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NY Times out-pitchbots the pitchbot

Monday, Mar 6, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* With this parody account, imitation is not a form of flattery…

* Which brings us to this NY Times piece

Gov. J.B. Pritzker of Illinois sat comfortably in an office board room high above the Loop on Monday and halfheartedly batted away the notion that he was preparing a run for the White House.

The billionaire heir to the Hyatt Hotels fortune may be seen by some Democrats as the “in case of emergency break glass” candidate, one of the few prominent politicians who could stand up a White House run at a moment’s notice. Although President Biden has said he intends to mount a campaign, that has not eased Democrats’ obvious worry: the famously dilatory Hamlet on the Potomac might decide not to run for re-election at 81, and worry could turn to panic.

But while Mr. Pritzker declined to provide a yea or nay on whether he would run, he added that a last-minute swap of an understudy for Mr. Biden was “such an odd hypothetical if you ask me.”

They’re really working overtime to keep that thread alive. The “in case of emergency break glass” candidate? Who came up with that pitch?

* But this bit could’ve been written by the pitchbot author

Late last month in the Lexington Elementary School gym in Maywood, a Chicago suburb, Mr. Pritzker unveiled his youth mental health initiative, then waited, sitting on a foldout metal chair, as each health policy expert, school official, state representative and state senator took their turn at the lectern. His security detail and black S.U.V. were at the ready behind the school, but he listened for over an hour with a wry smile on his face.

Patience, of course, is a virtue in politics, but don’t try to tell Mr. Pritzker there was a metaphor in his ability to wait out other Democrats.


1. using or expressing dry, especially mocking, humor.
“a wry smile”

I watched that press conference. I didn’t come away with “wry” at all, but maybe some saw it otherwise.

Anyway, as far as anyone can tell, he’s gonna be one of several presidential surrogates. That’s pretty much it.

* As for Biden

“He’s notoriously slow on campaign decisions,” said Andrew Feldman, a Democratic strategist who interned on Biden’s 2008 presidential campaign and worked as part of an advance staffer team during his vice presidency. “None of this should be a surprise.”

…Adding… From his Face the Nation appearance

MARGARET BRENNAN: I have a lot to get to with you. But I want to get something out of the way. New York Times has a big feature on you calling you the Democrats’ SOS candidate, saying you’re keeping your options open for a presidential run in 2024. In case Biden doesn’t run, is that true?

GOV. PRITZKER: No, I’m supporting Joe Biden. He’s running for reelection, and he’s going to get re-elected. I’m just, you know, happy that people think of me in that way. That’s certainly very flattering, but I intend to serve out my term as Governor of Illinois. […]

MARGARET BRENNAN: So do you think he needs to make it official and say he’s running so that there isn’t more speculation or people considering other options?

GOV. PRITZKER: I don’t think there’s anybody that’s serious, that’s actually considering running against Joe Biden, because he’s done such a great job.


  1. - Lake Villa township Dem PC - Monday, Mar 6, 23 @ 12:21 pm:

    (Saying this as a gargantuan Durbin respecter) With Pritzker not running for president seems like the next step is to discuss who runs for senate in 2026. Also just for the record Roy Cooper is an eons better “break the glass” candidate than Pritzker.

  2. - Pot calling kettle - Monday, Mar 6, 23 @ 12:28 pm:

    I think the NYT and others in the media are upset that their “why is the campaign starting so early” stories are stuck on the shelves.

  3. - Homebody - Monday, Mar 6, 23 @ 12:34 pm:

    I swear, the big media types are losing their mind over a boring, drama free, relatively functional Democratic presidency. They are straining to create drama to give them something easy and juicy to report on, rather than actually talking about the policy initiatives that the Biden Administration is actually engaging in.

  4. - Soccermom - Monday, Mar 6, 23 @ 12:35 pm:

    So you’re telling me that Governor Pritzker decided not to bail on Speaker Welch, Sen. Feigenholtz, Sen. Villa, Sen. Lightford, Rep. LaPointe (and others — didn’t watch the whole thing.) Because yeah, insulting a highly regarded legislators — especially female and BIPOC legislators — would have been a great idea.

