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*** UPDATED x1 *** Question of the day

Tuesday, Apr 28, 2015

* From a reader…

Rich -

I’m a longtime reader (not a subscriber though, I know, shame on me). You’ve touched on an issue in several posts but I’d love for you to dive into it more, that is…

Why do you think Rauner isn’t engaging the media?

I have several theories but I’d like your take. Here’s my short list:

    1. He just isn’t good at handling the media’s line of questioning and/or is stiil learning.
    2. He’s very big on controlling his message and doesn’t see the media as being able to help him carry that message.
    3. He views them as the enemy that’s only going to support the unions and the Dems.
    4. He’s naturally a private person and doesn’t see the value in opening up. (That would seem to make sense knowing how little we learned about him during the election.)
    5. He doesn’t want to get pulled away from his message, that is union busting and the budget.

Anyway, thanks for all your work. All the best, keep it up.

* The Question: Why isn’t Gov. Rauner talking much to the media lately? Take the poll, click as many answers as you think may apply and then explain your vote(s) in comments, please.

survey solution

*** UPDATE *** The governor will take some questions today in Springfield…

What: Governor Attends Workers Memorial Day Event with IDOL Director Chaviano
Where: Essentra Specialty Tapes
7400 Industrial Dr, Forest Park
Date: Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Time: 9:00 a.m.
Note: No additional media availability.

What: Governor Attends IDOT Listening Tour Event with Secretary Blankenhorn
Where: Hoogland Center for the Arts
420 S. Sixth St.
Date: Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Time: 2:30 p.m.

What: Governor Discusses Turnaround Agenda at IL Association of County Officials Spring Conference
Where: Hilton Springfield
700 E. Adams St., Springfield
Date: Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Time: 5:45 p.m.
Note: No additional media availability.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Juvenal - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 11:55 am:

    Rauner can’t handle the questions.

    He wouldn’t be doing these events if he didn’t think the press was important, but despite his summa cum laude, it’s pretty clear he can’t handle the scrum.

    Go listen to the Amanda Vinicky interview for proof of just how not-ready-for-prime-time Rauner is.

  2. - Anonymiss - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 11:56 am:

    Options 2 and 5 are similar, but I think correct. The media may question him in a way that wouldn’t allow him to provide a talking point in response, which would pull him off message.

  3. - walker - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 11:57 am:


    If Madigan can do it, why not me?

    Just let my people handle it.

  4. - Gooner - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 11:58 am:

    If he takes questions, he may have to discuss the human impact of his decisions.

    That gets away from the core of his message. It brings in other factors. If you are talking about specific sick kids, you are not talking about how unions and high wages are destroying America.

    He doesn’t strike me as the right wing paranoid “the media is out to get me” type. It is more of a matter of control.

  5. - Wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 11:58 am:

    1. He’s proven that he’s very shaky off script, cannot think on his feet and does not have a depth of knowledge in regards to the issues or the job.

    The media has been quite helpful in getting out his message. As far as “enemies,” he practically ran the Sun-Times prior to the election and the Tribbie edit board is a lap dog.

  6. - One of the 35 - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 12:01 pm:

    I voted other. My opinion is that he doesn’t like being accountable to anyone or anything. A dangerous trait for a Governor.

  7. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 12:01 pm:

    He has no respect for anyone’s opinion except his own, doesn’t want to hear anyone else’s opinion and doesn’t want to defend his opinions.

    We are all flying blind with this guy in charge.

  8. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 12:05 pm:

    Most media is horribly left biased.

    He ran for governor of Illinois, not Idaho. He knew enough to keep everyone in the dark about his anti-union psychosis and actually lied about where it fit his agenda right up to Election day.

    So it isn’t like he wasn’t aware. He was. He is willing to lie. Pointing that fact out isn’t being biased either way. He earned it by lying all the way to the bank, and to the polling booth.

  9. - OneMan - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 12:06 pm:

    #2 & #6

    As for #6 part of me thinks this part of a bigger plan, that there is going to be an information drop and/or outside spending about the union thing and there is no sense in him talking to the media much right now.

  10. - Mr. B.A. - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 12:08 pm:

    Please… Rauner not engaging the media has nothing to do with any issues he has personally, but is all about his agenda and his delivery of a one-sided message.

  11. - Norseman - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 12:10 pm:

    I voted Q1, that he’s incapable of responding to questions, and Q5 that he wants to restrict the message to union busting and budget. I would have voted for Q2, but I don’t see it as an issue that the media can’t help him carry the message. Rauner knows he needs them to convey his message, he just doesn’t want to answer questions that will dilute his message.

