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Bye, Bruce

Wednesday, Jan 9, 2019

* Mark Maxwell has written one of the most blistering exit stories about Gov. Bruce Rauner I’ve yet seen

When Bruce Rauner exited stage left after delivering his final public remarks as governor, he had made two things abundantly clear: he couldn’t change the state, and it couldn’t change him.

“Change is hard. Change takes time,” Rauner said Tuesday afternoon as he bemoaned a list of accomplishments that was much shorter than he had hoped.

“The folks that created the massive problems in our state certainly are resistive to change,” he said in a nod to his arch nemesis Michael Madigan, the Democratic Speaker of the House. Rauner defiantly declared, “That does not mean that our recommendations or somehow wrong or flawed or incorrect at all.

After suffering a 15-point defeat in November, the one-term Republican maintained that his positions were popular in the state.

“Virtually everything that we have recommended is supported by a majority of the people of Illinois,” he said.

His office did not respond to a request for examples of public opinion polls to reinforce that claim. If they exist, the election results bore out that he wasn’t nearly as popular a politician as the policy positions he championed.

The governor’s unwavering grip on the withering corpse of his now-infamous ‘turnaround agenda’ was cemented by a swarm of issue-specific polls conducted over several years. Meticulous scientific data regularly supplied him with talking points and campaign prods, though he never liked to admit his reliance on polls much in public.

However, in the only poll that matters, Rauner was on the ballot, and he was saddled with his own record. And no amount of sure-footed stances, electrifying speeches, heartfelt apologies, or vulgar campaign ads could blot out the stain of the historic two-year budget impasse.

Go read the rest. Oof.

* Scott Reeder is a close second

Rauner is the first governor in my lifetime to use government as a weapon. He essentially told the Legislature: “Pass my reforms or I’ll use my veto pen along with my legislative allies to keep the state from having a budget.”

We went 736 days without a budget, and not one of his key reforms became reality.

This is not how a democratic government should operate. It should be a process of unifying, of seeking input, of finding compromise that benefits everyone, of careful and well-considered positions and negotiations.

Governing properly is the art of calming the waters, not throwing hand grenades into them.

Then Senate Republican leader Christine Radogno tried to save Rauner — and the state of Illinois — by quietly negotiating with Senate President John Cullerton. The compromise package covered much of Rauner’s wish list — but not all of it.

Instead of embracing a partial win, the governor turned up his nose and walked away, leaving himself and the state of Illinois in worse shape.

And then, there is the lying. Rauner lied about big things and little things. No, his grandparents weren’t immigrants from Sweden. They were born in Wisconsin. It was a fib he told over and over — even after being called out on it by reporters.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

41 Comments »
  1. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 10:16 am:

    Rauner lies like Trump. He makes stuff up about people supporting him.

    It’s more than just Illinois freezing over this morning when I agree with Scott Reeder.


  2. - El Conquistador - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 10:18 am:

    Rauner was/is a complete charlatan in every sense of the word. Entitled, mean spirited and disingenuous his entire term. A total waste of 4 years and a disservice to the people of Illinois. He should leave with a profound sense of daily and shame. Period.


  3. - El Conquistador - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 10:18 am:

    Failure


  4. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 10:22 am:

    I am glad an overwhelming majority of the State saw through his smokescreens and held him accountable for shutting down government for so long. It seems like such a fundamental thing, but given how decisive politics are today, I do not think it was a given. The people of Illinois stepped up and said no to the insanity of holding the government hostage.


  5. - Al - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 10:24 am:

    Bad mouth Rauner all you want, he was Wall Streets Municipal Bond Salesman of the Year for Two of his four years in office. That is a great record to be proud of!
    Also a record number of Credit downgrades, not just for the State but University system as well. He fought tight housing markets in Macomb, Charleston and other college towns by defunding higher education. He fought Medicaid fraud by throwing blind people off of public assistance by sending them three separate notices regarding their federal benefits each year which they could not read, making it look like he was doing something. He signed many highly questionable building leases, phony computer contracts and one sided managed care contracts. He was far more successful than non-wine club losers will ever admit. He did great bidness as Governor and reaped a high return on his $95 million investment in propaganda advertisements./ snark


  6. - Obamas Puppy - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 10:24 am:

    All this coverage ignores the real target of his final words. The word “union” dripped between his lips several times evoking his baseline hatred of organized labor and the bedrock of the Democratic party. This obsession with bringing down labor unions had such a detrimental impact on his governing that it tainted all of his decisions and ultimately sent him back to his mansion in Winetka. Good Riddance


  7. - Flynn's Mom - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 10:25 am:

    Why can’t he just go away quietly? His ego rivals Trumps.


