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Rauner and Pritzker headline bicentennial event

Tuesday, Dec 4, 2018

* Sun-Times

Just weeks after spewing insults at each other during a divisive election, Gov. Bruce Rauner and Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker thanked each other and voiced optimism for Illinois Monday evening during what was dubbed a “joint appearance” at the state’s bicentennial celebration in Chicago.

While both were in attendance, Pritzker and Rauner did not appear on stage together during the Navy Pier show. And both left before the event concluded.

The event celebrating Illinois’ 200th birthday marked the first time both appeared at the same event since the contentious election nearly four weeks ago.

Rauner spokeswoman Patty Schuh said both attended a veterans and VIP reception prior to the event. They chatted during the meeting with veterans, she said.

* Tribune

Democratic Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker on Monday thanked Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner for his service and tried to sound an optimistic tone at Illinois’ 200th birthday party.

“On this occasion, I want to express all of our deep gratitude to Gov. Bruce Rauner, to Lt. Gov. (Evelyn) Sanguinetti and first lady Diana Rauner. Thank you,” Pritzker said.

“We should all celebrate the 200 years of progress that we’ve made,” Pritzker said. “But I want to say how important it is for us to look forward in this state. Our best days are yet to come in Illinois.” […]

On Monday night, Rauner acknowledged Pritzker from the birthday celebration’s stage and said it’s been a humbling honor to be governor.

“Never will we give up trying to serve the people and make our system work for all of us so our children and our grandchildren can have a better future,” he said.

A full roundup of the program is here.

* I heard it was pretty good, but sparsely attended…

* The cake looked pretty awesome…



- Posted by Rich Miller        

39 Comments »
  1. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 9:43 am:

    Looks like a White Sox home crowd. Wish I knew tickets were available.


  2. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 9:50 am:

    It’s a bit disappointing that this truly important milepost in our history seemingly started as a celebration-extraordinare… to a nice get-together… with cake.

    I’m not throwing shade, or left-handedly saying anything other than the words I’m typing;

    There’s a lacking of pride right now. There’s a lacking of embracing the greatness of our state.

    Illinois has always been different, from what I tell and observe, than other states that beam with state pride.

    Texas is probably first in self-grandeur. Lots of southern state natives will remind you of the love they have for their home states. New York, even outside the 5 boroughs, New England, outside of Boston… California…

    The midwest is quietly proud. More urban pride than state proud at times, less focused on the past, looking forward to the future, to a tomorrow yet to be. Sure, we have Lincoln. We have Grant… we love our claim to Reagan but California eclipses our claim. Obama fits to the Illinois legacy.

    Harry Truman was ”Missoura”, like Lincoln was Illinois, as an example, but this celebration is probably more a product of where we feel about our state, trapped in a moment instead of celebrating the larger day.

    While I may be a bit saddened and a little disappointed in the way it all turned out… was I there? No.

    Maybe I need to look tonwhy I wasn’t. Start with me. Then look at where our pride in Illinois can grow from where that pride sits now


  3. - Anonymiss - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 9:51 am:

    What I wouldn’t give to see the Speaker jump out of that cake and then calmly walk away.


  4. - A Jack - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 9:54 am:

    Downstate they were still advertising tickets on local television last Friday for the celebration to be held at the United Center.

    The Navy Pier is such an awkward location. There is a lack of parking and public transportation. Plus the wind coming off the lake is usually brutal this time of year.


  5. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 10:01 am:

    Only Bruce Rauner would invite you to a 7-9:30 event with no food (other than that cake)


  6. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 10:07 am:

    ==Maybe I need to look tonwhy I wasn’t. Start with me.==

    Surely part of the reason is that the event was held at Navy Pier on a cold Monday night in December.

    Look, the date is the date, but maybe the big party could have been held on the weekend and the actual dy could have been marked with something at the Capitol.

    And that just seems to be a pretty big problem- the celebration was poorly conceptualized and planned from the start. There’s obviously quite a few people who feel down on the state these days, but the fact that the organizers basically treated the Bicentennial as an afterthought doesn’t help.


  7. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 10:07 am:

    The bicentennial commemoration was a pretty h-a effort from the get-go. Hardly visible, much less memorable.

    You can’t go wrong with Wayne Messmer belting out the national anthem. But two bits by the Super Fans? Really? That’s a celebration of Illinois culture? Where was “Al Capone, bang-bang?” Such imagination and creativity.

    Ending the bicentennial celebration with “Sweet Home, Chicago” will no doubt grind the gears of many in certain circles.


  8. - Ike - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 10:16 am:

    Can we ask Lisa Munger to pay back her nice government salary? Her only job for the past two years was planning this bicenntinal, and this was pretty lack luster.


