Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x4 - Pawar, Biss, Kennedy, Pritzker respond *** Rauner says again that he hasn’t been happier in 20 years
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*** UPDATED x4 - Pawar, Biss, Kennedy, Pritzker respond *** Rauner says again that he hasn’t been happier in 20 years

Sunday, Jun 25, 2017 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Sneed asked Gov. Rauner what he does to handle stress

“Well, I take long walks with our dog and ride my motorcycle,” Rauner said. “I head out alone and explore roads or find a little park to sit and think. Or a brew pub to strike up conversations.

“It’s really wonderful when people describing themselves as Democrats tell me to stay the course. That I’m doing the right thing,” he said.

“That energizes me and I know it sounds strange, but my wife tells me she hasn’t seen me this happy in 20 years. I feel totally honored and humbled to get the opportunity to improve the future of 13 million people.”

He’s said this several times before, of course. But even now? After two and a half years without a budget? During the lead-up to junk bond status, the loss of college accreditations and the other massive crises that are only going to become worse? He’s still the happiest he’s been in 20 years?

* Bernie

“Glad he’s happy. But he shouldn’t be,” Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, said when asked about Rauner’s comments.

“This is really an embarrassment,” Cullerton said. “We owe $15 billion. We’ve been downgraded. People are not being paid. People are not being served. There’s people who aren’t getting breast cancer screenings because of this. … It’s just sad. It’s totally avoidable. That’s why I’ve been working with Republicans this session in a bipartisan fashion, and I give credit to those Republicans who did all the work with us and just weren’t allowed to vote.”

Cullerton blames the lack of GOP votes on bills agreed to by Senate Democrats and Republicans on the governor. Rauner has expressed concerns about the legislation, but has denied peeling off GOP support.

“It’s disastrous, and totally avoidable,” Cullerton said of the effects of the impasse.

…Adding… Video of Cullerton’s remarks

*** UPDATE 1 *** From the Pritzker campaign…

“The fact that Bruce Rauner can talk about his own happiness as our economy spirals down the drain and Illinois stumbles towards junk status is appalling,” said JB Pritzker. “Rauner’s comments are an absurd insult to the millions of families struggling under his failed leadership. This is confirmation of what we’ve known all along: Bruce Rauner manufactured this crisis to force his agenda on our state and he does not care how many Illinoisans pay the price.”

*** UPDATE 2 ***  From the Chris Kennedy campaign…

Sounds like what’s making most people in Illinois miserable is making Bruce Rauner happy. During his two years as Governor, over a million people have been pushed out of social services that provide basic human rights like food and health care. Our state universities are on the brink of losing accreditation and job growth is below the national average. People are voting with their feet and leaving Illinois in record numbers. The voters are ready for radical change in Illinois, starting with a new governor and state leadership that will put Illinois back to work.

*** UPDATE 3 *** Sen. Daniel Biss…

I’ve been trying to figure out how Bruce Rauner can sleep at night but now we know: hurting people across Illinois apparently makes him happy.

*** UPDATE 4 *** Pawar campaign…

That Bruce Rauner has never been happier as public schools, universities, and social services across State of Illinois are collapsing is embarrassing.

This is what happens when we elect out of touch business men to government who make their fortune destroying companies and gutting jobs for personal profit.

We can - and must - do better than another four years of Bruce Rauner.


  1. - wordslinger - Sunday, Jun 25, 17 @ 11:34 am:

    If Blago said that, there would be a universal roar of “psycho.”

    But his actions are producing predictable results. The squeeze the beast plan is moving along nicely. Why shouldn’t he be happy?

    Does anyone really believe this destruction is not intentional, after all this time? He just told you it is.

  2. - Oswego Willy - Sunday, Jun 25, 17 @ 11:37 am:

    ===“Well, I take long walks with our dog and ride my motorcycle,” Rauner said. “I head out alone and explore roads or find a little park to sit and think. Or a brew pub to strike up conversations.

    “It’s really wonderful when people describing themselves as Democrats tell me to stay the course. That I’m doing the right thing,” he said.===

    This really, really, really… sounds like someone being ridiculously candid and honest… reflective, and even at peace with a retirement project that allows him (Rauner) to “see parks, think, talk to strangers” and feel he’s justified to BE at peace with this horrible experiment that Rauner can’t see hurts real people daily.

