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Obama will stress “common ground,” not capitulation as recipe for success

Tuesday, Feb 9, 2016

* Tribune

(T)here are three things President Barack Obama won’t do during his swing through Springfield on Wednesday:

Play “back-seat driver” and offer detailed advice to try to solve the state’s budget stalemate. Sit down one-on-one with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner for a beer. And try to negotiate a peace accord between Rauner and Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan.

Previewing the trip, White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters Obama will pick up the themes of his State of the Union speech in January and urge the country to move past partisan divisions. […]

As for the state’s budget impasse, his call for bipartisanship could help, but he won’t be putting forth detailed remedies, Earnest said. For one thing, Obama’s proposed federal budget comes up the day before his trip to Illinois. “We’ve got our hands full here,” the spokesman said.

* AP

“This is actually something we’ve been talking about for a while,” Earnest said in a conference call. “There has always sort of been the sense that going back to Springfield on the anniversary of his announcement speech would be fun to do. And it would serve as the background for a discussion about the kind of potential that the president sees in the country.”

* Lynn Sweet

“The president views this as an opportunity to not offer advice or be a back-seat driver for running the state government of Illinois but rather an opportunity to deliver a broader message about the value and potential benefit associated with trying to find common ground,” Earnest said.

* Sweet asked why this visit is a good idea, considering Springfield’s partisan gridlock

“It’s a good idea because the president’s experience when he served in Springfield was different than the situation the president encountered in Washington. And the president does see this as a good backdrop to talk about the kinds of benefits that can be realized when our citizens and our elected representatives don’t allow themselves to be so easily divided.”

Um, OK.

* More Sweetness

Rauner singled out his two big issues – term limits and redistricting — in focusing on what he wants Obama to talk about, suggesting incorrectly that Obama backs Rauner’s term-limit crusade.

Rauner is not going to get that one-on-one beer he sought with Obama. He will be greeting him on the tarmac of the airport in Springfield.

* Back to the AP

While Obama did discuss term limits when in Ethiopia last summer delivering a speech to the people of Africa, saying “old thinking can be a stubborn thing,” Earnest said Monday that Obama’s message there was not a general call for term limits. He said Obama was telling leaders not to overcome limits already imposed, “either by ignoring them or by coercing the government to change the rules just for them.”

* The most interesting nugget

Obama, Earnest said, sees his speech as an opportunity “to deliver a broader message about the value and potential benefits associated with trying to find common ground. … That doesn’t mean that anybody needs to capitulate on their most strongly held principles. That typically is not a recipe for success, either.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        


52 Comments
  1. - A guy - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 9:28 am:

    Oh.


  2. - hot chocolate - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 9:29 am:

    This is going to be a monumental waste of time and resources. I don’t care about the historical aspect of it. Not even the most transformational politician in the history of the Presidency will get Madigan, the old stubborn donkey, to move.


  3. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 9:31 am:

    ===That doesn’t mean that anybody needs to capitulate on their most strongly held principles.===

    “Do the doable”, that’s been the ball game all along… for a governor that would be wanting to govern, but… I digress…


  4. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 9:31 am:

    Great, that’s going to help I’m sure.


  5. - @MisterJayEm - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 9:32 am:

    I would add only this: Let’s dispel with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing. He knows exactly what he’s doing.

    – MrJM


  6. - RNUG - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 9:38 am:

    Interesting theme from a President some consider the most divisive in history …


  7. - Ray del Camino - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 9:41 am:

    Mr. JM for the win!


  8. - Fusion - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 9:42 am:

    Redistricting is one thing that the Democrats could give Rauner as part of some grand bargain. It would be very hard for a computer to draw a map that would create majority GOP rep and senate districts. So while the gov would claim “victory,” it would be a very hollow one when Madigan and Cullerton stay right where they are.


  9. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 9:42 am:

    - @MisterJayEm -

    Chris Christie is now trolling you…

    I do find it fascinating now that Raunerites, “Republicans”, follow Rauner’s lead and hoot the Term Limit linkage to (gasp) Presidebt Obama (exhale) only to have the Spokesman clarify it was aimed solely at that audience, in that instance for the President to make a different point entirely.