  9. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 10:16 am:

    ===see the Speaker jump out of that cake===

    Well, it is apple, so there’s a chance. Also, if that’s all cheesecake, it probably weighs more than the Speaker. It’s almost as tall too.


  10. - Ike - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 10:22 am:

    Sorry - leslie Munger, not “Lisa”


  11. - Scamp640 - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 10:27 am:

    Rauner’s gift to the people of Illinois on their 200th birthday was $6 billion in added bills. Thanks, Bruce. It’s just what I wanted. How did you know?


  12. - NeverPoliticallyCorrect - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 10:28 am:

    What if they gave a party and no one came. More sad than embarrassed by the event and the turnout. There is no Illinois anymore, there are competing Illinois factions. So with the anniversary fading in our rear view mirror one can only hope that politicians (democrats for now) will actually lead for all of Illinois and not just their supporters. One can also hope that the loyal opposition will choose to work together where they can on issues. I’m just an everyday Illinois citizen who is blessed to serve on a local school board but I can tell you when people put party politics aside organizations can flourish, such as our school district. I really hope we can do that with the state.


  13. - Annonin' - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 10:30 am:

    Capt Fax pool notes from Effingham were cool. 2,300 in the house — that size crowd in Chicago can be obtained by delaying the “walk” signal at Michigan & Wacker about 2 cycles. Actually parking at the Pier is not too bad. The Ilinois 200 committee told a SPI radio station last Wednesday that the event was sold out …. Oh well maybe the “tri” will be better.


  14. - I Miss Bentohs - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 10:31 am:

    No more time or effort should have been put into any of this. The attendance and time spent by the govs was appropriate. That cake/cheesecake is awesome though.


  15. - Practical Politics - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 10:35 am:

    Governor Frank Lowden had the honor of serving during the Illinois Centennial (1918). The magnificent monument at Logan Square in Chicago is a memorial for that anniversary of Illinois statehood.
    Sadly, I do not know of anything similar planned for this Bicentennial.


  16. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 10:36 am:

    I’m pretty embarrassed by the state’s efforts for the Illinois bicentennial. It was the absolute very least they could do. And I was especially impressed with some of the “take aways” from the celebration. I believe one of the members of the celebration team said a “lesson learned” was to start planning earlier. Yeah, because that 200 year celebration just snuck up on them. Again, embarrassing.


  17. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 10:38 am:

    Willy, you are absolutely correct about Texas and state pride. You rarely see an American flag without the state flag beneath it…..private homes not governmental offices. That says something.


  18. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 10:41 am:

    ===private homes not governmental offices. That says something===

    Agreed. Maybe if the state flag was as cool as Chicago’s, more people would fly it. That Chicago flag is everywhere.


  19. - Henry Francis - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 10:47 am:

    The Guv hired Stuart Layne to be the executive director of the Bicentennial committee. This was his full time job. Since September of 2016. No excuse for such lame event.


  20. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 10:50 am:

    Were it me, I would’ve done a series of events across the state throughout the year. Some of the aspects of the events would change depending on the location, but you’d have a core- the Governor, a sports figure, a musician, a historian, etc.- attend every event. There’d be merch at each event, including a collection you’d have to attend every event to complete. The specific localities could have their own pre- and post- parties in the lead-up and aftermath of their events.

    This kind of pageantry, when done right, actually can increase pride in the state. In fact, I’m surprised that Rauner didn’t wrap himself in bicentennial trappings during the election. What a missed opportunity.


  21. - G'Kar - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 11:29 am:

    ==Willy, you are absolutely correct about Texas and state pride.==

    I pretty sure that one of the reasons for this is that Texas is one of the few states that required the teaching of Texas History in its K-12 curriculum.


  22. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 11:34 am:

    ==Texas is probably first in self-grandeur==

    Nonsense.
    Hawaii thinks it is the center of the world. New York City thinks it is. Washington DC thinks it is. San Francisco and the West coast thinks it is. Beverly Hills and BelAir? Yes, they do. Hollywood? Of course.

    Here, we know the truth. Folks here don’t brag about the world’s greatest food harvests, greatest top soils, our river, or our stuff. We aren’t braggarts.

    So our bicentennial fits us. We’re not those other places - we’re normal.


  23. - LINK - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 11:41 am:

    To me this was a sad milestone for our state. To discover that the primary celebration (and quite possibly the only “major” one) commemorating 200 years of statehood was held in Chicago instead of being more “inclusive” of ALL Illinois residents or citizens, present and past, is shameful. Again, I have not been checking the media for news lately as CapitolFax is my primary gateway but one would hope this would have been better planned, executed to include everyone across the state and…

    That one word sums it up for me, sad.


