Regular Joe on inflation: ‘I understand’

Regular Joe on inflation: ‘I understand’

Good Thursday morning, Illinois. When we dreamed of spring, we weren’t thinking of temps near 90.

WE’RE HEADED TO LINCOLN: Your Playbook host will be in central Illinois for a coffee klatch about politics on May 20 and you’re invited to be part of the conversation. Sign up here

Instead of a prime-time sit-down about his administration’s accomplishments or the pressing issue of abortion, President Joe Biden did what he does best. He talked to, um, regular Joes — farmers in rural Illinois and blue-collar electrical workers at a convention in Chicago, about inflationary challenges faced by families trying to make ends meet.

Biden remembered his own childhood when gas or grocery prices went up. "That’s what we talked about at the dinner table. It meant a lot. We felt it. We felt it. I understand."

Biden walked in the dirt in Kankakee, thanking farmers for getting America through the pandemic and feeding the world today. “You’re like the backbone of freedom. … The breadbasket of democracy,” he said.

Why Kankakee: The farm there produces a lot of grain, making it a good backdrop for Biden’s message that the war in Ukraine is hurting the world economy. “Ukraine was the world’s largest producer of wheat.” If that grain can’t get to market, “an awful lot of people in Africa are going to starve to death because they are the sole — sole supplier of a number of African countries.” Full remarks

He kept up his attack of MAGA Republicans: “They’re the most extreme party. And that’s what the Republican Party is now. Not everybody Republican believes that. But the fact of the matter is, they run the show — the MAGA Republicans,” he told attendees at a private fundraiser later in the day. Full remarks

And he was Middle Class Joe at McCormick Place for the national convention of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). Biden stepped out from behind the podium with his mic and walked up and down the stage. It seemed unscripted, with photographers scurrying about trying to keep up. Full remarks

Biden’s message: Inflation is hurting families and he’s sensitive to it. “I’ve got a plan to lower the costs for everyday things,” he said. “That would fundamentally change the standard of living if we just made things more affordable. We’re going to beat inflation.”

It seems like a far-off idea, but Biden’s an optimist. He pointed to last year’s infrastructure law and other pie-in-the-sky efforts that became realities: “The first year of my presidency I reduced the deficit — literally reduced the deficit by $350 billion. And this year we’re on track to cut the federal deficit by 1-trillion 500-billion dollars — the biggest decline in debt ever in American history.”

It matters to families, he said, “because reducing the deficit is one of the main ways that we can ease inflationary pressures.”

The message resonated with the electrical workers who gave repeated standing ovations. “The hard work shows. Our investment is paying dividends,” R. Todd Thacker, an IBEW business manager from Terre Haute, Ind., told Playbook. He was referring to the early endorsement the union gave to Biden when he ran for office in 2018. It was a turning point that led to his election.

Biden’s personal recovery plan: Pump up unions, squeeze Big Business: “The president is hoping his political fate — and the Democrats’ standing among the white working class — can be saved by lifting up organized labor,” by POLITICO’s Christopher Cadelago.

Biden talked with Gov. JB Pritzker: Riding in the motorcade, they touched on efforts to protect abortion rights, Illinois Dems hoping to become an early presidential primary state, and Chicago’s bid for the 2024 Democratic National Convention.

The after party: A small fundraising reception was held after the IBEW convention. Big-donor names were kept under wraps but we hear constitutional officers attended, including Attorney Gen. Kwame Raoul, state Comptroller Susana Mendoza, and Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs. Also spotted: former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun and Mid-America Carpenters Regional Council’s Gary Perinar.

Biden cursed half a dozen times. “If every investment banker in America would go on strike, not a whole hell of a lot would happen. But guess what? If you all went on strike nationwide, the country would shut down,” he told the union workers.

GOP GOV’S RACE POLL: WGN 9 is out with a poll that shows it’s a two-man race for governor between Richard Irvin and Darren Bailey though a third of voters are still undecided.