    Me, personally, found this as an odd discussion…

    ===“So I handle the stress spending time with my best friend, my wife, Diana, who is a Democrat and my pillar of strength. This isn’t about partisanship. It’s about good government. What is hard is all our children now live out of state. Diana cries about that.”===

    What average, everyday person frames their relationship, even in this discussion, giving Rauner every benefit, honestly, about “bipartisanship”?

    What appears to have happened here, in this grab is “even my best friend is a “Democrat”.

    If Diana Rauner is crying, understandable, that’s not where I’m going with this, but her tears are also those of someone, just last October, put her own name to $9 million dollars… for Republicans.

    In all this, Rauner enjoying the purposeful destruction, the walks, motorcycle rides, the “alone” visits to parks… the “bipartisan” relationship, the Democrats telling Rauner to hang tough… it’s really about Rauner enjoying pain… to those he thinks deserve pain… and being at peace… because those who deserve his (Bruce Rauner’s) ire are finally getting hurt the way Rauner wants them hurt.

    Happiest he’s been in 20 years.

    Democrat Diana Rauner, who Bruce, not I, inserted in this discussion, is aiding in the pain, and aiding in the happiness of Bruce within the forced destruction… and the pain.


  3. - Anon221 - Sunday, Jun 25, 17 @ 11:39 am:

    While Illinois falls apart, Rauner “sings”…

  4. - weary - Sunday, Jun 25, 17 @ 11:40 am:

    Abraham Lincoln said it best: “Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.” There’s a big difference between personal happiness and being satisfied with how some particular issue is going at work. We could all learn from this.

  5. - Roman - Sunday, Jun 25, 17 @ 11:49 am:

    Diana Rauner is one of the top Republican campaign contributors in Illinois history.

    She’s a Democrat about as much as Pope Francis is a Mormon.

  6. - Jibba - Sunday, Jun 25, 17 @ 11:50 am:

    Weary, I hope no one learns anything from Rauner. It is shameful and appalling that he can be happy at times like this, when real pain and damage are happening to real people. Verging on mentally ill.

    The only lesson from this is that our current situation is exactly what he wants to happen, and it is disgusting. I don’t give him one iota of credit for not letting the awful situation chill his buzz.

  7. - Anon221 - Sunday, Jun 25, 17 @ 12:00 pm:

    Weary- This isn’t “work” for Rauner. He had told us all, time and again, he’s a volunteer. He is treating Illinois like some non- profit in that if he is a big enough “donor”, he can volunteer all he wants irregardless of the consequences to the people served.

  8. - Rich Miller - Sunday, Jun 25, 17 @ 12:03 pm:

    ===he can volunteer all he wants===

    As an aside, the problem with volunteers is it’s tough to fire the bad ones because, hey, they’re volunteers. /s

  9. - G'Kar - Sunday, Jun 25, 17 @ 12:06 pm:

    “It’s really wonderful when people describing themselves as Democrats tell me to stay the course. That I’m doing the right thing,” he said.

    I wonder how many barley wines he has had at a brewpub before he starts imagining these conversations? /s

  10. - Oswego Willy - Sunday, Jun 25, 17 @ 12:12 pm:

    - weary -, Rauner made clear, he’s a retired volunteer, this isn’t his work-product removed from personal bliss. This IS the personal bliss and satisfaction of a man who’s retired and volunteering to do all this… and is enjoying it.

    To all the responses, Cullerton thru Kennedy, and even the ones that follow after;

    Y’all are saying all the right things, framing what Rauner said perfectly within the ridiculousness, and even getting to make the framing fit beyond the pain and suffering but attaching it to the man, Bruce Rauner.

    Welp, when Rauner win every single day, and can say this without, as - Wordslinger - points out, the pushback someone like a “Rod” woulda got…

    Maybe y’all need to think…

    … is it the words we’re choosing that isn’t resonating… or are we just not doing enough, not even in the parking lot of the ball park enough, to let voters know what exactly is happening with Bruce Rauner and his thinking about all this?

    Look yourselves in the mirror. Look at yourselves and see what IS happening…

    Rauner gets away with things others wouldn’t… because sharp worded releases condemning Rauner get swamped by Rauner, because you engage him on the uneven playing field… or worse… because the refusal to engage on Bruce’s platforms daily isn’t worth 5-6 interns to work at it.

