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What does “messaging” really mean to Rauner?

Monday, Jul 24, 2017

* Tribune

One of the constants during Gov. Bruce Rauner’s 2 1/2 years in office has been his belief in the power of messaging: If only people understood his agenda, the resulting groundswell of public support would be enough to pressure Democrats to get on board with his ideas.

It’s a notion so central to the Republican governor’s philosophy that it’s common for him to ask supporters, onlookers and even journalists to “help get the message out.”

“We just need to get our friends and our neighbors and our allies to stand up together and message on this issue,” Rauner said last week during remarks at a gathering of road builders in Oak Brook. “Everything we’re fighting for is a win for the people of Illinois, and we’ve got to message that together.”

Since the start of the year, Rauner’s focus on messaging intensified as a temporary budget expired and pressure built for the Republican governor to strike a budget deal with Democrats who control the General Assembly, according to people familiar with the operations of the governor’s office who spoke to the Chicago Tribune on condition of anonymity.

OK, but what does he mean by “messaging”?

* If you scroll all the way down to the very end of WBEZ’s story on the Illinois Policy Institute staffers hired by Gov. Rauner, I think you’ll see what he’s talking about

[Rep. Tom Morrison (R-Palatine)], however, said Rauner’s new chief of staff and communications team would focus more on how the governor delivers his message.

“One thing the Illinois Policy Institute does well is communicate the untold stories that maybe the media is unable or unwilling to tell,” Morrison said.

* This is the same basic explanation given by Chicago Tribune editorial board member Kristen McQueary on Dan Proft’s radio show a couple of weeks ago

If you look at what [Gov. Rauner’s new chief of staff Kristina Rasmussen] has done with the Illinois Policy Institute, regardless of what you think of the Policy Institute, until they started growing and putting pressure on different policy issues in Springfield, there was really no entity down there pushing that agenda, or refuting what the Left was always doing, or taking unions to task, or looking more critically at the state budget and all of these issues. They have become a force de jour under her leadership. So, I think that probably speaks to why she is a good choice.

I mean, you know the liberals will go nuts because the Illinois Policy Institute is seen as a real flash point down there. And this will be interpreted as he is now going to listen even more to his base and anti-union rhetoric and all that. That’s what the push will be. But I just see this as more of a policy-driven, disciplined person who will be in his ear every day rather than some of these people who perhaps did not know Springfield as well as they should have. […]

She also has just a really good grasp of media, of story-telling. When I’ve been on this show at times, sometimes I’ve felt as an editorial writer that I was telling stories that his people should’ve been telling… It fuels the idea that maybe there isn’t good messaging coming from his office when they’re not good at explaining why, for example, a locally approved right to work zone, and I know these are considered off limits kind of off the bat, but they shouldn’t be. Some of these issues that were on his initial Turnaround Agenda were not anti-union, union-bashing. They were small, locally approved issues to help places like the South Side of Chicago and the West Side that have not seen new development in 25 or 30 years.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Fax Machine - Monday, Jul 24, 17 @ 12:14 pm:

    His lack of accomplishments means he’ll have a completely negative message until next November - it might work, too.

  2. - WSJ Paywall - Monday, Jul 24, 17 @ 12:15 pm:

    =I mean, you know the liberals will go nuts=

    The GOP’s top goal in 2017 at all levels of government.

  3. - Anonymous - Monday, Jul 24, 17 @ 12:19 pm:

    You mean like telling a made up story about a dinner with Madigan, asserting he said things that he clearly wouldn’t have said? Yeah, that’s surely going help accomplish things…clearly a sign that these new folks “understand Springfield”

  4. - Rogue Roni - Monday, Jul 24, 17 @ 12:19 pm:

    No bruce. We know the message. The problem is the message stinks

  5. - Anon221 - Monday, Jul 24, 17 @ 12:22 pm:

    There is a difference between news and spin. When spin is considered news, that is when you cross the line into campaigning for an issue. Good news covers the many aspects of an issue, not pieces and parts that are convenient to the story being told.

  6. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 24, 17 @ 12:23 pm:

    ===When I’ve been on this show at times, sometimes I’ve felt as an editorial writer that I was telling stories that his people should’ve been telling===

    Tell that to New Orleans… “@StatehouseChick”

  7. - Anonymous - Monday, Jul 24, 17 @ 12:23 pm:

    –They have become a force de jour under her leadership.–

  8. - ILGOV2018 - Monday, Jul 24, 17 @ 12:26 pm:

    If State Rep Ives supports the IPI agenda and those who have taken over the Governor’s office, she is not someone I want advocating for me.

  9. - Fax Machine - Monday, Jul 24, 17 @ 12:26 pm:

    It’s past noon - what happened?

  10. - Anonymous - Monday, Jul 24, 17 @ 12:29 pm:

    Tour de force maybe? Or Firce of the Day, like soup.

  11. - Anonymous - Monday, Jul 24, 17 @ 12:30 pm:

    Force, that is

  12. - wordslinger - Monday, Jul 24, 17 @ 12:30 pm:

    –They have become a force de jour under her leadership.–

    Katrina’s French isn’t quite soup yet.