  12. - Soccertease - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 12:12 pm:

    Qther. He’s a smart man and knows that media sound bites can and will be used against him. So why not minimize being set up?

  13. - Gooner - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 12:12 pm:

    I think some of the comments here underestimate how well Rauner does in interviews.

    While I agree with nearly nothing that he says, I think generally he handles himself very well.

  14. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 12:17 pm:

    Voted “Other”


    1) Rauner is a true believer. Questioning true believers, at some point ends in “because” as an answer and that doesn’t play well in the press.

    2) Questions and answering them take time away from just selling his thoughts. Why spend time pivoting off a question?

    3) Leading antedotally doesn’t lend yourself to answering factually. Why engage in fact-checking press people when a good story works on its own.

    4) Rauner “owns” @statehousechick and the Trib Editorial Board, and Rauner seems to have editorial license with the Sun-Times. Why engage the reporters when a call or two will get what he wants in the paper anyway.

    5) $20 million. At that level in 3 accounts, with a pledged total of $60+ million, and nealy $27+ million actual, why make for work to undue for that money.

    6) Finally, he just doesn’t trust himself, and his seasoned Crew doesn’t trust him either. It’s twice the work to walk something back, even if you’re a true believer in it, than to fight off criticism for not answering at all.

    As an aside, a talented LG could be an incredible asset in this role, but when your walking Personal Injury “magician” isn’t any better on her feet than Rauner, your option to speak has to be “no”.

  15. - MrJM - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 12:17 pm:

    All of the above plus other: He’s a salesman trying to pitch a dangerous and defective product to people who know much more than he does about his product, the product’s competitors, the product’s customers and the history of the product’s market.

    Best to just keep quiet under those circumstances.

    – MrJM

  16. - Wensicia - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 12:20 pm:

    #1 and other. He feels he’s not obligated to explain himself or his agenda to anyone (and this has nothing to do with privacy). Since most of what he says are vicious attacks or outright lies, why would he take questions from the media or anyone else?

  17. - Tier II - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 12:20 pm:

    What is even more dis-heartening the mainstream Illinois media (for the most part) isn’t calling him out on this topic. Surely there is still some journalists with integrity that can speak up and demand answers.

  18. - Ray del Camino - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 12:21 pm:

    #1 or some variation. He’s not used to not being good at something, therefore won’t do it in public. Otherwise, what Wordslinger said.

  19. - anonymous plus one - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 12:22 pm:

    I believe it is number two. He is very outgoing, and enjoys speaking to the media when he can control the conversation. Which would be NOT when being interviewed by the intrepid Amanda Vinicky!

  20. - Quizzical - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 12:25 pm:

    I think he hasn’t thought out his positions too well. He came into office saying that things couldn’t get worse and believes that doing something is better than nothing. Much like people making the decision to invade Iraq thought that the act itself would eventually justify the consequences. Rauner doesn’t want to discuss the short term consequences of his actions because he believes that his radical changes will eventually bring about a ‘new’ Illinois.

  21. - Corporate Thug - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 12:27 pm:

    I voted #’s 2 & 5. I’m no Rauner fan, but he is good at staying on message. Very good at using buzz words “union bosses” “corrupt” “conflict of interest” etc. And he will stick with them unless he’s pressed hard. The interview with Vinicky was a prime example of him almost going off the rails by being pressed. This is why (I believe) he doesn’t take questions at most events. You get him out of his comfort zone and he not as good. Control, Control, control. He must keep control at all times.

  22. - the Other Anonymous - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 12:28 pm:

    A little bit #2, a little bit #3 — why rely on earned media and the filter it goes through when you can just spend money to get the message directly.

    But a lot #6 — Other. And that “other” is that the private equity world is notoriously secretive. Try and get a straight answer about some of their structures and practices, let alone their plans, from a private equity person. It’s impossible.

    The world Rauner comes from simply does not believe in talking to the press or public.

  23. - Casual Observer - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 12:35 pm:

    I voted #1 and #5 but that’s just speculation. I would also speculate that Rich Miller and Oscar the puppy already know the answer to this question after spending some off-the-record time with the Governor at his mansion.

  24. - Last Bull Moose - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 12:36 pm:

    Based on comments from Rich, I think he has huge gaps in knowledge. Revealing those gaps undermines his credibility. Similarly, he operates at 30,000 feet and cannot answer detailed and specific questions.