    My hope is at some time, maybe in September, and through November of 2018, these kind of responses by really thoughtful people and Crews find the larger megaphones to do all that educating.

  11. - Anon221 - Sunday, Jun 25, 17 @ 12:16 pm:

    Rich- So true. Thank goodness the “board members and staff” of the State of Illinois have a way to deal with errant volunteers- elections!

  12. - foster brooks - Sunday, Jun 25, 17 @ 12:22 pm:

    I give credit to those Republicans who did all the work with us and just weren’t allowed to vote

    hows that? lol

  13. - Grandson of Man - Sunday, Jun 25, 17 @ 12:28 pm:

    Of course he’s happy–like a zealot–happy that he’s engaged in trench warfare against the people he wants to blast out of government and the public sector. I think he enjoys others’ pain.

  14. - Rich Miller - Sunday, Jun 25, 17 @ 12:46 pm:

    ===If Blago said that, there would be a universal roar of “psycho.”===

    Yeah. Remember the “up day” quip?

  15. - Henry Francis - Sunday, Jun 25, 17 @ 1:00 pm:

    Since the Guv threw his wife into this quip, someone should ask the First Lady if she did say that about her husband. And ask her if she is as happy as he is? I mean Bruce is such an old fashioned regular guy, “happy wife, happy life” applies to him. Right?

    Didn’t Daley start making “cuckoo” noises when asked about the delusions of Blago?

  16. - Ducky LaMoore - Sunday, Jun 25, 17 @ 1:03 pm:

    ===As an aside, the problem with volunteers is it’s tough to fire the bad ones because, hey, they’re volunteers.===

    I know it was snark. But tell that to the equestrians at Jubilee State Park!

  17. - illini - Sunday, Jun 25, 17 @ 1:19 pm:

    @G’Kar - my thoughts exactly. Or maybe it was after he had several of his $1000 bottles of wine with his superstars!

  18. - AnonymousOne - Sunday, Jun 25, 17 @ 1:22 pm:

    When the whole world is crumbling around you but you only see the wonder of it all, perhaps your world is totally askew from the reality of it all.

    Yes this is on purpose. To say things are great though, it hateful and hurtful to all those struggling because of this alternative “road” being taken.

    Yeah, it is a big middle finger to citizens of this state.

  19. - Captain Illini - Sunday, Jun 25, 17 @ 1:31 pm:

    Words escape me to explain what the Governor is trying to say…so much so, that I will let his neurotic rambling speak for itself.

    What I will say is that his words, works-or lack thereof - his demeanor, his everything is NOT the ILGOP. It does not represent the fine history of the ILGOP, and many of the good things they’ve done. It DOES represent what happens when the ILGOP can be bought and consumed by a venture vulture willing to crush all for his petty agenda. The ILGOP will rue the day they went along with him and will take possibly a decade before it returns with its respectability.


  20. - wordslinger - Sunday, Jun 25, 17 @ 1:38 pm:

    –There’s a big difference between personal happiness and being satisfied with how some particular issue is going at work. We could all learn from this.–

    Emperor Nero used to pluck a happy ditty on his fiddle during catastrophes of his own making.

    Very well-adjusted, that one. We could all learn from him.

  21. - Trolling Troll - Sunday, Jun 25, 17 @ 2:57 pm:

    The alone time in his “bike” and In the park are fabrications. The ISP EPU does not let him go ANYWHERE alone.

  22. - illini - Sunday, Jun 25, 17 @ 3:14 pm:

    @TrollingTroll - Excellent point that I should have made myself. My nephew was EPU for both Thompson and Edgar. The Governors are never “alone”.

  23. - weary - Sunday, Jun 25, 17 @ 3:19 pm:

    I think people are still missing the point about what it means to be happy. If a person can only be happy when everything is going perfectly, they will never be happy, because there is ALWAYS something that’s not quite right. For a lot of people it’s wanting more than what they currently have. They’ll be happy when they get a bigger house, a better job, a better spouse, you name it. But they end up going their whole life without ever being happy because they’re always waiting for something more. So the fact that the governor is happy doesn’t mean he doesn’t care. It just means that his happiness is not based on external things. So I stand by my opinion that we could all learn from him. No, NOT how to govern, but how to find joy even when things aren’t going the way you hoped. So please quit trying to make him out to be a terrible person for being happy, or trying to make yourself feel more superior because you obviously care so much that you could never be happy if even a single citizen of Illinois is hurting.

