield, seems like with 9 homes he would have bought one there already. Is there social status to being the governor of Illinois?

    Does he want to solve the state’s problems? It doesn’t seem so. He would have evidenced some thought on how to solve them. Maybe he has a ‘secret plan’. Maybe it’s just to have a candidate of the 1% to hinder solutions that would fall on them.


  28. - an independent - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 10:25 am:

    I don’t understand why people on this site beat up BR but they don’t do the same against PQ.


  29. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 10:28 am:

    Great column, Rich.

    Korecki’s is an excellent facsimile of your June 25th, blog post, complete with shark reference and my comments.

    Sincere flattery.

    @a guy, Willy -

    It is not about the independents and the soft plusses. Quinn’s strategy is about the base:

    - Remind liberals Rauner is a conservative
    - Remind labor he is a millionaire union-buster
    - Remind African American voters Quinn is a Democrat

    Quinn will use the nursing home stuff to try to suppress Rauner’s pluses, including independent turnout.

    But in a state as overwhelmingly Democratic as Illinois, the base is Job One.


  30. - Jaws - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 10:30 am:

    I’m truly flattered that Ms Korecki is floating rumors of my return as I soak up retirement down here in Florida, but Alexi losing in 2010 still hurts, i don’t know if I can come back so soon. Maybe. We’ll see. But I will NOT be jumped over!


  31. - A guy... - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 10:31 am:

    ==== Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 9:58 am:

    ===I’m not sure that Gay Marriage is a great issue of the day.===

    Except for those banners at the Pride Parade and rallies, other than that…lol===

    Wow Wilbur, what a remarkable piece of evidence. #fail.


  32. - wordslinger - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 10:34 am:

    –I don’t understand why people on this site beat up BR but they don’t do the same against PQ.–

    I don’t understand how anyone could write something so ridiculous.

    Actually, I do, but it’s just so transparent as to be laughable.


  33. - Angry Republican - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 10:35 am:

    Henry Kissinger put it best “It’s a pity they both can’t lose”


  34. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 10:36 am:

    I have been remiss, I enjoyed the insight of your column, Rich, including the candid remarks of Rauner’s Crew.

    - YDD -,

    I get the “play” here, and add to the fact… the Quinn can cobble a Ground Game far more easily than Rauner, I understand the strategy.

    The education of who Rauner is (which I asked the “2″ and “Friday Fiasco Man” to do almost a year ago…) is going to probably be a huge mitigating factor for Quinn to win;

    Less that is “educated” on Rauner, the worse Quinn’s chances.

    All good, - YDD -.


  35. - Mason born - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 10:41 am:

    Former southern

    I agree I’d take Carter over either one of these morons. About the only one worse is in a cell in Colorado.


  36. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 10:45 am:

    ===Wow Wilbur, what a remarkable piece of evidence. #fail.===

    So Bruce would have vetoed SSM?

    Wishing away issues is a fail. If you believe police reports of a million people walking around that neighborhood with those banners reminding them of Bruce saying he would veto SSM and that not an issue, you better not worry about chickens, maybe you should worry about ostriches ignorant to the political.


  37. - G'Kar - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 10:48 am:

    With all this emphasis on chickens, maybe the slogan s/b changed from “Shake up Springfield” to “Shake and Bake for Springfield!”


  38. - Ghost - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 11:03 am:

    After reading this I have one very important question…. where did you find a face model who looks so similiar to you but with a close cropped beard for the picture?


  39. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 11:24 am:

    Wait until you see their ideas for running the state.


  40. - Black Ivy - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 11:24 am:

    Ain’t no such thing as bad press when you’re running for governor is this great state…


  41. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 11:30 am:

    Well said Willy.

    “Opposes gay marriage” is much more likely to stick in someone’s brain until Election Day than either candidate’s budget platitudes.

    Sometimes, though, elections are referendums on the incumbent, at least in the voters’ minds.

    Rauner clearly wants this election to be about Quinn. Team Quinn keeps trying to focus the attention on Rauner.

    Quinn is making a mistake, I think.

    Like you, he ought to be arguing this election is a choice between him and Rauner. Every fourth word out of his mouth ought to be “choice” or “choose”.

    Because if he does not first convince voters that this election is a choice between opposite views rather than a referendum on him, all of his criticism of Rauner will fall on deaf ears.

    That is exactly what i expect is happening now.


  42. - Langhorne - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 11:38 am:

    The raunerites must not be reading what is being written about the chickens. The stories i see ridicule them as chicken-spit, petty distractions. You are not going to shake up spfld w $7,000 worth of chickens.

    I am waiting for more detailed plans. On anything. The first rollout went so well.


  43. - Precinct Captain - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 11:55 am:

    ==With all this emphasis on chickens, maybe the slogan s/b changed from “Shake up Springfield” to “Shake and Bake for Springfield!”==

    If Rauner Shakes and Bakes Springfield, he might have finally found a way to craft, or Kraft, a solution I can eat, I mean get behind.


  44. - Levois - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 12:11 pm:

    The chicken pot pie near the bottom of the column was a nice touch lol


  45. - OneMan - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 12:25 pm:

    The truth isn’t going to get anyone elected…


  46. - Anonymous - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 12:29 pm:

    ==- G’Kar - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 10:48 am:

    With all this emphasis on chickens, maybe the slogan s/b changed from “Shake up Springfield” to “Shake and Bake for Springfield!”==

    I don’t think Springfield’s ready to go full on Colorado to do the “bake” part


  47. - Norseman - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 1:46 pm:

    Well said OneMan.


  48. - Anon. - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 2:35 pm:

    ==The truth isn’t going to get anyone elected… ==

    I suspect that the full truth about either candidate would get the other one elected.


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