The Illinois Governor’s Race

I do not as a rule approve of non-Illinoisans sticking their noses into Illinois politics. My general view is that the voters of any state are welcome to govern themselves in any damn fool way they care to. I’ll complain about Illinois but my complaints about state and local government outside Illinois are rare. I may point out problems but I don’t generally prescribe solutions.

That having been said you might want to take a look at George Will’s take on the contest for governor in Illinois:

A new Gallup poll shows that Illinois has the highest percentage — 50 percent — of residents who want to leave their state. If Illinois voters reelect Gov. Pat Quinn, they will reject Bruce Rauner, who vows to change the state’s fundamental affliction — its political culture.

The state’s strongest civic tradition is of governors going to jail. Four of the last nine have done so. Lt. Gov. Quinn ascended to the governorship in 2009 because Gov. Rod Blagojevich, of fragrant memory, tried to sell the Senate seat Barack Obama vacated. In 2010, Quinn defeated a downstate social conservative by 32,000 votes out of 3.7 million cast. Quinn’s job approval today is about 35 percent.

Rauner, born a few blocks from Wrigley Field, grew up in a Chicago suburb — his father was an electrical engineer at Motorola; his mother was a nurse. He attended Dartmouth, earned a Harvard MBA and joined the private-equity firm GTCR, where he made enough money to buy his nine homes. When a reporter asked him if he is among the 1 percent, he cheerfully replied, “Oh, I’m probably .01 percent,” an answer that was better arithmetic than politics.

All other things being equal, I’ll vote for Rauner in November. I think that Pat Quinn is a decent bloke but he hasn’t earned my vote for re-election. I don’t think there are any prospects whatever for the same team as holds office now solving Illinois’s manifest problems. Barring some cataclysm Mike Madigan will remain speaker of the Illinois House so there’s only the slimmest hope for change but a slim hope is better than no hope at all. Gov. Quinn’s proposals, rather than solving Illinois’s problems, are likely to drive the state farther into distress.

3 comments… add one

  • PD Shaw

    I didn’t realize Rev. Meeks had endorsed Rauner, does that mean that he might get double the usual “Black” vote for a Republican?

    I’ll probably vote for Rauner for similar reasons. I think Quinn has achieved all that can be expected of him by this point. I don’t know that Rauner can do any better, but I have a suspicion that Rauner and Madigan might be able to work together to do some difficult things (and then the dad announces his retirement and his daughter announces she’s running for Governor).

  • Rauner’s no social conservative. I think he’s best described as an opportunist. He saw a distressed property (the Illinois Republican Party) and figured out what he’d need to spend to get a controlling share. If the Illinois Democratic Party had been in similar shape, he might have been a Democrat.

  • PD Shaw

    I’ve heard a number of Republicans express their fear that Rauner is really a Democrat, not the usual RINO bashing for moderate candidates that don’t check all of the boxes, but a died-in-the-wool Democrat who is close friends with many of them. Don’t know if that will particularly depress Republican turnout at all though — I suspect this to be a very negative election.

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