    So… Rauner, channeling his inner President Obama, really missed what the President meant so he (Rauner) can trade off the President’s cache?

    Yeah, ok.


  10. - Wensicia - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 9:43 am:

    @MrJM,

    Did you get that from Rubio?


  11. - Stones - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 9:43 am:

    Years from now when this budget impasse is only a blip in history we will remember when the first African-American President came back to his home state to address the legislature. I’m happy he’s coming and agree that he needs to not jump into this partisan mess.


  12. - phocion - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 9:45 am:

    Well played, MisterJayEm. Good luck to President Obama. I hope everyone heeds your counsel.


  13. - And I Approved This Message - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 9:48 am:

    And in the spirit of bipartisanship, Congressional Republicans announced yesterday that they won’t even hold hearings on the President’s budget.


  14. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 9:49 am:

    How much is this “fun” going to cost taxpayers? It will have zero impact on anything off consequence, except governmental waste. I do not dislike Obama like so many do, but it’s like he has something else he really wants to do in the state and this ‘event’ serves it well. Its like a senior trip before graduation, I suppose.


  15. - Rollo Tomasi - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 9:54 am:

    Obama is the Democratic version of Rauner. Common ground? Neither will cross that line.


  16. - Sir Reel - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 9:54 am:

    Rauner is less interested in common ground than in scorched earth.


  17. - Gone, but not forgotten - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 9:56 am:

    Anonymous @ 9:49: You beat me with your comment. Here goes more — it’s so nice that a bedraggled state, such as we are, can afford to give obama the opportunity to have “fun”.


  18. - The Dude Abides - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 9:59 am:

    @Fusion, I agree that Redistricting would be a nice concession and might help thaw the current gridlock between the Governor and the Democrats. While the Governor often mentions Redistricting I don’t hear many rank and file GOP members talking about it. There’s a reason for that, many of them are comfortable with their current Districts. It’s something that has to be done and would be a nice concession by Madigan. What Rauner needs to do is immediately drop all this anti Collective bargaining and prevailing wage stuff. It is absolutely a non starter.


  19. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 10:00 am:

    Springfield is the first stop of the Obama “Let’s Build A Legacy” tour, just as Springfield was the first stop of the Obama “Let’s Build A Presidency” tour.


  20. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 10:10 am:

    Meh, I wish speeches did it for me. But I ain’t noticed any lack of talk recently.

    “Don’t follow leaders, watch the parking meters.” In other words, pay no attention to what politicians say, watch what they do.

    Especially now, in Springfield, where we have a perfidious governor who likes to pretend that the awful destruction he’s wreaking on the state ain’t part of his plan.

    What rubes, what hicks, he takes us for.

    I do give Obama credit for, again, having the guts to return to Springfield to do some speechifying. I wouldn’t do that.

    By doing so, of course, he invites comparison to Lincoln. And baby, that’s a tough act to follow. You ain’t ever going to top him.

    In four speeches — The House Divided (delivered at the Old Capitol) the First Inaugural, Gettsyburg, and the Second Inagural, Lincoln laid down markers for the ages, for all humanity.

    He made the case for the necessity of the coming storm, a defense of its horrible cost, and a vision of the better days to follow.

    That’s some tall cotton.


  21. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 10:15 am:

    The key is to try to find common ground and move forward. Everything can’t necessarily be done in or two legislative sessions. That’s why executive terms are four years. That’s why there are elections every two years.

    Do I think Obama will have an impact? I doubt it, but who knows?


  22. - Langhorne - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 10:16 am:

    Cant we all just get along?

    Any side bets: carhartt jacket? Blue van? Harley? Plaid shirt? Tie? Chris matthews, “I’ve got that tingling feeling”?

    Spfld, and the house chambers are just nostalgic props. At least he isnt going to the old state capitol to freeze everyone.


  23. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 10:25 am:

    == Let’s dispel with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing. He knows exactly what he’s doing. ==

    Agreed.

    I often fantasize about what Illinois would be like if Obama never left Illinois state government.

