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Rauner skips White House dinner attended by 46 governors

Monday, Feb 27, 2017

* Hmm…

* But, hey, he apparently spends a lot of time in his own executive mansion

The Illinois Executive Mansion has been available to governors and their families for 162 years, but the prospect of living in a historic building hasn’t been enough to get them all to reside there.

Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration believes he’s an exception and said he spends approximately 55 percent of his nights in Illinois at the Executive Mansion. The administration didn’t expand on how many days that actually is.

Conversely, Rauner’s two most recent predecessors, former Govs. Pat Quinn and Rod Blagojevich, didn’t stay at the mansion much at all. Quinn was reported to have stayed at the mansion about 60 or 70 nights annually, according to The Associated Press, and Blagojevich primarily lived at his home in Chicago. The now-imprisoned governor would avoid even one-night stays at the mansion.

Former Gov. Jim Edgar and his wife, Brenda, who actually lived at the Executive Mansion, said the building was wonderful, though it never truly felt like home.

…Adding… Lynn Sweet

Rauner keeps his distance from Trump. He’s up for re-election next year in a heavily Democratic state.

But there comes a point to deal with governmental reality. Trump is the president. He delivers his first joint address to Congress on Tuesday. Trump’s budget goes to Congress next month. Big decisions are being made that will impact Illinois. Doesn’t Rauner want to have a voice in trying to influence Trump?

To consider…Unlike almost every governor in the nation, Rauner missed two potential chances to tell Trump what Illinois needs from the federal government.

Trump, in almost every speech – and in several Twitter posts – hits Chicago problem with shootings. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been to the Trump White House and done extensive outreach.

Rauner might want to reconsider: By refusing to attend events with Trump – Rauner is abdicating dealing with Chicago violence with a president who threatened to “Send in the Feds” to the city.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - wordslinger - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 9:22 am:

    Curious to see how long Rauner can diss Trump before it gets under his skin. Or honks off Rauner’s base.

    I mean, Dem governors are willing to shake Trump’s hand and have their pictures taken with him. Gov. McAullife offered a gracious toast to Trump last night. Rauner won’t even say his name. Ever.

    I don’t think he’ll be up for the Profiles in Courage award.

  2. - Romeo - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 9:24 am:

    I really don’t care whether or not Rauner went to a dinner or where he laid his head at night. What I really care about is: 1)Where is the budget? & 2)When will the deliberate destruction of Illinois stop?

  3. - Rich Miller - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 9:25 am:

    === What I really care about is===

    Then comment on one of those threads.

  4. - PJ - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 9:27 am:

    This contortionist act just isn’t viable. He needs a large percentage of Trump voters, along with a decent slice of moderate Democrats. Dodging Trump physically isn’t going to stop Democrats from tying them together mercilessly, but it may begin to get tiresome for the downstate folks who love Trump.

  5. - Iron - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 9:28 am:

    No surprise here. Not a governor, not a republican or a conservative.

  6. - phocion - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 9:29 am:

    Odd choice by Rauner. Trump is the President - the hard core left that don’t want to accept that won’t be voting for Rauner anyway. Plus, today’s Governor’s working group (which Rauner is blowing off) is focusing on health care - which is a big, big deal everywhere and especially in Illinois and its budget. Governor Rauner needs to shed the polling numbers sometimes and act like the Governor. Getting tired of defending him in light of irresponsible actions like this one.

  7. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 9:30 am:

    I think - wordslinger - is in this with this aspect…

    Rauner is going to require Trump voters to win in 2018. Illinois is going to be tough enough for Rauner, given his lack of anything tangible in budgets. How long can Rauner keep a coalition that he won’t acknowledge he needs?

    Rauner is not an 800 pound gorilla that can win in a vacuum, $50 million or not.

    So, hide, Governor, avoid the pictures, but you need some image to put in a frame, even if it’s a picture you may not want out in the world.