  8. - Norseman - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 10:26 am:

    At this point, I’m just happy that Illinois can move on from Rauner’s disastrous tenure. Bye and good riddance.


  9. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 10:28 am:

    And like trump, he will not suffer any negotiation, compromise, or actual governing.

    The turnaround agenda was to torpedo illinois and attempt to remove any hope of recovery.

    He failed to do that. We can still recover.

    Get lost, Bruce.


  10. - revvedup - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 10:30 am:

    Rauner is like the Iraqi Propaganda Minister; lying and claiming victories after devastating defeats. Illinois is behind him all right; we’re making sure he leaves office!


  11. - anon2 - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 10:36 am:

    === This is not how a democratic government should operate. ===

    Someone should tell Trump. The partial government shutdown is reminiscent of Rauner holding the budget hostage to get what he wanted.


  12. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 10:36 am:

    Meanwhile a billionaire chief executive is using the federal government as a weapon to get his unpopular pet project done. Wonder how influential Rauner was on the president.


  13. - Jocko - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 10:38 am:

    ==The folks that created the massive problems in our state certainly are resistive to change==

    As usual, Bruce forgets to mention that he was one of those “folks” for four years. Maybe he can spend the remainder of his golden years allaying the fears of little old ladies and repairing the “crumbling prisons” that make up our public school system.


  14. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 10:39 am:

    IMHO, Reeder’s article is much worse for Bruce than the Maxwell piece, simply because of the author. Maxwell is a pretty straight shooter. Reeder, on the other hand, is a conservative writer/commentator and (former?) IPI employee. For that particular article to come from that particular guy - ouch. Thats gotta be an “Et tu, Brute?” moment for Bruce


  15. - Crispy - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 10:44 am:

    Think this is harsh? Frankly, he deserves much harsher.

    Also, I’ve always thought “union” for Rauner was a proxy for “ordinary non-wealthy people,” to whom he felt vastly superior and whose quest for something beyond mere subsistence he found offensive. How dare anyone who isn’t rich “job creator” (so-called) demand a seat at the table? seemed to be his attitude?

    Buh-bye.


  16. - A 400lb. Guy on a bed - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 10:47 am:

    You’ll never read these stories in the SJ-R.


  17. - illini - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 11:04 am:

    These obituaries of a politician are about as good as any I can remember. Others should take note to avoid the self imposed pitfalls of their chosen profession.


  18. - Wensicia - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 11:14 am:

    Rauner keeps making up excuses because he can’t face the fact that he’s a failure. He’s not successful at everything he’s ever done.
    I don’t understand the continued lies. Just stop and go away.


  19. - Huh? - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 11:14 am:

    I opened up the dictionary to look up a definition. As I flipped through the pages, I happened to stop on the page with the definition of “failure” and to my surprise, there was a picture of 1.4% as an exemplar of the word.


  20. - UIC Guy - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 11:19 am:

    “Virtually everything that we have recommended is supported by a majority of the people of Illinois,” he said.
    —Sure, but the inevitable consequences of doing those things is another matter. Lower taxes? Everyone loves that, but the consequences, not so much. (Reminds me of W saying that deposing Saddam Husain was a good thing: sure, if it had not had any other consequences, but oddly enough it went along with all sorts of other stuff….)


  21. - PublicServant - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 11:24 am:

    Bruce - Turnaround Agenda, or no budget

    Trump - Wall, or no budget

    ===
    This is not how a democratic government should operate. It should be a process of unifying, of seeking input, of finding compromise that benefits everyone, of careful and well-considered positions and negotiations.

    Governing properly is the art of calming the waters, not throwing hand grenades into them.
    ===

    Autocrats and democracy don’t mix well on the state, or the federal level.