  5. - Stuart Smalley 2.0 - Monday, Mar 6, 23 @ 12:47 pm:

    How often, after these national interviews and continued Potomac fever speculation, does JB sit in front of a big mirror and say to himself, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough and doggone it these national media people really like me?”

  6. - New Day - Monday, Mar 6, 23 @ 12:48 pm:

    Love it when media tries to manufacture stories. JB is not running against Biden. He’s said the same thing all year long. Would he run against Gavin Newsom? Sure, why not. But Biden? No way. And since nobody is planning to launch a campaign and Biden is definitely running according to Jill Biden, what does it matter when Joe Biden declares?

  7. - JoanP - Monday, Mar 6, 23 @ 12:54 pm:

    I was not familiar with New York Times Pitchbot. I am now. Here’s why that’s bad news for Joe Biden.

  8. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Mar 6, 23 @ 12:56 pm:

    That pitchbot tweeter machine is genius… and is a strong measure to insanity to thought or want in giving legs to the silly.

    I can’t get enough of that thing, lol

  9. - Larry Bowa Jr. - Monday, Mar 6, 23 @ 12:58 pm:

    “They are straining to create drama to give them something easy and juicy to report on”

    I agree, but they’d be doing this anyway, regardless of external facts. National political reporting is just takes for clicks. It used to be takes for viewers. Same garbage.

  10. - Pot calling kettle - Monday, Mar 6, 23 @ 12:59 pm:

    === would have been a great idea.===

    Maybe that was the story they were hoping to write and were denied because JB was respectful of others.

  11. - Friendly Bob Adams - Monday, Mar 6, 23 @ 1:09 pm:

    The NYT pitchbot is really good and spot on.

  12. - Flying Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Monday, Mar 6, 23 @ 1:10 pm:

    Underestimating Joe Biden has proven, time and again, to be a fool’s paradise.

  13. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Mar 6, 23 @ 1:11 pm:

    All I’m saying is after 2 successful terms as governor… Lisa Madigan… will be extremely hard to beat.

    See, the thing about candidate speculation is that until things are clear, the lack of clarity is only seen by those wanting pitchbot silly.

    There’s a guy who lives in Indiana now that was good at that.

  14. - Roadrager - Monday, Mar 6, 23 @ 1:11 pm:

    ==I swear, the big media types are losing their mind over a boring, drama free, relatively functional Democratic presidency. They are straining to create drama to give them something easy and juicy to report on, rather than actually talking about the policy initiatives that the Biden Administration is actually engaging in.==

    One of the running gags on the Pitchbot account is to post “Democrats in Disarray” free of context at least once each day - because that’s a picture the Times in constantly trying to paint. Meanwhile, Sarah Huckabee Sanders could drop an anvil on Ron DeSantis at a conservative convention and the Times would couch it as “a unique window into the new GOP power dynamic.”

  15. - Torco Sign - Monday, Mar 6, 23 @ 1:19 pm:

    Something tells me being a white woman or a woman of color is going to resonate more with Democratic voters than a white male billionaire saying, “Trust me–women like me.”

  16. - Streator Curmudgeon - Monday, Mar 6, 23 @ 1:22 pm:

    “I’m just, you know, happy that people think of me in that way.”

    So is the insertion of “you know” just a filler as per professional athletes, or is it a reminder that the other person should already know, or is it a convincer that his assertion is true?

  17. - JS Mill - Monday, Mar 6, 23 @ 1:28 pm:

    The political press has to have something to talk about now that they have helped create the endless campaign cycle. For me, I have to tune out for long periods of time with national media.

    For the governor, I think this is acknowledgement of his success in Illinois and his popularity along with his willingness to put his money where his mouth is.

  18. - Socially DIstant Watcher - Monday, Mar 6, 23 @ 1:50 pm:

    ==So do you think he needs to make it official and say he’s running so that there isn’t more speculation or people considering other options?==

    Does Brennan honestly believe that’s how speculation works? That if only Biden would say he’s running, then everyone would just accept that and there’d be no more speculation about the next D nominee?