  8. - Not Rich - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 9:33 am:

    It is only going to get a lot worse for BVR..He enjoyed election night for about 2 min with his wins in the legislative races, then reality set in when Trump won.. run away from Trump and risk losing some Trump downstate supporters..

  9. - Sigh - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 9:35 am:

    Remember when Rauner said Springfield was going to be the headquarters for state government? Then why is he only spending 55% of his time in Springfield?

  10. - Huh? - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 9:37 am:

    Isn’t 1.4% supposed to be staying at the Director’s House at the fairgrounds because the mansion is closed for renovation?

  11. - PublicServant - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 9:39 am:

    All campaign, all the time. Rauner doesn’t give a rat’s behind about helping Illinois do anything other than destroy collective bargaining.

  12. - Handle Bar Mustache - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 9:40 am:

    …but he voted for Trump, right? Right?

  13. - LizPhairTax - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 9:40 am:

    You’re not Martellus Bennett refusing a congratulatory photo opportunity. You have business to discuss. Illinois’ business. Show up.

  14. - Collinsville Kevin - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 9:41 am:

    Avoiding the toxic Trump one of the few things Rauner’s doing right in my book.

  15. - PublicServant - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 9:43 am:

    Get a new book, Kev

  16. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 9:44 am:

    ==why is he only spending 55% of his time in Springfield?==

    You’re asking why he’s only spending most of his time in Springfield?

  17. - Thoughts Matter - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 9:45 am:

    Rainer should have gone to Washington to spend time with the other Governors. First, this gathering isn’t all social hour. There’s serious issues being discussed at meetings. Second, he should remember that serious issues often get discussed at social events. He’s supposed to represent us in these types of gatherings. One of the biggest complaints about Blago is that he wouldn’t perform any part of the job that he didn’t want to do.

  18. - Dolphin - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 9:45 am:

    Can Rauner get along with anyone?

  19. - Anon221 - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 9:46 am:

    From the Sun-Times article:

    “WH reportedly working on list of attendees, but as per Potus remarks in pool report 1, there were 46 governors at the dinner – a record which seemed to delight the president. McAuliffe also noted that the dinner was the first formal dinner of the Trump presidency, which he took as a particular honor for the governors.”

    Rauner is making himself very noticeable to Trump by his lack of attendance at these events. He’s making himself an easy target for Trump Tweets and an Executive Administration that doesn’t take kindly to those who don’t “play along”. Dodgin’ and duckin’ and claimin’ you’re needed more in Illinois, isn’t an “excused absence” in Trump World.

  20. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 9:48 am:

    It seems Rainer either doesn’t have a clue, or does have a clue, and it’s that he doesn’t care deeply about anything but improving the lot of ‘forgotten billionaires’.

  21. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 9:49 am:

    Rauner can try his hardest to stay away from Trump but the similarities are too close to home.

    Billionaire, never a politician before, admits he buys politicians, doesn’t negotiate but forces his hand…

    Yeah he isnt going to get away from his Trump brother.

  22. - Huh? - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 9:49 am:

    I suppose that when you are a billionaire and have all the answers, that it isn’t necessary to network with people who are not in your social strata.

  23. - Grandpa - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 9:51 am:

    I understand the rational point that a governor may need support from a president. But I am with Kev this prez is so despicable that I admire the gov for keeping his distance.

  24. - Truthteller - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 9:53 am:

    Given Rauner’s poll numbers perhaps Trump quietly asked Rauner to stay away from the White House because the Governor is too politically toxic for Trump

  25. - Nick Name - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 9:56 am:

    The lengths to which Gov. Gaslight will go to avoid rubbing elbows with his gubernatorial colleagues of either party and now with the President of the United States is just strange. It’s not normal. It’s bad from a policy perspective (like blowing off the health care working group and apparently ceding the initiative on dealing with Chicago violence to the President) and bad from a political perspective (Don’t like Trump? Too bad, he’s in your party and you’ll need his supporters if you want to get re-elected).

