Rauner’s new ads featuring Democratic wife hits homers all around

Rauner’s new ads featuring Democratic wife hits homers all around

By Ray Hanania

DianaRaunerBruce Rauner is proving that he is not going to be the typical candidate running for Governor of Illinois, wrapping himself tight with populist issues like pandering to veterans, the elderly and avoiding issues like bloated corrupt pensions and excessive taxes.

So far, he has reached out directly to voters throughout the State of Illinois speaking at unmoderated forums and gatherings where voters actualy get to challenge hima nd hear his responses to concerns they have. I’ve attended two such sessions and it’s amazing how a candidate who allows his audience to start by challenging him with criticism can turn them around so quickly to become supporters.

One woman at a campaign appearance in Orland Park asked tough questions about the corrupt and screwed up Illinois Pension system where insiders and insider pals get multiple pensions that have been jacked up to astronomical levels through creative temporary pay boosts. Everyone in Illinois knows that the insiders are padding their own pensions while screwing the taxpayers.

Rauner addressed the woman’s concerns while she continued to push back. The dialogue went back and forth and for most overly protected candidates who fear criticism, the situation would have been viewed as being ugly. But Rauner is not your traditional candidate. He answered every ugly question. And afterwards, I went up to the woman and asked her what she thought. And here’s what she told me:

“Well, I came there because I had some real concerns about what he planned to do with pensions and especially teachers’ pensions, because I am a teacher,” she said. “I didn’t like what I had heard before so I wanted to ask him myself. I did and instead of running from the questions like most politicians do, he stood there and answered them. He admitted that we disagreed a bit but he answered them and explained why he believed what he did. I don’t have to agree with him 100 percent. But I left with a sense that he really does care about me as a teacher and that he plans to address the pension problems in a way the other politicians talk about but do nothing. I think Rauner is going to try and make it better.”

She said that she didn’t believe the other politicians who claim to support pensions really care about fixing the corrupt and broken Illinois Pension problems, noting, “I’m tired of politicians who use the fact that we are Democrats to make me think they care when in fact while in office, they don’t do anything. I think Rauner is going to do something.”

English: Gov. Pat Quinn making a point at Gree...

English: Gov. Pat Quinn making a point at Green Expo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And Rauner clearly knows how important the Democratic vote is and will be in November when he faces incumbent Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn. Quinn’s problem has been that he has distanced himself from his past so much that he has shut the door to his past friends. The fact is that Quinn barely defeated Republican Challenger Bill Brady who lost by about only 32,000. Brady was perceived as a hard core conservative on the far right, not a moderate Republican and didn’t attract support from the large conservative Democratic base in suburban Cook County where more than 60,000 Democrats, polling has shown, is adverse to Quinn’s record in office.

So Rauner has smartly created two great Ads for a campaign that features his very likable wife, Diana Rauner.

Politics is tough and unfortunately most voters won’t remember Quinn’s independent streak when he was outside of the Democratic Machine battling it as a “liberal do-gooder.”

Quinn dropped that label long ago. Although he is a good person, he has lost his sense of loyalty to his past admirers. Many of them are angered by his coddling up to the Machine, even though the Machine of today is not the same Machine of yesterday.

Still, Rauner is targeting all of these vulnerabilities and doing it very effectively.

Here are the two Rauner Ads:


Both Ads are brilliant and raise up an important emptiness in Quinn’s campaign. He’s divorced from his wife, and he is out there alone. That absence of a “family” will hurt Quinn, although I am sure his political consultants are telling him not to worry.

Rauner thinks otherwise and has hammered these ads home effectively and with powerful results.

He doesn’t have to buy-off a gossip columnist with subscriptions to win an election. His message is making it out there loud and clear to voters. And they are responding according to some polling that shows Rauner leading by a wide margin.

There is still time for the contest to change and we have a summer that will distract voters. The real battle comes in the Fall after Labor Day. But Rauner is making headway into the “Reagan Democrats” home turf, an area that Quinn has traditionally ignored. And there is no sign that Quinn plans to change strategies.

(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and columnist. He is the Managing Editor of the Illinois News Network and writes for the Southwest News-Herald newspaper and Creators Syndicate.)

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Managing Editor at Illinois News Network
Ray Hanania is senior blogger for the Illinois News Network news site. He is an award winning former Chicago City Hall political reporter and columnist who covered the beat from 1976 through 1992 (From Mayor Daley to Mayor Daley). And, Hanania is a stubborn and loud critic of the biased mainstream American news media.

Hanania covered Chicago political beats including Chicago City Hall while at the Daily Southtown Newspapers (1976-1985) and later for the Chicago Sun-Times (1985-1992). He published The Villager Community Newspapers covering 12 Southwest suburban regions (1993-1997). Hanania also hosted live political news radio talkshows on WLS AM (1980 - 1991), and also on WBBM FM, WLUP FM, WSBC AM in Chicago, and WNZK AM in Detroit.

The recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, Hanania was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. Hananiaalso received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. He currently is syndicated through Creators Syndicate. He has written for Al Jazeera English, the Jerusalem Post, YNetNews.com, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star of Lebanon, the News of the World in London, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, The Saudi Gazette, the Arab News in Jeddah, and Aramco Magazine. He also writes for TheArabDailyNews.com.

He is President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.

His personal website is www.TheMediaOasis.com, and www.UrbanStrategiesGroup.com. Email him at: [email protected]