  25. - Walter Mitty - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 12:40 pm:

    Other… He has information that he feels will tie up this message in a bow….Again, no matter what people think, you don’t become this successful being a fool. He is pushing a narrative that they must believe is resonating to the middle… The guess is, they have “something” they consider to be a closer… If we learned anything through the process by which a certain Representative was systematically taken down… The rhetoric will become tiresome… Then facts and figures are used for the close…

  26. - AC - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 12:43 pm:

    In private industry, controlling your message and having a consistent brand are important to success and going off script is almost never good. Rauner may be personable, but he isn’t good with confrontation. All these point me to #2, but that doesn’t mean some of the other options are invalid.

  27. - anon again - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 12:44 pm:

    Other-He can’t control them

  28. - Norseman - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 12:48 pm:

    === *** UPDATE *** The governor will take some questions today in Springfield… ===

    Sounds like the superstar staffers wrote some pat answers for some questions using his favorite buzz words.

  29. - Not quite a majority - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 12:48 pm:

    #1 and 2 — he isn’t good at it but he needs total control of his message to keep his Lieutenants in the GA and his underlings in line. If you look at the hearings on the Good Friday cuts, the message was loud and clear and repeated often with very little variation. No question was answered that didn’t lead directly back to the message.

  30. - Amalia - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 12:53 pm:

    I don’t like what he stands for or how he does things, but controlling is what he wants to do and he is going at it the best way he thinks will work for him. it’s all about control.

  31. - Aldyth - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 1:15 pm:

    Rauner will take questions today, but that doesn’t mean he’ll actually answer them. As for the unconditional positive regard that some newspapers and voters have for Rauner, they’re hoping that he’ll pull off a magic trick and fix the financial problems of the state along with bringing lots of industry and jobs. His ducking questions and not providing specifics is his way of avoiding revealing that he’s neither knowledgeable or competent at building successful systems and structures. Rauner’s skill is in destruction. I wonder when the proverbial lightbulb will go off above the heads of voters?

  32. - Belle - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 1:24 pm:

    #2 I would take to the level that he doesn’t trust them to deliver his message as he wants it done.

  33. - Just Me - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 1:27 pm:

    I voted “other” because he is following the Speaker’s media relations strategy.

  34. - anonlurker - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 1:28 pm:

    Plausible deniability and control. If he goes off script, he has the potential to lose both. His ‘budget’ both pre and post election is a pot at the end of a rainbow. He knows it and knows it doesn’t hold up under scrutiny…so no questions please. It will fail, but he’s built a corrupt triumverate (union, ga, judicial) strawman to account for his failures.

  35. - Columbo - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 1:28 pm:

    #2 is the closest. I do wonder if his career as a corporate take over artist plays into his negotiation style. I suspect that in many of his lucrative deals the other party didn’t have much leverage to push back, so his crew could impose their will. Take it or leave it.

    The glaring difference here is that the other party has leverage, and many would argue much more than he has.

  36. - Stones - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 1:31 pm:

    Voted #1 & #2 although I think a good argument can be made for all the choices. Based on his background (controlling) I think #2 is probably the best choice of all. He’s used to being the CEO.

  37. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 1:48 pm:

    I said ‘other”.

    Standard CEO cult of personality leadership. See Lee Iacocca for example.

    Do what I say, do not question me. I know the way forward you do not.

  38. - olddog - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 1:49 pm:

    I think MrJM nailed it at 12:17. But I clicked on #2 and #5 … Rauner’s from the private sector, where they don’t have effective open meeting and public record laws. Plus he’s a bully, and he doesn’t have to talk to grubby little serfs who work for a living when he can buy and sell their top management and editorial boards.

  39. - Publius - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 1:49 pm:

    I voted other. He is not actually governing, he is campaigning and selling, others are doing the work, learning the details, making the decisions. He is merely an empty Carhart jacket or the Energizer bunny of politics. They wind him up and send him out, but he only knows the script.

  40. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 1:56 pm:

    Other, he’s a child and a coward and can’t stand being asked to explain himself.

  41. - ajtg - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 2:01 pm:

    Other: He doesn’t have any reasonable answers to tell the media.

  42. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 2:14 pm:

    I don’t think he is good at handling questions. He doesn’t tend to do well when he has to go off script. Plus, I don’t think he’s gotten used to the media aspect of his job. As a CEO he’s not used to people questioning him, let alone questioning him publicly.