    It’s also possible that people here are just getting hung up on semantics. In particular, a person can be happy even though they don’t like how things are going with something. Those are two different things, but they get jumbled because we use the same word for both. I’m happy with how this project turned out is not the same thing as I’m happy in general.

    So please stop with the knee-jerk reaction of trying to connect the governor’s statements about happiness with the mess the state is in. Until he comes out and says “I’m happy that people are hurting”, you have no basis to make that conclusion about him.

  24. - Oswego Willy - Sunday, Jun 25, 17 @ 3:28 pm:

    - weary -

    Rauner was the governor 20 years ago.

    Rauner frames his work as governor and his happiness with a comparison that his wife is a Democrat, and Democrats agree he should “stay strong”

    Stay strong with what, enjoying motorcycle rides?

    The happiness is framed within all he has and is doing as governor, and that in a “bipartisan” way, Rauner should be happy.


  25. - Anonymous - Sunday, Jun 25, 17 @ 3:59 pm:

    Rauner I am a Democrats and I say Do your job don’t ruin the state we live in.

  26. - Grandson of Man - Sunday, Jun 25, 17 @ 4:06 pm:

    Rauner is par for today’s course. Wealthy and powerful men were celebrating at the White House when the U.S. House voted to repeal the ACA. Certain billionaires are absolutely gleeful at the prospect of taking away health insurance from millions of low-income and sick people.

    Rauner more than tripled his income thanks to the very people he slams endlessly and tries to cut harshly, public sector unions and government workers. So for someone like him, it’s pure joy. The corrupt insiders are very, very good to him.

  27. - Anon221 - Sunday, Jun 25, 17 @ 4:17 pm:

    weary- Rauner will never come out and say he’s happy people are hurtin. We all know that. However he has in the past laid out a plan that would be guaranteed to hurt people so they could be used as leverage. I’m not going to requote it, it’s been quoted quite often on this blog, you can look it up at your leisure. In fact, I think your third to seventh sentences in your most recent post sum up Rauner fairly well. His happiness is predicated on how much power and accumulated “wealth” he has, not something as existential as the wind in his face or the sight of fox kits playing on the Director’s Lawn.

  28. - Cubs in '16 - Sunday, Jun 25, 17 @ 7:50 pm:

    Pawar’s statements are consistently good.

  29. - Southwestsider - Sunday, Jun 25, 17 @ 8:11 pm:

    I am annoyed by Pawar. Total lightweight and surely not prepared to take on any higher office, beyond being an alderman. His comments are not “consistently good,” but uninspiring.

  30. - Present - Sunday, Jun 25, 17 @ 8:34 pm:

    People are fake Governor Rauner. They are stunned by your title. Isn’t that what it’s all about? No polite person would say something to you in your face. Even if they did sir, would you even know?

  31. - sd21 - Sunday, Jun 25, 17 @ 8:36 pm:

    bravo Southwestsider - Sunday, Jun 25, 17 @ 8:11 pm
    Pawar may someday have the chops, but not based on the dribble

  32. - sd21 - Sunday, Jun 25, 17 @ 8:43 pm:

    - weary -
    you are not accounting for Rauner’s role and responsibilities as leader of the millions of IL citizens — which his statement misses entirely. He is a sad excuse for a leader

  33. - Rabid - Sunday, Jun 25, 17 @ 10:22 pm:

    Why should he spoil his beautiful mind

  34. - Aldyth - Monday, Jun 26, 17 @ 7:51 am:

    It is hard to imagine being more appalled than I already am with Rauner.

    Congratulations, governor. You’ve managed a new personal best.

  35. - Soccermom - Monday, Jun 26, 17 @ 4:57 pm:

    I FEEL ALL-CAPS COMING ON. But I will try to restrain myself.

    Okay. Here is the thing. Rauner makes a big deal that he’s not taking a salary. The Governor’s salary is $177,412.

    Now look at Rauner’s state income tax savings over his years as governor. Last year, he saved something like $2.3 million in state taxes, thanks to letting the rate increase expire and then putting a brick on the budget.

    A volunteer? Or a self-interested, self-dealing, corrupt billionaire whose sole motivation is fattening his own bank accounts and the wallets of his wealthy cronies?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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