    Put another way, how stupid does Brennan think Pritzker is?

  19. - TJ - Monday, Mar 6, 23 @ 1:57 pm:

    Randos in 2021: Who will run if Biden isn’t going to run again?
    Biden: I’m running again.
    Randos in 2022: Who on earth will run if Biden isn’t running?
    Biden: I’m still running, guys.
    Randos in 2023: But seriously, who will run if Biden doesn’t run again?!?
    Biden: … still running, guys.
    Randos when 2024 comes around: What do you mean Biden’s running for reelection?!?!

  20. - Curious citizen - Monday, Mar 6, 23 @ 1:59 pm:

    I saw that piece in the NYT and quit reading when it described Pritzker sitting on a metal chair for an hour. What drivel. “Pritzker bails on speakers at event” would have been a national story; probably the one the NYT reporter wanted to write.

  21. - Candy Dogood - Monday, Mar 6, 23 @ 2:14 pm:

    ===Underestimating Joe Biden has proven, time and again, to be a fool’s paradise.===

    Unless it’s 1988 or 2008. Then it’s fine to underestimate Joe Biden.

    The problem that Governor Pritzker has is absolutely everyone seems to be happy to assume that he’s only doing his stint as Governor so he can run for President, never mind the great things he’s accomplished for Illinois that improves the State and improves the lives of Illinoisans, it just reinforces the narrative that he’s only doing it because he wants to run for President.

    If that’s the case, then I am glad that Illinois finally elected someone to Governor that wants to be President, but at some point it gets silly.

  22. - TheInvisibleMan - Monday, Mar 6, 23 @ 2:29 pm:

    –They’re really working overtime to keep that thread alive.–

    I get vibes of early-90s republicans being afraid of Hillary Clinton. They aren’t specifically worried Pritzker will run now, they are worried he will run *eventually*, and they are probably right, because he has the intelligence and speaking ability to do so. He is also able to easily handle their nonsense in ways many can’t.

    The harping on him for running for president is just the ramp up to a years long campaign to push the opposite message for when he actually does decide to run - it worked when they used this tactic against Hillary, when she ran for president in 2016. Why wouldn’t they do it again?

  23. - Andrea Durbin - Monday, Mar 6, 23 @ 2:54 pm:

    I was at that press event for the Blueprint for Transformation. The Governor was not “wry” — he was engaged, attentive, and supportive of all who spoke. And why wouldn’t he be? This was the conclusion of the first phase of work on a significant problem that has plagued Illinois for years. Access to care for children and youth with behavioral health needs and challenges is a serious problem and the people who spoke were eloquent, sometimes very personal, and thoughtful on the topic. The Governor’s demeanor reflected that. Sheesh.

  24. - TJ - Monday, Mar 6, 23 @ 3:12 pm:

    ==Unless it’s 1988 or 2008. Then it’s fine to underestimate Joe Biden.==

    Sure, but then again….

    Dem presidential tickets without Biden since 2000: 0-3
    Dem presidential tickets with Biden since 2000: 3-0

  25. - Stuck in Celliniland - Monday, Mar 6, 23 @ 3:31 pm:

    I predict that within 5 years or less whatever is left of the Gannett papers, and maybe the NYT, will be entirely pitchbot written.

    And Sinclair will turn all their local stations newscasts into all-AI “anchors.”

  26. - Left of what - Monday, Mar 6, 23 @ 3:48 pm:

    JB has said he wouldn’t run against Biden. Isn’t the story the media is trying to drum up would he run if biden doesn’t? Jimmy Carter is almost 100 and is the only living former president older than biden.

  27. - Skeptic - Monday, Mar 6, 23 @ 3:50 pm:

    Remember all the breathless headlines about whether Mario Cuomo was going to run? How many times did he have to say he wasn’t? Same with Colin Powell.

  28. - Surge voter - Monday, Mar 6, 23 @ 7:27 pm:

    Doesn’t anyone think that JB might be the one pushing out these stories to get national attention.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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