  43. - anon. - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 2:16 pm:

    You don’t hear much from the Speaker either. No point in stirring up s–t until budget deals are done. compared to BR and MM Cullerton is chatty Kathy.

  44. - Wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 2:28 pm:

    There’s something off here.

    In the update, Rauner’s schedule says he attended a “Worker’s Memorial Day Event” at Essentra Speciality Tapes in Forest Park.


    The only thing resembling a “Worker’s Memorial Day” that I’m aware of is May Day, which the socialist international chose to commemorate the Haymarket Affair.

    The Haymarket Martyrs Monument is right next door to Essentra at Waldheim Cemetery in Forest Park.

    Was Rauner laying flowers at the Haymarket Martyrs Monument today? Was he overcome by the spirit of Gov. Altgeld?

    Will it last, lol?

  45. - A guy - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 2:44 pm:

    ….and you said you didn’t hear voices. oy.

  46. - BlameBruceRauner - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 2:49 pm:

    Hes an arrogant ego maniac and doesn’t care about anyone but the 0.1%
    He knows his message is phony, he dodges questions, by reverting to one of his few answers.
    Did you listen the Amanda V. interview a week ago. Garbage is all that comes from this guys mouth

  47. - Chicago Hack - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 2:54 pm:

    That is an very interesting bit of insight and, I believe, very apropos. Nicely done.

  48. - Wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 2:55 pm:

    Guy, what’s the word on the street as to what a “Workers Memorial Day Event” is?

  49. - Linus - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 3:32 pm:

    I’m listening once more to Amanda V’s interview with Rauner.

    It’s not quite Sarah Palin Meets Katie Couric. But y’know what? The Governor’s lack of coherent, informed, and on-point answers seems awfully reminiscent.

  50. - Mama - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 3:35 pm:

    He is afraid the media will ask questions he can not answer or does not want answered.

  51. - A guy - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 3:38 pm:

    === Wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 2:55 pm:

    Guy, what’s the word on the street as to what a “Workers Memorial Day Event” is?===

    lol. The streets I’m on haven’t uttered a single word about this one. I haven’t the foggiest notion. Maybe it was something being celebrated at a particular place. Just don’t know man.

    Am I one of those voices you’re hearing?

  52. - Langhorne - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 3:51 pm:

    Stay. On. Message.

    If he doesnt go off message, and doesnt let questions take him there, there is nothing to report beyond The Message. Even if he muddles things a bit w fictional anecdotes. No questions no mistakes

  53. - Snucka - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 4:39 pm:

    Probably for the same reason that Madigan is not voting. With a big battle coming, it’s safer to say/do nothing other than repeat talking points in public.

  54. - A guy - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 4:54 pm:

    === Snucka - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 4:39 pm:

    Probably for the same reason that Madigan is not voting. With a big battle coming, it’s safer to say/do nothing other than repeat talking points in public.====

    That’s actually very interesting. Maybe there is some relationship between one not voting and another not taking questions. It’s worth some pondering. Good point. Maybe it’s nothing, but maybe it is. Another thing to keep an eye on.

  55. - DuPage Dave - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 6:11 pm:

    I think it’s a mistake to refer to Rauner as a CEO, since his business was buying and selling businesses, not running a business. Correct me if I’m wrong, but he never ran any business for any length of time.

    While many on this blog refer to him as another Sonny Corleone, my reference point is Tony Soprano taking over the sporting goods business, running up the debts and handing the spoils out to his pals. Is that really any different from how Rauner’s team treated their nursing home acquisitions?

  56. - jerry 101 - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 6:42 pm:

    He comes from the C-Suite world. He lives and dies by press release. Transparency is not how he rolls.

  57. - OldIllini - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 8:58 pm:

    I voted other. He’s too busy trying to fix the budget hole.

  58. - James - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 8:58 pm:

    2 and 6. The media probes all players. He’s afraid, and does not want his fear to show. He might gulp in the middle of a sentence.

  59. - Property of IDOC - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 11:20 pm:

    6. Other
    He really doesn’t give a ;$)&/! What the public knows or thinks, therefore no need to talk to the media.

  60. - Property of IDOC - Tuesday, Apr 28, 15 @ 11:22 pm:

    Number 6.
    He really doesn’t give a ;$)&/! What the public knows or thinks, therefore no need to talk to the media.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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