Rauner chided for being more 'so what?' than 'so that'
Gov. Bruce Rauner, who recently donned a flannel shirt for a 2018 campaign ad, is badly off message, and he and his team need to regroup, the CEO of a Chicago-based think tank said on a radio broadcast recently.
"I want to balance the budget 'so that,' " Tillman said. "How do you finish the 'so that' clause? So that you can live a better life? So that you don't have to call Bekins Movers and have them back up your driveway and empty your house so you can move across to Indiana. 'I'm going to balance the budget so that your child can go to a school here in Illinois and get a great education, no matter what zip code they were born into.' 'I'm going to balance the budget so that you can get a raise at your job instead of having to move to Texas to have better personal prosperity for you and your family.' They've lost sight of the 'so that.' "
Tillman said at the beginning of the broadcast that the opinions he expressed were his own and not those of the Illinois Policy Institute.
As Rauner and his team plan strategy for 2018, the lineup on the Democrat side beefed up April 6 when billionaire businessman J.B. Pritzker announced his plans to run for governor. Chris Kennedy, a Chicago businessman, son of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and nephew of the late President John F. Kennedy, announced his candidacy in February, as did Bob Daiber, Madison County regional superintendent of schools. Others who've entered the Democrat primary race are Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston), who announced his bid on March 23, and Chicago Alderman Ameya Pawar, who announced in January.
Chicago Treasurer Kurt Summers has said he's exploring the possibility of entering the Democrat field as well.
Rauner's most recent political ads show him in the flannel shirts and work-a-day areas reminiscent of the campaign that landed him his first term. Tillman said it's not likely to work again, and Rauner and his team need to address the upcoming gubernatorial election based on today's politics.
"In the real world, the governor has a big budget, and he'll spend a lot of money on his re-election," Tillman said. "He's spending money now on this paid campaign. But the purpose of that is to actually rally the troops, rally the grassroots, rally support across the political spectrum."
Rauner's campaign needs to have the right focus, Tillman said.
"We have to build it from the right back to the middle," he said. "You can't build your majority from the middle back out from the left and tight; that is a failing strategy for Republicans."
Tillman added that he thinks Rauner and his team "are about to pivot."
"His heart is in the right place," he said. "But it isn't coming across in the narrative. It's up to his team to help him get there, back to the core."
Illinois Rising is hosted by Dan Proft who is also a principal in LGIS (Local Government Information Services), which owns this publication.