  24. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 11:44 am:

    Oh boy…

    ===Hawaii thinks it is the center of the world. New York City thinks it is. Washington DC thinks it is. San Francisco and the West coast thinks it is. Beverly Hills and BelAir? Yes, they do. Hollywood? Of course.===

    … and i typed… and you failed to read… or…

    ===Lots of southern state natives will remind you of the love they have for their home states. New York, even outside the 5 boroughs, New England, outside of Boston… California…===

    The Hawai’i thingy has more to do with culture, and Hawai’i as once it’s own “island”, keeping its own identity, not a singular pride measurable to the other 48… less Alaska.

    ===Here, we know the truth. Folks here don’t brag about the world’s greatest food harvests, greatest top soils, our river, or our stuff. We aren’t braggarts.===

    Again… I typed…

    ===The midwest is quietly proud. More urban pride than state proud at times, less focused on the past, looking forward to the future, to a tomorrow yet to be.===

    I addressed my own midwestern take, thanks.

    Try reading. It helps, lol


  25. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 11:57 am:

    –We’re not those other places - we’re normal.–

    So tempting….. but too easy.

    Careful serving up those beach balls down Broadway, VMan. Someone’s bound to take a rip.


  26. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 12:00 pm:

    Yes
    I didn’t read everything in your post.
    My fault.
    Not reading your postings has gotten to be a habit. I figure that you’ll eventually repeat yourself after your first three postings, and I’ve gotten lazy.
    Sorry.


  27. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 12:01 pm:

    ===I pretty sure that one of the reasons for this is that Texas is one of the few states that required the teaching of Texas History in its K-12 curriculum.===

    Yes. All true. They also have a Pledge of Allegiance… to Texas.

    It’s a crazy thing, but that Texas flag, it’s everywhere in Texas, among with Texas pride.

    I took a road trip, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, back to Dallas. Driving between these places, it can become desolate… less a gas station… with that Texas flag flying. It’s in their blood.


  28. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 12:03 pm:

    ===I didn’t read everything in your post.
    My fault.
    Not reading your postings has gotten to be a habit. I figure that you’ll eventually repeat yourself after your first three postings, and I’ve gotten lazy.
    Sorry.===

    That’s ok.

    Since I nominated you for a Best Commenter, Golden Horseshoe, when you won and even before I think… I go out of my way to read what you write.

    Good to know your own thoughts.


  29. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 12:05 pm:

    When I wrote about folks here being normal, I forgot how that would rile you.


  30. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 12:10 pm:

    ==Since I nominated you for a Best Commenter==
    Yes
    You are often brilliant.
    I just can’t keep up with all your writing and I get lazy.


  31. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 12:13 pm:

    ===I just can’t keep up with all your writing and I get lazy.===

    I doubt it.

    Lessoned Learned.


  32. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 12:13 pm:

    Boys! Time to move on. Get back to the topic.


  33. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 12:17 pm:

    Wisconsin has some serious state pride too.

    From beer to cheese, they even go out of their way to go after Illinoisans, to make the contrast to those in Wisconsin.


  34. - Chicagoan - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 12:27 pm:

    I attended and was surprised at the absence of most state officials. Rauner and Pritzker were obviously there as was Jesse White, but I didn’t notice any caucus leaders aside from Brady, no Chicago pols etc. Attendance was decent at first, but the crowd thinned significantly as the night went on. The date was obviously dictated by history, but having the event on a Monday night did not help. The event was fun but could have used a headliner (i.e. Obama).


  35. - sam hall - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 1:08 pm:

    Anybody check out the payroll for the bicentennial commission?


  36. - IllinoisBoi - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 1:11 pm:

    Illinois also requires a curriculum on Illinois history and social studies for 4th graders.


  37. - Annonin' - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 2:29 pm:

    Pretty sure no one in CHI gave anything that this was the bi…..perhaps a downstate focus would have been better.


  38. - Dupage Bard - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 4:47 pm:

    Whoever served on the committee should have called in a serious events planning company. Yes it would have cost money but that’s what you do. Rauner tried to outsource everything in this state yet this really important, pride swelling, moment was as if he could have cared less. Appointing a committee and not giving them a budget or a framework to work with was a lack of caring about something super special in Illinois.
    They could have had events in all the major Illinois cities last night simulcast each locals specific pride moment to the other venues. Decent sized parties all over.
    It would have been a year for each area in the state to showcase their pride and realize we are all a lot closer then we think.
    Agreed he could have gone all over the state the past 14 months promoting Illinois pride. Instead he went around the state and bad mouthed it. Good move Bruce. 38% makes sense.


  39. - Wylie Coyote - Tuesday, Dec 4, 18 @ 5:00 pm:

    Much of the event centered on Illinois veterans and there were hundreds in attendance. A good tribute, but if the vets weren’t there, the crowd would have been real sparse.


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