The WGN-TV/Hill/Emerson College Polling of likely GOP primary voters shows Irvin leading the field with 24.1 percent support, followed by Bailey with 19.8 percent, according to WGN. Following are suburban businessman Gary Rabine with 7.8 percent, venture capitalist Jessie Sullivan with 7.3 percent. Attorney Max Solomon and former state Sen. Paul Schimpf are trail with 2.3 percent and 1.9 percent respectively.

Irvin leads but Bailey is trailing in the margin of error, which makes you wonder if Irvin is getting his money’s worth from all those TV ads.

Irvin’s ads have been up since January, and Bailey didn’t go up on TV until March.

And here’s a dollar point: Irvin has spent $12.2 million on TV ads, while Bailey has spent about $1 million. In Chicago, Irvin has spent more than 40 times as much on TV as Bailey, according to a source familiar with the numbers.

Irvin campaign’s curious response: “JB Pritzker and his allies are funding Darren Bailey’s campaign because they know that Richard Irvin is Pritzker’s greatest threat in November.”

Bailey campaign’s response: “This primary election is a two-person race for the heart and soul of our Republican Party. The choice is clear between a conservative Republican like Darren Bailey and a career Democrat like Irvin.”

RELATED: Despite robust ad campaign, Richard Irvin doesn’t meet the press much: “It strikes me as kind of the Aurora equivalent of the ‘Rose Garden strategy’ about someone who feels like he is well-positioned in the primary. He obviously has ample resources. And so he feels like it’s a plausible strategy to stay above the fray — to avoid candidate forums, to limit interaction with the press and hope that a huge infusion of funds from a wealthy benefactor will allow him to have enough air time to win the primary,” John Shaw of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute tells Lee Enterprises’ Brenden Moore.

Have a news tip, suggestion, birthday, anniversary, new job, or any other nugget for Playbook? I’d like to hear from you: [email protected]

At Venue SIX10 in Chicago at 9 a.m. to give remarks at the National Minority Business Economic Forum.

Still in the Lone Star State.

In the Cook County Building at 10 a.m. presiding over a meeting of the Board of Commissioners.

Congresswoman Marie Newman shares for the first time publicly how she got an abortion: “As a teenager barely out of childhood myself, I simply was not ready to take on the monumental responsibility of becoming a parent,” Newman writes.

Pritzker calls for federal law, protests to protect abortion: “The Democratic governor spoke from a Planned Parenthood Regional Logistics Facility in the Illinois suburbs of St. Louis. He said the U.S. Senate must step up in defense of the personal health care decisions of women. A test vote Wednesday failed 51-49,” by The Associated Press’ John O’Connor.

Protesters ‘promise to stay in the streets’ after failed Senate effort to codify abortion rights, by Sun-Times’ Mary Norkol

Illinois House speaker gets fellow lawmakers to donate more than $200K to wife’s judicial campaign: “ShawnTe Raines-Welch, an attorney running for judge on the Democratic ticket, has vastly outraised her opponents in the obscure race for a newly created Cook County subcircuit court seat,” by WTTW’s Paris Schutz.

— Republican Dan Brady, the Illinois state representative and secretary of state candidate, will be feted at a fundraiser tonight cohosted by House Minority Leader Jim Durkin. Brady is running against former U.S. Attorney John Milhiser, who’s part of billionaire Ken Griffin’s Republican slate. Durkin is endorsing everyone on that slate but Milhiser.

— Rep. Sean Casten has been endorsed by Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas, state Rep. Justin Slaughter, and Tinley Park Mayor Mike Glotz in his bid for the 6th District seat. Full list

The case for pushing back the Illinois primary: “The state chooses its candidates earlier than any other state — making it feel as though politics never ends,” by Chicago magazine’s Edward McClelland.

— NO HITTER | Illinoisan Reid Detmers throws no-hitter for L.A. Angels in 11th MLB start: “Los Angeles Angels rookie Reid Detmers, a 2017 Chatham Glenwood High School graduate [who grew up in Nokomis], pitched the second no-hitter this season in the major leagues,” by The Associated Press.