  22. - NeveroddoreveN - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 11:27 am:

    In keeping with my 2019 goal of finding the good in things, thank you Rauners for remodeling the Governor’s Mansion, the place looks great.


  23. - Blue Dog Dem - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 11:33 am:

    I am not defending Rauner or Trump. Throwing out ‘lying’ all the time is usually a line people used not to cross. For the last 50 yrs or so, i just thought of it as politics 101. I mean they all promise things during the campaign, but how many of them deliver?


  24. - Southwest Sider - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 11:38 am:

    “Virtually everything that we have recommended is supported by a majority of the people of Illinois.” Yes and no. Virtually everyone in Illinois would like a balanced budget and a more funded pension system. But the majority also do not want pension promises to be reversed. And the majority of people did not like going without a budget for 2 years. Lesson: You’re not going to succeed with sweeping reforms if you don’t control the legislature. He should have gone for small victories and stabilize the finances. His nuclear approach backfired and we are left in a worse situation.


  25. - Honeybear - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 11:48 am:

    Okay so Rich, can you now talk about that fateful meeting long ago when the dogs had a date and you called him a “True Believer”?


  26. - Cowboysfan4life - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 11:56 am:

    Don’t let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya. So glad this tool lost re-election


  27. - JT11505 - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 12:01 pm:

    And where were these articles a year ago, 2 years ago? It’s not like Rauner wasn’t this same person that Reeder was cheerleading for all this time, that now he decides was a fraud.


  28. - Lt Guv - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 12:07 pm:

    Blue Dog, there was once a baseline for what was fact v fiction as a basis for making policy claims and determinations. It’s not that someone is making claims about their policy goals or achievements; the problem is the outright lying about the factual basis for those opinions and claims.


  29. - Blue Dog Dem - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 12:30 pm:

    Lt. Like ‘i can keep my own doctor’?


  30. - Generic Drone - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 12:33 pm:

    Like the song goes. Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey good bye.


  31. - Truth Squad - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 12:40 pm:

    Has there ever been a local statehouse reporter to make things so much about themselves? I long for the days of Steve Staeger, Katie Heinz, and Melissa Hahn.


  32. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 12:49 pm:

    Rauner is just tiring now, even the pundits are through with the looking at Rauner as a “fighter”.

    Rauner accomplished little, made messes big, and was willing, Witt the power of the Offive, tank this state for an agenda tat couldn’t get 60 and 30.

    Looking forward to Rauner leaving office.


  33. - Lt Guv - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 1:02 pm:

    BDD,no. The Obama claim is just that, a claim that turned out to be flawed. He should be accountable for that. That’s not a foundational fact. For that issue it would be, “we have a real problem in the delivery of health care in our nation.”


  34. - Huh? - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 1:19 pm:

    Someone one has to say it:

    Bye felicia


  35. - Langhorne - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 1:37 pm:

    Before you leave, Bruce, please tell us the name of the department that didn’t have computers. Come on, you can tell us now.


  36. - The Dude Abides - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 1:42 pm:

    Just think about it. He used state Government as a weapon to harm the state and the people who live in the state and he did it intentionally, fully aware of what he was doing. That’s his legacy and why he was beaten in one of the worst landslide elections in Illinois history. He will never be forgotten and not in a good way.


  37. - Anon Wife - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 2:21 pm:

    Rauner fired my husband three years ago, and we’re STILL getting Christmas cards from him, even after we moved.

    About the same level of competence he showed running the state.


  38. - Goner - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 2:29 pm:

    Ciao, Brewski.


  39. - m4a - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 8:01 pm:

    Now that he’s finally gone, I implore reporters to please, please never again put a camera or microphone in front of him.


  40. - Blue Dog Dem - Wednesday, Jan 9, 19 @ 11:07 pm:

    Lt. I hate to burst your bubble. Politicians embellish the truth. Past. Present. Future. Call it what you may. I am numb to it. I expect it.


  41. - finding - Tuesday, Jan 15, 19 @ 10:44 pm:

    It’s an amazing article designed for all the web users; they will get benefit from it I am sure.


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