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Candidate question 4: What is your campaign theme?

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

* I sent this question to all of the active Democratic gubernatorial candidates the other day…

How would you best sum up your campaign’s major theme at this moment in time? Please limit your answer to one or two sentences.

* The responses in the order they were received. From Ameya Pawar’s campaign…

Unity - Bringing together black, brown, and white communities around a new deal that is fair, just, and equal. Rejecting wealth worship and a plutocracy that pits the rest of us against each other to fight over scraps.

* Bob Daiber’s campaign…

The Daiber campaign focuses on supporting the rights of working men and women in All of Illinois. For this reason, we have signed a pledge to say No to right-to-work in Illinois.

* JB Prizker’s campaign…

Bruce Rauner is a complete failure as Governor. JB Pritzker has been guided by his progressive values throughout his career in business and work in the community. His record of bringing people together and ability to get things done make JB the right leader to get Illinois back on track.

* Chris Kennedy campaign…

Radical change. Chris Kennedy knows that electing a new governor is only a first step to getting Illinois on the right track. Our state needs to go much further - change the way we fund schools, tax our citizens, and restore confidence in our government.

* Sen. Daniel Biss…

Springfield has looked out for the rich and well-connected, and the rest of us are paying the price. As a former math professor, not a millionaire, I’m going to solve our problems the right way — by making sure that millionaires and billionaires finally pay their fair share to support an economy that creates opportunity in all communities across the state.

Rate ‘em.

* Related…

* Question 1: Marijuana legalization

* Question 2: Where would they cut?

* Question 3: Municipal bankruptcy

- Posted by Rich Miller        

32 Comments
  1. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 11:30 am:

    ===Bruce Rauner is a complete failure as Governor.===

    Winner winner, chicken dinner.


  2. - RFD DEM - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 11:32 am:

    Panwar’s actually makes me think of possibility. The rest are all about what’s wrong. Which makes sense. But is depressing.


  3. - Montrose - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 11:37 am:

    This is a small thing, but Kennedy needs a better proofreader. “tax our citizens” seemingly hanging out by itself ain’t the best wording.


  4. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 11:37 am:

    ===Bruce Rauner is a complete failure as Governor===

    Pritzker understands “Skyhook”, and knows “Skyhook in reverse” can work.

    Outstanding. Every single time. This IS the lede.


  5. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 11:43 am:

    Pawar and Biss continue to hammer at their own sweet spots as they see them to get the nomination, which I think, for their strategy, is really good work by their Crews, however, not taking that shot at Rauner every time you can, that’s a failure.

    I’m sorry, it’s a failure not to take that shot, but the messages do NOT fail, at all, to whom they want to reach out too.

    Both are solid, solid, solid, “B+” work.


  6. - Arsenal - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 11:46 am:

    Only Pritzker and Biss’ answers are actually consistent with their messages out on the trail. Pawar is close, but he keeps talking about a “New Deal for Illinois”. He shoulda, y’know, talked about it here.


  7. - DeseDemDose - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 11:51 am:

    JB Pritzker, Rauner complete Failure…keep it simple.


  8. - Robert the Bruce - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 11:55 am:

    The others will hopefully learn soon and begin every answer to every question with “Rauner is a failure.”

    I’m no fan of Kennedy, but his response was the most substantive.


  9. - Grand Avenue - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 12:01 pm:

    Rauner has a FB Live at Noon, Kennedy has one at 1


  10. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 12:02 pm:

    THIS ELECTION IS ABOUT RAUNER’S FAILURE.
    It is all about him.

    Kennedy?
    You won’t win using “tax our citizens”. I won’t vote for anyone that politically daft.


  11. - TopHatMonocle - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 12:04 pm:

    If a campaign theme of radical ways to tax citizens much further isn’t a surefire loser, I don’t know what is.

    I’m closely parsing that sentence, but talk about an odd way of putting that. I bet whoever wrote and approved that would like a do-over. So I suppose that’s an F for Kennedy.


  12. - City Zen - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 12:11 pm:

    How low can I rank JB? The first two words of his campaign theme are “Bruce Rauner”.

    Did he learn nothing from Hillary’s campaign theme of “Love Trumps Hate”? The first two words were “Love Trump”.


  13. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 12:13 pm:

    Oh - City Zen -, lol…

    “Pat Quinn failed” worked pretty good.

    Ask candidate Rauner.


  14. - Lady of IL - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 12:15 pm:

    Bringing together our neighbors is a great theme!

    Unity - Bringing together black, brown, and white communities around a new deal that is fair, just, and equal. Rejecting wealth worship and a plutocracy that pits the rest of us against each other to fight over scraps.


  15. - Responsa - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 12:18 pm:

    Not impressed with any. It’s fine to say Rauner is a failure. Many may agree. But not saying what they’d actually do differently in approach (in a theme/slogan) is a major failure of messaging. Just saying “I’ll be different” is not enough in our sorry state.