    All Rauner’s insulation really accomplishes is to lend credence to the growing sense that he really has no other agenda besides crushing unions and wrecking the state of Illinois generally.

    Of course this is a big, fat softball for the Democrats to use against him, but have they even stepped out of the on-deck circle to take a swing?

  26. - Rocky Rosi - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 10:01 am:

    Smart political move. They can always meet for dinner on the tarmac.

  27. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 10:09 am:

    I would almost pay to see Trump turn on Rauner. Someone should be instigatin’ a conflict.

  28. - Rabid - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 10:12 am:

    What makes you think he even got an invitation?

  29. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 10:33 am:

    Don’t be dense, Rabid. They invite everyone.

    Assuming we paid our dues.

  30. - Secret Square - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 10:50 am:

    I’d love to know who the other three no-shows were. Were they all hardcore liberal Dems (e.g., Jerry Brown of CA) or were they, like Rauner, also GOP governors holding precarious positions in Dem-dominated states (e.g, Daniel Malloy of CT)?

  31. - Gone, but not forgotten - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 10:58 am:

    I’ve tried very hard not to criticize the Governor, but this behavior is inexcusable. With the horrendous healthcare crisis this state is facing, he should be there participating with input of Illinois problems, or at the very least, listening to others and getting input so that Illinois can handle this appropriately. Does he not realize that if the replacement plan diminishes Medicaid, this state has a BIG problem since they expanded it to cover thousands? If the federal funding is cut — who’s going to pay? Oh, why am I bringing this up? It’s obvious that the Governor does not care one iota about healthcare for anyone in Illinois.

  32. - Last Bull Moose - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 11:05 am:

    I would have gone if only to start a dialogue with Doug Burgum on upgrading computer systems. Doug is the new Governor of North Dakota and the man who built Great Plains Software.

  33. - walker - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 11:19 am:

    Goes both ways. Trump often lauds Rep governors by name as doing great jobs, and being sources of new ideas on healthcare and education — but not Rauner.

  34. - Joe Bidenopolous - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 11:26 am:

    Jeez, even John Kasich, who is a Republican governor who quite literally campaigned against Trump until election day, met with him 1:1 on Friday and went to the dinner.

    There are going to be major decisions made by that Administration that will affect Illinois, and Illinois will not have a voice due to Rauner’s apparent cowardice to be associated with Trump. It’s simply yet another way that Rauner fails at actually governing.

  35. - doofusguy - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 11:51 am:

    Not positive on this but apparently the 46 total could also included some ‘territories’ (i,e, Puerto Rico, American Samoa) so it looks like more than 4 states could have been missing from among the group of California, Florida, Illinois, Georgia, Maine and W. Virginia

  36. - Just Observing - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 11:56 am:

    === Remember when Rauner said Springfield was going to be the headquarters for state government? Then why is he only spending 55% of his time in Springfield? ===

    It doesn’t mean he is spending 45 percent of the time in Winnetka/Chicago — that 45 percent might include stops throughout the state, nation, and world.

  37. - Blue dog dem - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 12:03 pm:

    Just give me a somewhat conservative gubernatorial candidate out of the Dems and its burnt toast for the RAUN Man. He can kiss Trumps ring, or ignore him completely. He is done.

  38. - Echo The Bunnyman - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 2:21 pm:

    He should have gone… Blue Dog… Someone Conservative in any party will crush him. We are too far gone. 50 mil or not, offer real solutions and they would win.

  39. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 2:22 pm:

    No upside to the Governor embracing Trump given his approval rating in Illinois

    There is no chance Trump voters are going to vote for a Chicago liberal over Rauner in 2018.

  40. - Secret Square - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 2:23 pm:

    “more than 4 states could have been missing from among the group of California, Florida, Illinois, Georgia, Maine and W. Virginia”

    CA: Jerry Brown (D) was not there for obvious reasons (including the ongoing flood disaster in his state).

