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Rauner’s smart moves

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* There’s no doubt that Bruce Rauner is a different sort of Republican. While the DC crowd was gnashing their collective choppers last week about the president’s executive order, Rauner was praising it

Republican Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner on Friday called President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration a “great start” to “get the dialogue going” on immigration policy changes.
lRelated Rauner says Obama immigration move a great start of conversation

The comments came as Rauner addressed more than 900 advocates for the Latino community in Rosemont. Rauner told the crowd he supports “comprehensive immigration reform,” which he acknowledged will take more work.

“The real way to do it is on a bipartisan basis, through Congress, through the legislature, with the president, with the states all working together … to make sure the changes are permanent, they’re structurally in place for the long term,” said Rauner, receiving applause.

Later, when asked by a reporter if he supported Obama’s executive orders, Rauner said “It’s good that the president gets the discussion moving.”

He is a lot smarter and more attuned to the sort of state he now represents than the Springfield crowd has ever given him credit for.

* And while we’re on that topic, Reboot interviewed Jim Edgar about his advice to and impressions of Bruce Rauner

A: …His style is to listen a lot and then he kind of takes what he wants to from all of those people he’s talked to, so I guess my major advice I’ve given him is you don’t want to rush into any decisions you don’t have to make right now.

He has a luxury. I told him he got through this campaign for governor without kind of saying a lot about where he was on a whole lot of specific issues and, governmentally, that’s great because now he can take positions based off of what he finds as governor, not what he promised in a campaign and I think that’s a great plus for him. As I told him, until you’re ready to make a decision, until you have to make a decision, I would hold off just so you really feel comfortable with whatever that decision is.

Q: You think he’s a listener? Because the story I heard was that the first time you met him, he didn’t listen very much, that he did most of the talking and that the meeting was a little bit tense.

A: I think I expressed that. I told him the next time we met – we met after the primary– told him, “You’re a quick study. You listened a lot more today.” And my experience with him since, we’ve had probably three conversations and we spent the day flying around Monday before the election and he spent most of it listening to me. Now, how much of it he thought was worthwhile listening to I don’t know, but he’s a much better listener now.

One thing I found is, I thought I had a pretty good resume going into the governorship, and I have to say I had a lot to learn after I got there. I think he understands that. He’s not just listening to me. He’s listening to a lot of people and in the end he has to make the final call, but I think if he can get as much information and have time to think about it. … You don’t really have a chance in a campaign to think about some of those things as well as you should. Now, he has this two-month window, almost, where he can really think things over.

I had heard the same things about Rauner early on. He wouldn’t listen and was a know-it-all.

But I also started hearing different stories as the primary wore on. He was much more willing to listen to advice and began using the best of that advice to his advantage.

Speaker Madigan and Senate President Cullerton both went into a meeting with Rauner not long ago figuring it would be a glad-handing meet and greet followed by a photo op. They wound up talking to the guy for almost two and a half hours.

* And then Rauner met with Cullerton again last week

Cullerton says his meeting was largely procedural. He says they talked about vetting gubernatorial appointments before they are announced and up for Senate confirmation.

That demonstrates Rauner’s eagerness to get up to speed on process, which is unimportant to most people but has done more to damage a governor’s effectiveness than almost anything else.

* Meanwhile

On top of Rauner’s spending millions to get elected, Tom Bowen, a former political adviser to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, notes that once the legislative session gets underway, “[Rauner] can mount an aggressive issue-advocacy campaign if he needs to,” to garner public support for his agenda.


* And, finally

Governor-elect Bruce Rauner said “Happy Thanksgiving!” several hundred times Sunday afternoon, with each utterance accompanied by a free frozen turkey for throngs of people who lined up at a South Side church for fixings and a bird.

Rauner stood next to Pastor Corey Brooks and posed for dozens of selfies at Brooks’ New Beginnings Church, 6620 S. King Drive.

Brooks, one of a handful of black pastors from the South and West sides who went against their traditional Democratic grain in September to endorse Rauner, a Republican, smiled broadly as he stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the Winnetka multimillionaire. […]

“God made us in his image, not as Republicans, not as Democrats, not as politicians, but as human beings who care and make the world a better place by making a difference, and that’s what we’re doing here today.” [Rauner said.]

One of the chief complaints that black ministers have about Democratic politicians is that they appear to be everywhere during campaigns, but invisible the rest of the time. So, that’s another smart move by Rauner.

posted by Rich Miller
Monday, Nov 24, 14 @ 11:14 am


  1. The campaign is over. It’s time for the crazy campaign rhetoric to be over too. This guy didn’t fall off a turnip truck. He expressed his views first. He listened a little less when he was pushing his own narrative. He circled back to the people he thought had good advice and listened intently. He understands “scope”. He understands progress. He’s learning the boundaries of the Governorship. There will be more lessons to learn, but he’s removing as many hurdles as he can before the race starts. That’s smart.

    Comment by A guy... Monday, Nov 24, 14 @ 11:23 am

  2. Rauner is focusing on building up goodwill - the most important capital at the capitol.

    The inference is that he realizes he will be needing a lot of it very shortly.

    I give him credit on all counts.

    Comment by Yellow Dog Democrat Monday, Nov 24, 14 @ 11:23 am

  3. All good signs.

    Comment by VanillaMan Monday, Nov 24, 14 @ 11:24 am

  4. Good trend.

    Comment by walker Monday, Nov 24, 14 @ 11:29 am

  5. It’s good to listen. The guy needs to make nice and get some cover for all the campaign promises he will need to toss aside.

    Comment by Wordslinger Monday, Nov 24, 14 @ 11:32 am

  6. I also give Rauner credit–especially for taking a courageous stand against his own party on Obama’s immigration actions.

    If Rauner is truly reasonable, it bodes very well for us.

    Comment by Grandson of Man Monday, Nov 24, 14 @ 11:38 am

  7. Sure, only 22% of Latinos in Illinois voted for Rauner. Would that number have been lower without Evelyn Sanguinetti? Those collar counties were important.

    But now that Sanguinetti is the first Latino Lt. Governor, Rauner has an “in” and it’s good to keep that base happy.

    Comment by Stuff Happens Monday, Nov 24, 14 @ 11:38 am

  8. I sure hope Corey’s deal with rauner was for a weekly turkey give away because now there are 5 million more reasons why it will even more difficult for his followers to get jobs.

    Comment by William j Kelly Monday, Nov 24, 14 @ 11:39 am

  9. I suspect in a few years we will be seeing articles about Rauner and how much more difficult it is being governor than a private equity manager.

    Comment by Liberty Monday, Nov 24, 14 @ 11:39 am

  10. I’m liking Rauner’s transition moves and the buzz so far. This is still the honeymoon period, but at least he’s using it to his advantage.

    Comment by Lunchbox Monday, Nov 24, 14 @ 11:44 am

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