  16. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 12:21 pm:

    ===Just saying “I’ll be different” is not enough in our sorry state.===

    … and yet, Candidate Rauner took the Oath to be out next governor based on a campaign of “being different” and “Pat Quinn failed”…


  17. - Responsa - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 12:25 pm:

    They have to differentiate themselves from each other in the primary before they can reap the full benefits of “Rauner failed”. This is pretty fundamental politics and they are not doing that yet.


  18. - Come on Man! - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 12:30 pm:

    Most people do not feel the true cost of not having a state budget- there is polling to corroborate this. Angst from the lack of a State Budget lands on government contractors, employees, vulnerable citizens, and CapitolFax readers. At this point the coalition stated, has not created a critical mass for change of political will. Bruce Rauner has not failed ENOUGH people in the state of Illinois to cause him problems electorally when you focus ONLY on the budget.

    What most people do feel is an economic system that has benefited people like Bruce Rauner and JB. To that I would say ALL the candidates less JB have gotten the memo. Each put their own spin but they understand the central problem, people feel forgotten and something needs to change.

    I’m in the minority here but Pritzker’s theme is the worst possible answer Democrats can give. It is the same milquetoast poll tested buzzwords with a simple attack on the opponent that led us to the Donald Trump presidency. The mechanic’s of JB’s campaign are running better than the others, however this message will not excite the base and feels reminiscent of HRC’s failed Presidential run.


  19. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 12:36 pm:

    ===They have to differentiate themselves from each other in the primary before they can reap the full benefits of “Rauner failed”. This is pretty fundamental politics and they are not doing that yet.===

    You can’t walk and chew gum at the same time? These candidacies can’t either.

    Oh boy. It’s worse for them the I thought.

    - Come On Man! -

    1) Rauner is upside down (58% disapproval) with polling. The goal is to defeat Rauner. Don’t lose site that campaigns are about winning and a winning message to that… which lead to…

    2) “Pat Quinn failed” isn’t even close to the neighborhood, of the block, of the parking lot, of the entrance, of the ball park.

    “Bruce Rauner fails” IS the theme all Democrats need to embrace and realize that defeating, statewide, Bruce Rauner is the end game, and Rauner proved pointing to a failed governor works.


  20. - resistanceisfutile - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 1:03 pm:

    Once the candidates get past slogans, ask them how they plan to address this problem:

    Since the turn of the Millennium the US has suffered three economic blows: the dot-com bubble popped, there was a big slump after the 9/11 attack, and of course the Great Recession.

    In Indiana, even after all the anti-employee legislation nominal per capita personal income, at about $34,000, was basically flat from 2001 through 2009. It only began to grow again after the Great recession officially ended. [https://alfred.stlouisfed.org/series?seid=INOI96]

    More important than nominal income, though, is real income adjusted for inflation. Comparing the two states:

    Indiana real per capita personal income [https://alfred.stlouisfed.org/series?seid=INOI96]:

    $33.7K 2000 $39.6K 2016 17.5% increase

    Illinois real per capita personal income [https://alfred.stlouisfed.org/series?seid=ILOI96]:

    $40K in 2000 $47K in 2015 17.5% increase

    Each state has experienced the same percentage growth.

    Of course, we all know that a simple mean may conceal a great many things. Here is a comparison of real median household incomes:

    Indiana Real Median Household Income, adjusted for CPI [https://alfred.stlouisfed.org/series?seid=MEHOINUSINA672N]

    $58044 in 2000
    $48060 in 2014 -17%
    $51983 in 2015 -10%

    Illinois Real Median Household Income, adjusted for CPI [https://alfred.stlouisfed.org/series?seid=MEHOINUSILA672N]

    $65850 in 2000
    $54916 in 2014 -17%
    $60413 in 2015 -08%

    Between 2000 and 2014 each state suffered the same percentage loss. In the last two years, households in Illinois have improved more than did those in Indiana. Alternately, it may be that some lower-income households decided they would never recover, and left the state.

    (How can average per capita income go up while median household income goes down? Increasing inequality, that’s how.)

    The residents of Illinois and Indiana parallel each other closely.

    The principal difference is that the population of Indiana has continued to grow at a steady pace, while it has been much slower in Illinois. Combine this with income stagnation, and all the ingredients are in place for a state fiscal crisis combined with the public’s resistance to paying any more property taxes.

    Rauner’s agenda won’t help the problems facing the state. So what do they plan instead?


  21. - resistanceisfutile - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 1:08 pm:

    My apologies — neither my tabs nor my spaces get picked up, so the lines for”Real per capita income” are a bit of a mess. They should be:

    $33.7K 2000 — $39.6K 2016 — 17.5% increase

    and

    $40K in 2000 — $47K in 2015 — 17.5% increase


  22. - Arsenal - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 1:50 pm:

    ==Once the candidates get past slogans==

    You know they were basically asked to give their slogans, right?


