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Hinz: Rauner has “made his peace” with losing

Friday, Sep 28, 2018

* Too soon?

He smiled. He cracked jokes, about himself and others at the table. He looked relaxed, rested and at ease with himself—more so than in years. In fact, he looked like a man liberated.

That wasn’t what I expected when Gov. Bruce Rauner, who now is in desperate re-election trouble, stopped by to meet with Crain’s editorial board for an endorsement interview the other day. Lots of people in and around state government have noticed the same thing recently. As one knowledgeable source summarizes, “He’s made his peace with it”—”it” being losing his job in the Nov. 6 election.

I won’t throw dirt on the casket yet; Election Day is still more than a month away. But even if he does somehow pull it out, a Rauner who lately has been ruminating in public about the mistakes he made in the past four long years won’t be the same. It’s not too early to ask how a governorship that began with such promise went so horribly off track. […]

Some Republican governors have thrived in blue states, including Charlie Baker in Massachusetts and Maryland’s Larry Hogan. Others, such as Florida businessman Rick Scott, made the transition to governing after a bumpy start. Not Rauner. “It all comes down to arrogance. He had to have everything,” says one top insider. Adds another, “I don’t think he ever was willing to try to figure it out.”

Too bad. Illinois needed a good, experienced CEO who could put his ego in check. It still does.

Go read the whole thing. This could explain the governor’s renewed willingness to talk so openly about “right to work” zones.

Or, it could just be that this is his last election win or lose and he’s doing what he wants to do.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

16 Comments
  1. - Anonymiss - Friday, Sep 28, 18 @ 3:58 pm:

    But he saved a deer once


  2. - Rich Miller - Friday, Sep 28, 18 @ 4:00 pm:

    Anonymiss wins the Internet today, and that’s no easy feat.


  3. - BlueDogDem - Friday, Sep 28, 18 @ 4:03 pm:

    Does he win by losing? The next governor is going to have to face decisions old Blue himself wouldnt wanna make.


  4. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 28, 18 @ 4:08 pm:

    - Anonymiss -,

    That’s top shelf excellence.

    To the Post,

    Rauner, I feel, is auditioning for his role in the mythology of “Union Busting”… as they call it Janus and not Rauner.

    Fly into towns, speak, laugh, be a martyr, laugh some more, still be rich, mock Illinois, laugh…

    … heck, Diana Rauner got HB40… and the Pritzkers to bail out The Ounce…

    Overall, why not resign himself to his mythology.

    Sounds fun.


  5. - wordslinger - Friday, Sep 28, 18 @ 4:08 pm:

    –As one knowledgeable source summarizes, “He’s made his peace with it”—”it” being losing his job in the Nov. 6 election.–

    I’m no Rauner fan, to say the least.

    But I think Hinz journalism here is a little out of line. An unnamed source claiming that “he,” Rauner, has basically conceded defeat in September is out of line.

    Only one person could actually make that statement, and it’s Rauner.


  6. - Keyrock - Friday, Sep 28, 18 @ 4:11 pm:

    I’ve made my peace with him losing, too.


  7. - ItsMillerTime - Friday, Sep 28, 18 @ 4:11 pm:

    - “It all comes down to arrogance. He had to have everything,” says one top insider. Adds another, “I don’t think he ever was willing to try to figure it out.”-

    This is the sad thing for me, Rauner could have been good for Illinois if he wasn’t so greedy. If he was willing to negotiate with the Democrats in the beginning he probably could have gotten more of his “reforms” passed by now. We at least would’t been where we are now.


  8. - efudd - Friday, Sep 28, 18 @ 4:14 pm:

    That’s nice he can crack jokes and all, his administration has been a laugh riot.
    Personally, I hope the knowledge that Madigan ate his lunch at every turn haunts him the rest of his days.