    I think she means “force majeure” like an “irresistible force.”

    In contract law, it can also mean “unavoidable accident” or “Act of God,” like a hurricane.

  13. - Anonymous - Monday, Jul 24, 17 @ 12:31 pm:

    ==It’s past noon - what happened?==

    If the current comms shop keeps the late schedule they’ve recently gone by, we’ll find out about 9 o’clock tonight.

  14. - TominChicago - Monday, Jul 24, 17 @ 12:35 pm:

    It’s nice of Hurricaine Kristen to finally admit that she and the Trib are nothing more than Rauner’s propaganda network.

  15. - Anonymous - Monday, Jul 24, 17 @ 12:38 pm:

    ==force de jour==

    Mm, that’s sounds good. I’ll have that.

  16. - Newsclown - Monday, Jul 24, 17 @ 12:42 pm:

    I hate the term: “messaging”. Verbing weirds nouns. They should be saying: “communicating”, but they don’t really mean to be doing that. They mean proselytism.

  17. - IllinoisBoi - Monday, Jul 24, 17 @ 12:52 pm:

    Perhaps farce de jour?

  18. - 47th Ward - Monday, Jul 24, 17 @ 12:58 pm:

    Me: What’s the soup de jour?

    Waiter: The soup of the day.

    Me: Mmm, sounds good. I’ll have that.

  19. - The Captain - Monday, Jul 24, 17 @ 12:59 pm:

    When I’ve been on this show at times, sometimes I’ve felt as an editorial writer that I was telling stories that his people should’ve been telling …

    On the one hand the Trib ed board denies being totally in the tank for Rauner, on the other hand the Trib ed board brags about being pro-Rauner better than even Rauner’s team is.

  20. - Hieronymus - Monday, Jul 24, 17 @ 1:10 pm:

    @12:23pm More like the Farce Du Jour

  21. - Hieronymus - Monday, Jul 24, 17 @ 1:11 pm:

    Oops, got scooped.

  22. - Hieronymus - Monday, Jul 24, 17 @ 1:14 pm:

    Governor’s communication strategy:

    The Message = A Sow’s Ear
    Messaging = Convincing everyone that it is a silk purse

  23. - X-Prof - Monday, Jul 24, 17 @ 1:23 pm:

    Force de unit?

  24. - X-Prof - Monday, Jul 24, 17 @ 1:25 pm:

    Force de nuit? … darn Anglo spell checker.

  25. - 47th Ward - Monday, Jul 24, 17 @ 1:29 pm:

    ===OK, but what does he mean by “messaging”?===

    It means we should just clap louder.

  26. - Earnest - Monday, Jul 24, 17 @ 1:38 pm:

    >Me: Mmm, sounds good. I’ll have that.

    And a Word Salad, please, dressing on the side.

  27. - zatoichi - Monday, Jul 24, 17 @ 1:38 pm:

    So what is the message that needs to messaged besides Madigan bad? The mandatory 40 Point Turnaround agenda is now 4 points? Shaking things up? I can handle the tax sunset vs. I support a tax increase as long as my name is not attached? Conflict creates opportunities? It’s a wedge…..? 90% is not enough? Get me a budget? I will veto immediately? It’s broken? I will spend $100M so you better $%@*&! listen to me? I will bury her…and her little dog too? We talked…? Those numbers….high level people worked on them? Unions? State workers? Beside talk, what has actually been accomplished….crickets.

  28. - wordslinger - Monday, Jul 24, 17 @ 4:09 pm:

    I wonder what the force de jour is trying to communicate here?

    –Radical Candor‏ @RadicalCandorIL 32m32 minutes ago
    Rauner comms team locks themselves in JRTC Blue Room. … #notajoke #bteam #twill –

  29. - @MisterJayEm - Monday, Jul 24, 17 @ 4:13 pm:

    Rauner reminds me of a wannabe musician convinced that his song would be a sure-fire hit if only other musicians and the labels and the press and the radio would let the people hear it.

    “But dude, your song — your song’s no good.”

    – MrJM

  30. - @MisterJayEm - Monday, Jul 24, 17 @ 4:19 pm:

    “I’ve felt as an editorial writer that I was telling stories that his people should’ve been telling”

    You don’t say.

    – MrJM

  31. - Rabid - Monday, Jul 24, 17 @ 7:25 pm:

    Ministry of propaganda and enlightenment did popular messaging too

  32. - Pundent - Tuesday, Jul 25, 17 @ 8:25 am:

    I don’t identify as one of “the liberals” or “the left”. Maybe that’s part of the problem with the messaging here. Their seems to be this inherent belief that if you don’t accept the message you must have some deficiency. Frankly it’s insulting.

    I suspect that part of the problem that Rauner faces is that he’s surrounded himself with a lot of people that really like his “message”. I don’t think that’s helping him. If anything it’s only made him more strident and unwilling to compromise. And why would he, there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with his “message”.

    I also think there’s a line between journalism and propaganda. There’s no doubt in my mind which side the IPI is on. Sadly I think that McQueary has joined them there as well.

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