    FL: Rick Scott (R) met with Trump and had lunch with him privately the day before, so if he didn’t make it to the WH event, he probably didn’t miss anything.

    GA: Nathan Deal (R) did NOT attend, probably because he stopped paying dues to the NGA a few years ago (though he still belongs to the RGA).

    Not sure whether Paul LePage (R, ME) or Jim Justice (R, WV) made it, but both are big Trump supporters. If they didn’t attend, it was probably for reasons other than disapproval of Trump.

  41. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 2:24 pm:

    ===No upside to the Governor embracing Trump given his approval rating in Illinois

    There is no chance Trump voters are going to vote for a Chicago liberal over Rauner in 2018===

    Math is Math.

    If Trump voters decide to “stay home” against Rauner, not voting at all… that won’t help Rauner.

  42. - Blue dog dem - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 2:42 pm:

    OW. Very true. Conversely, gun owning, conservative, union trades will also stay home if an ultra liberal Dem runs. People like me are in a pickle.

  43. - Huh? - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 2:43 pm:

    1.4% propably skipped the dinner because he saw the menu and wine pairings and decided that they weren’t up to his sophisticated palate. /s

  44. - VanillaMan - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 3:09 pm:

    Rauner dislikes Trump for similar reasons that the Brooklyn Nets dislike the Harlem Globe Trotters.

  45. - wordslinger - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 3:25 pm:

    – Very true. Conversely, gun owning, conservative, union trades will also stay home if an ultra liberal Dem runs. People like me are in a pickle.–

    You’re a union trades guy now? When did that happen, or does it just come and go when it suits you?

  46. - blue dog dem - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 4:46 pm:

    Word. Happy Easter. 18 Years USW (that’s United steel Workers). Widget factory owner for 30. Recently sold to employees. 18 of the most wonderful, dedicated union employees you could find. Been through more strikes than should be allowed. Never came out, both as an employee or employer. Couldn’t find a buyer for two years. Sold before the election. Obama and TPP loomed heavy. Hindsight maybe had we waited…

    What’s your life story. Many would like to know. I am sure at some point you were nicer.

  47. - Whatever - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 4:46 pm:

    ==Not a governor, not a republican or a conservative.==

    That fits Trump and Rauner, both. But Trump has a good excuse for the first.

  48. - wordslinger - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 4:47 pm:

    –No upside to the Governor embracing Trump given his approval rating in Illinois–

    Embracing him? He’s scared to say Trump’s name, shake his hand or have his picture taken with him.

    Rauner would show up when Obama was around. Rauner was happy to tout an Obama holiday the other day.

    Can Rauner summon the courage to at least do business with the president of the United States?

    If not, let us know, now.

  49. - wordslinger - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 4:53 pm:

    –I am sure at some point you were nicer.–

    I’m sorry I haven’t been nice to you. Try some Miracle-Gro, maybe your petals will perk up.

    You dish out plenty, buttercup. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t get a reaction.

  50. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Feb 27, 17 @ 6:43 pm:

    I bet he was at the Oscars stirring in the briefcases.

  51. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 28, 17 @ 8:53 am:

    Rauner has yes men around him, using his $$$$ and his vindictive side to keep legislators in line.

    His ego won’t allow himself to be subject to a tongue lashing from someone who has more money than he.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Reader comments closed until Tuesday
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Tribune asked 16 mayoral candidates to release tax returns, 6 complied
* A rough idea of what they're looking at
* Question of the day: Golden Horseshoe Awards
* Rauner was wrong about "record levels" of unionization
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY: Stava-Murray updates
* Pritzker's inauguration ball tix will benefit Cabrini Green Legal Aid Clinic and Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation
* Rauner claims he's been too busy to reflect on his term
* Pritzker's day in DC
* *** UPDATED x3 - Morrison wants emergency meeting of ILGOP - McConnaughay explains - Schneider responds *** Rauner says he tried to drop out of race after primary
* Feds re-raid Ald. Burke's office
* Yesterday's stories

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