    Could you imagine how much better things would be now if he had stayed on the scene here and applied his energy and statesmanship skills to solving Illinois problems?

    Wow, would things be different today…


  24. - PublicServant - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 10:28 am:

    Obama for governor!


  25. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 10:32 am:

    ” - Anonymous - ”

    Google that line you grabbed… get back to us.

    Thanks.


  26. - Gone, but not forgotten - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 10:35 am:

    Does no one recognize “snark” or sarcasm when they see it?


  27. - Very fed up - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 10:38 am:

    Not sure how the term limits issue is a crusade. The initiative is simply to allow voters to have a say. If legislative members feel strongly it has served this state well for people to be in office for 30+ years in a row they can make their case directly with their constituents


  28. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 10:38 am:

    –I often fantasize about what Illinois would be like if Obama never left Illinois state government.

    Could you imagine how much better things would be now if he had stayed on the scene here and applied his energy and statesmanship skills to solving Illinois problems?–

    Another chronic victim-child in search of a Big Daddy to make it all better.

    Not exactly the spirit that won the west.


  29. - Allen D - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 10:38 am:

    They are probably going to discuss voting for changing Lincoln’s Birthday day off to Obama Birthday as a day off.

    Don’t be fooled, Obama is only coming here to serve his own agenda… nothing else of importance. s/k


  30. - West Loop Chicago - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 10:43 am:

    @ Very fed up.

    Madigan seems to have made a very strong case to his constituents every two years for the last 30 years. Like most billionaires frustrated with democracy, Rauner is only pushing term limits because he views Madigan as the main obstacle in his push for plutocracy.


  31. - m - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 10:51 am:

    OW, you’re intelligent enough to see the difference between “clarifying” and trying to walk back a statement someone clearly made that clearly supported an idea. If you’re confused, see Rauner in the general election talking about having no union agenda…


  32. - There is power in a union... - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 10:53 am:

    Glad Obama didn’t agree to the beer at obeds. That place doesn’t like state workers. No union person should go there. And I’m saying this as someone who absolutely loves their beer.


  33. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 11:10 am:

    - m -

    What are you saying… exactly?


  34. - historic66 - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 11:22 am:

    Even if Madigan compromises and gives Rauner a win it won’t help things. Rauner wants to win it all. Until he wins everything he won’t be satisfied and he won’t give anything.


  35. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 11:25 am:

    Wrong speech for the setting.


  36. - Six Degrees of Separation - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 12:01 pm:

    Rauner is only pushing term limits because he views Madigan as the main obstacle in his push for plutocracy.

    Father Time is more likely to get Madigan out of office than some term limits legislation that might be law some time early in the next decade. Might help prevent the “next Madigan”, if there ever could be one.


  37. - anon - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 12:20 pm:

    === “It’s a good idea because the president’s experience when he served in Springfield was different than the situation the president encountered in Washington.===

    The GOP has moved rightward since Obama arrived in Springfield during the 1990s. Thompson, Edgar and Ryan were not ideologues who demonized the other party. They all understood how important it was to work out compromises that gave both sides something they wanted. That GOP outlook no longer exists in Springfield.


  38. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 12:28 pm:

    ===Thompson, Edgar and Ryan were not ideologues who demonized the other party. They all understood how important it was to work out compromises that gave both sides something they wanted.===

    That’s the ball game. That’s Republican and governmental ideals at play.

    ===That GOP outlook no longer exists in Springfield.===

    When Rauner bought the ILGOP, then continued to leverage the GOP GA with $20 million, Raunerites took over the ILGOP and kept the letterhead, but gutted the ideals. That’s real.


  39. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 1:06 pm:

    Rauner is only pushing term limits because he views Madigan as the main obstacle in his push for plutocracy.

    Rauner isn’t pushing term limits. That’s the perfume for his odiferous union-busting and “squeeze the beast” agendas.

    If Rauner wanted term limits, he’d put some of his samolians out on the street behind a constitutional amendment.

    If you’ll recall, he did that once — but the language of the amendment was obviously unconstitutional, and it got tossed.

    Think that was an accident? He sure does have a lot of “accidents” for such a smart guy.

