All signs point to Illinois voters rejecting Bruce Rauner’s bid for a second term as governor on Nov. 6, none of the signs more obvious than Rauner’s own desperate new campaign commercial released Tuesday.
The ad, titled “Unholy Union,” depicts two men pretending to be Democrats Mike Madigan and J.B. Pritzker getting married by a minister who punctuates the vows with the tagline: “Illinois is f—–.”
The f-bomb is partially bleeped out, but it’s not particularly subtle, nor is the use of gay marriage as an object of ridicule.
This is definitely not the kind of campaign ad you see from a candidate who thinks he’s protecting a lead in the stretch drive of a campaign.
It’s the work of someone who knows he is in deep trouble and is desperate to break through, someone who still thinks he could change the minds of Illinois voters if they just stopped long enough to listen to his message, which is what it always has been:
If you don’t vote for me, you are sooo f—–.
The earlier version of this was the commercial in which Rauner talks about trying to save Illinois before solemnly intoning: “This might be our last chance.”
I was struck by the similarity to President Donald Trump’s “I alone can fix it” message in 2016.
I would never count Rauner out, and I don’t. Until the voters have gone to the polls and their votes have been tallied, I assume nothing about the outcome. Polls are unreliable, as are Democratic voters. Nor do I discount the scope of the problems of which Rauner speaks.
But I do suspect the same thing that Rauner must suspect — that a majority of people in this state have come to the conclusion that they don’t want him around for a second four years in office and that they’re ready to give someone else a chance to deal with those problems.
Rauner’s ad is supposed to be funny, and I’m sure some people will find humor in it.
After all, lots of folks still laugh when someone drops an unexpected f-bomb on television, and plenty of others still think it’s a joke that people of the same sex are allowed to be married.
If you’re not offended, you’re not offended.
The f-bomb certainly does not offend me. I’ve never been able to break the habit of talking that way myself.
But it’s use in a campaign commercial seems beneath the dignity of the governor’s office, and yes, even in Illinois, the governor ought to have some dignity.
Rauner certainly must have considered that before he authorized putting it on the air, and he did so anyway.
I assume he thinks this sort of “plain talk” will break through to voters in the same way that Trump does, except that for better or worse, Rauner is no Donald Trump, even if they do find time to bond on the campaign trail this weekend.
As far as the ad making light of gay marriage — an “unholy union,” if you will — Rauner thinks he can hide behind his past support of the LGBTQ community to give him cover. He even officiated at a gay wedding, you might recall, to the irritation of many conservatives.
But that was always a means to an end for Rauner, and now he needs to find another means.
Rauner spoke with students Tuesday at Chicago Hope Academy, repeating his oft-told story of how unnamed businessmen convinced him to run for governor to save the state.
And it occurred to me that it’s a shame that Rauner may soon pass from the public scene without ever identifying those public-spirited citizens so that the rest of us could properly thank them.
When he was finished, Rauner joined the students of the Christian high school in prayer, then retreated outside to explain to reporters why he thought it necessary to use “f—–” in a campaign commercial.
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October 23, 2018 at 07:15PM