  9. - Roman - Friday, Sep 28, 18 @ 4:15 pm:

    == He looked relaxed, rested and at ease with himself ==

    Greg was in the room and I wasn’t, so I feel silly disagreeing with him, but I watched most of the video of the Crain’s editorial board interview and I did not see a relaxed and rested Bruce Rauner. He pounded on the table, repeatedly raised his voice and bristled at their questions, saying things like: “you’re a business publication, if you don’t get this, it’s lights out for Illinois.” He even gave them a “focus, focus,” ala the Amanda Vinicky interview. Judge for yourself, the video is at the bottom:

    https://www.chicagobusiness.com/greg-hinz-politics/rauner-makes-final-pitch-early-voting-begins


  10. - Nick Name - Friday, Sep 28, 18 @ 4:21 pm:

    I agree that it’s a stretch to say Rauner has made his peace with losing. But it’s exactly true that he never learned the job, or even tried.

    Case in point: in 2017 he had a golden opportunity to triangulate Madigan, handed to him by Cullerton and Radogno, and he totally blew it, upending the grand bargain behind the scenes.

    Union buster? Janus will turn out to be a Pyrrhic victory, as all Rauner really accomplished was to unite all Labor against him. Playing Madigan and AFSCME off against each other would not have been too hard, but Rauner let his anti-labor ideology blind him.

    Sayonara. Enjoy Italy.


  11. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Sep 28, 18 @ 4:23 pm:

    Rauner’s so out of touch with ordinary people. I could see why he drops g’s and wear costumes. Did he really think state workers would buy his contract terms and “your friend Bruce” come-ons? Did he really think Democrats would ditch unions? He came into this job with such ill-intent, and such negative views of people.

    By the way it is with no pleasure I constantly attack the guy. I wish I had a governor who was nicer and more of a moderate in some ways, someone like a Kasich or perhaps a Baker. I wish I had a governor whose loathing didn’t make him or her incapable of doing the job. People don’t have to like each other, and can hate each other, but good leadership and governance require that responsibilities and duties are put ahead of personal feelings.

    I believe Rauner can win. I’ve seen this movie too many times lately. I don’t trust polls like I used to. If Pritzker’s lead really is 6-9 points, then I’ll be more confident.


  12. - Ole' Nelson - Friday, Sep 28, 18 @ 4:25 pm:

    It’s so reassuring to know that this egotistical man is at peace. Too bad the vulnerable citizens of Illinois who were hurt by his orchestrated budget crisis can’t say the same.


  13. - Cubs in '16 - Friday, Sep 28, 18 @ 4:28 pm:

    If Rauner could’ve mustered just a bit of humility, especially at the beginning of his term, I believe he could’ve been an exceptional governor. He has some very solid ideas but was ignorant as to the governing. And too arrogant to accept advice from those who know. He had a lot of people rooting for him to succeed. In fact, it would be hyper-partisan to root for anyone to fail at the expense of the state. But he became overconfident in the grand scheme that was developed to ‘deal’ with MJM and Dems in general. He was laser-focused and inflexible in his ideology to his and the state’s detriment.


  14. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 28, 18 @ 4:32 pm:

    The fallout of the Decatur Mistake…

    The things Rauner coulda done.


  15. - wordslinger - Friday, Sep 28, 18 @ 4:35 pm:

    –He was positioning himself as a leader focused not on divisive social issues but on real substance: how to turn around an Illinois economy that had badly lagged the nation’s for decades,–

    How could Illinois’ economy “badly lag the nation’s for decades,” yet still have a higher GDP than all but four states?

    That must take some fancy cipherin’. Perhaps Hinz could show his work.


  16. - Just Me - Friday, Sep 28, 18 @ 10:10 pm:

    I posted on this blog a year into his term that he was violating the #1 rule that every smart lobbyist knows: If you want to pass a big bill you break it up into pieces and pass a piece each year. Rauner wanted it all, and he wanted it immediately. His impatience has been a huge waste of potential.

    His inability to compromise and pass his agenda in small parts has led to (as JB says) failure.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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