    Rauner wanted to keep the issue alive to campaign on. And he was able to gather a lot of voter data from the signatures.


  40. - m - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 1:40 pm:

    -wordslinger
    Don’t kid yourself, Rauner wants term limits. How of a priority it is might be a valid question. Term limits help limit the accumulation of power by elected officials. For people with money to influence, that is huge. Madigan doesn’t need the money, freshman reps do.
    Just like competitive districts. Throwing a big check behind one candidate can make a huge difference. Not so much in the districts we have now.


  41. - There is power in a union... - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 2:35 pm:

    Rauner doesn’t care about term limits.

    If madigan said, “I’ll agree to RTW zones but back off of term limits,” you’d never hear another peep.

    Term limits are the stick to beat democrats with. They are not the end goal.


  42. - Mama - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 2:44 pm:

    “For one thing, Obama’s proposed federal budget comes up the day before his trip to Illinois. “We’ve got our hands full here,” the spokesman said.”
    I think Obama could teach the guv how to propose a state budget that is fair to everyone. Please teach the 5 tops how to get along long enough to pass a very necessary budget. Businesses & people need to get paid!


  43. - Enviro - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 2:49 pm:

    common ground: something that people agree about even if they disagree about other things

    There must be somethings that government officials in Springfield agree about.


  44. - m - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 2:56 pm:

    -there is power
    It might help to remind yourself that Rauner isn’t actually evil. His beliefs are just way different than yours…
    So I’ll go over it again.
    Whether Rauner gets what he wants or not, if he’s gone and term limits and redistricting happen:
    That means next time, for the next Rauner, there is no Madigan, no Cullerton. A majority of legislative races are in play. Those checks go a lot farther. He and Griffin and Uihlein (or the Koch’s if it fits the talking points better) can get a lot more done with their big checks.

    It’s the long game and the backup plan.


  45. - Enviro - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 3:00 pm:

    Obama could talk about things about which people in Illinois would like to find agreement:

    How do we give everyone opportunity in this economy.

    How can we make politics reflect what is best in us not what is worst.


  46. - James - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 3:16 pm:

    ==Rauner is only pushing term limits because he views Madigan as the main obstacle in his push for plutocracy==

    Agreed. The elected official needs to spend years being effective to build a favorable reputation and remain effective and trustworthy to her peers and the public. When that person leaves, the replacement has to start from square one.

    But the money flow among the plutocrats remains constant and overwhelming. An unknown candidate can quickly buy a reputation through the media.


  47. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 3:16 pm:

    LOL…

    - m -

    ===It might help to remind yourself that Rauner isn’t actually evil. His beliefs are just way different than yours…===

    Rauner believes people don’t matter, some people think people matter.

    Rauner believes social services should be destroyed, others do not.

    Rauner wants suffering for the needy, some do not

    That Rauner, he isn’t evil, he just doesn’t cate about anyone. LOL

    ===Those checks go a lot farther. He and Griffin and Uihlein (or the Koch’s if it fits the talking points better) can get a lot more done with their big checks.===

    At least your honest, all that matters to Rauner is money.

    Pathetic.


  48. - Allen D - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 3:26 pm:

    OW

    I don’t believe that in the least… Rauner is doing what he see’s as the best thing for the State, and I happen to agree.


  49. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 3:34 pm:

    - Allen D -

    You also think you make too much money but “just” can’t find away to donate what you “over make” to charity…

    You vote against your own co-workers, speaks volumes.


  50. - There is power in a union... - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 3:44 pm:

    Rauner thinks the pain of vulnerable people is valuable leverage. Sit and let that sink in…


  51. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 5:46 pm:

    –I don’t believe that in the least… Rauner is doing what he see’s as the best thing for the State, and I happen to agree.–

    Thank you, Allen.

    Everybody can use a little reassurance sometimes.

    Please, don’t hesitate, ever, to tell us what you think the “best thing” is.


  52. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 9, 16 @ 11:21 pm:

    Rauner is this state’s last, best hope for salvaging the future after decades of public greed, corruption, and mismanagement.


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