  23. - Campaign Recycle Bin - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 2:08 pm:

    Pritzker continues to follow the winning Hillary playbook. He avoids talking about differences with his primary opponents because that won’t work to his advantage. Bland biography campaigns and promises of competence worked so well in ‘16 I can see why establishment Democrats want to try it again!


  24. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 2:14 pm:

    ===Pritzker continues to follow the winning Hillary playbook.===

    (Sigh)

    “Bruce Rauner failed” is… the Bruce Rauner playbook of… “Pat Quinn failed”.

    You lack a real understanding of what is going on but I’m sure it self so satisfying to type “Hillary” and press “say it”, thinking you know what’s at play here…

    Ugh.


  25. - walker - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 2:54 pm:

    “Only I can fix it for you.” Was the winning slogan in ‘16.

    Don’t know it’s Illinois analogue. Perhaps PB could credibly go with “Only I have created opportunities and jobs for people.”


  26. - Robert the Bruce - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 3:03 pm:

    I think each did pretty well. B+ all around.

    Pritzker has to be considered the favorite to win. And as the favorite, he played it safe. Criticize the other party’s candidate and then say nothing of substance. That’s the frontrunner playbook.

    The others each developed more of a theme with at least one specific. And they have to - they need something to stick with the media, donors, and voters.


  27. - Lost in Chicago - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 3:14 pm:

    Biss for the win. Solely for answering in the first person.


  28. - Campaign Recycling Bin - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 5:14 pm:

    Yes, the Hillary crowd liked to talk down to anyone who disagreed with them so good job on keeping the theme going. Any reasonably competent Democrat is going to beat Rauner. He harmed the people who elected him, just like Quinn. The primary is the election.
    The fact that every move Pritzker makes is copy and pasted from the bland, losing Hillary playbook is worth noting. His decision to ignore his primary opponents will come off as smug and presumptuous, just as it did with Hillary.


  29. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 5:25 pm:

    (Sigh)

    ===Yes, the Hillary crowd liked to talk down to anyone who disagreed with them so good job on keeping the theme going.===

    “Bruce Rauner fails”? That’s how Rauner won, “Pat Quinn failed”… but…

    ===Any reasonably competent Democrat is going to beat Rauner===

    So, if that’s a “given”, attacking Rauner seems like a pretty smart move to “soften” Rauner up.. “however”…

    ===The primary is the election.
    The fact that every move Pritzker makes is copy and pasted from the bland, losing Hillary playbook is worth noting.===

    … Hillary won the nomination. It was in all the papers, they even had a convention with her nomination. “But”…

    ===His decision to ignore his primary opponents will come off as smug and presumptuous, just as it did with Hillary===

    … and as I reminded you, Hillary won the primary season, and while Hillary lost… you said…

    ===Any reasonably competent Democrat is going to beat Rauner.===

    So it’s difficult to prove right now that Pritzker is neither reasonable or competent yet…

    So… what… exactly is your argument? Are you arguing with yourself, citing a reasonable Dem will beat Rauner, Hillary won the primary season, so you may want to reconcile all that confusion.


  30. - Arsenal - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 5:41 pm:

    ==His decision to ignore his primary opponents will come off as smug and presumptuous==

    And if engaged them it’d be divisive and evidence that he’s No True Scotsman, so let’s not pretend his sin is anything other than having the temerity to run in the first place, OK?


  31. - resistanceisfutile - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 6:14 pm:

    ==You know they were basically asked to give their slogans, right?==

    Yes, I know, but it always helps if the theme, motto, or slogan says SOMETHING about the candidate’s positions. “Vote for Roosevelt and Repeal” told everyone they could end Prohibition. “Give ‘Em Hell Harry” at least pointed to Truman’s standpoint vis-a-vis the Congress, while “Dew It With Dewey” — meh. Sure, slogans have become more vacuous ever since “The Selling of the President 1968″ and the advent of candidate brand management. But winning campaigns have themes with just enough content for people to identify with it and rally around. Just ask Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald J. trump.


  32. - Veil of Ignorance - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 12:11 am:

    Pawar: a little too abstract…and what about Asian Americans? Little weird to leave them out…considering. Still, narrative rings true and will resonate with progressive wing.

    Pritzker: opening is good sound byte, but not a vision. Little too vanilla, but understandable that he’s playing it safe by just saying “I’m not Rauner.” I think Clinton tried the same thing vs. Trump…hmmm wait.

    Kennedy: Identified specific issues and made them core of his pitch. I do wonder whether Kennedy will find comfort zone with “radical” identity given he may not have tons of experience in grassroots progressive spaces. Will he go full Bullworth?

    Biss: consistent message, but I wonder if eventually will be a little too narrow to allow him to grow his support base. For example, the African American, immigrant, and women voters seem completely up for grabs given nobody’s made serious run at their issues as best I can tell.


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