One in five early childhood educators in Illinois live in poverty, a new report finds: “A new report documents the state’s child care crisis, including high costs for families and low wages for workers,” by WBEZ’s Esther Yoon-Ji Kang.

Advocate Aurora to merge with North Carolina hospital chain in blockbuster deal, relocate HQ: “Chicago’s largest health care provider plans to merge with Atrium Health, creating the nation’s fifth-largest hospital chain by revenue,” by Crain’s Katherine Davis.

New law helps pay funeral costs of children killed by gun violence, by Sun-Times’ Cheyanne M. Daniels.

— Illinois Covid Updates: Cases Likely to Continue Climbing, Officials Urge Caution, via NBC 5

Plan for temporary casino at landmark Medinah Temple draws its own opposition: “It’s located in a zone that prohibits additional liquor licenses. In explaining the proposed exception for casinos, Deputy Mayor Samir Mayekar said it would be “consistent” with other establishments like sports stadiums such as Wrigley Field,” by Tribune’s Alice Yin and Robert Channick.

Who’s footing the casino bill? The mayor has told us where it will go, who will run it, and why we need it. But "how much it will cost,” writes Ben Joravsky in the Reader.

Exclusive look inside Lincoln Yards: Construction starts on Chicago’s ‘City Within A City’: “Sterling Bay is converting 53-acres of North Side riverfront property once occupied by the A. Finkle & Sons steel plant and other industrial sites, into a new community of homes, offices, entertainment venues, restaurants and parks,” by WGN’s Mike Lowe.

Park District Board appoints Rosa Escareño as permanent CEO: She’s been interim general superintendent and CEO since October, “following the departure of Mike Kelly over his handling of allegations of sexual misconduct among some of the agency’s lifeguards,” by Sun-Times’ Manny Ramos.

COPA releases footage of 2020 shootout behind West Side police station: “The footage shows an officer opening the door of the car, coming face to face with Lovelle Jordan as he begins shooting,” by Sun-Times’ Sophie Sherry.

Preckwinkle taps new leader for Cook County’s Department of Public Health: “Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck has been chosen to take over the suburban public health department after two years of split interim leadership,” by Crain’s A.D. Quig.

Naperville 18-year-old becomes youngest American woman to reach summit of Mount Everest, by Daily Herald’s Kevin Schmit

New Kane County forest budget includes Carpentersville Dam removal, property tax increase, by Daily Herald’s James Fuller

Chicago police investigate mass shootings, including one in area already identified for more resources: “Chicago police were faced with a trio of shootings with multiple victims Tuesday — with 13 people shot in all — two in a beat police have targeted for an inflow of resources as summer approaches and one just outside another of those beats,” by Tribune’s Paige Fry, Annie Sweeney, Shanzeh Ahmad and Stephanie Casanova.

We asked about your expertise in farming or gardening: Prairie Consulting CEO Fred Lebed has become an expert in growing fig trees, orange trees and lemon trees after going through U. of I. ‘s master gardener program. Lebed has built a greenhouse in Western Springs that doubles as his office. He also grows fruits, vegetables, herbs and “at least 20 of the most incredible orchids you’ve ever seen.”

What do you find most annoying when you read about a political poll? Email [email protected]

How the ‘most conservative governor in North Carolina history’ became a RINO, by POLITICO’s Natalie Allison

Senate Democrats’ imaginary majority, by POLITICO’s Burgess Everett

States pick up tatters of Democrats’ paid leave, child care agenda, by POLITICO’s Nick Niedzwiadek

— OPINION| Memo to protesters outside the homes of Supreme Court justices: You’re not helping, writes Eric Zorn

— Brad Middleton is joining the Federal Student Aid Office of Enforcement as senior strategy adviser. For the past 14 years, Middleton has served on Sen. Dick Durbin’s staff, including as education policy director.

— Alicia Waters has been named executive VP for Crate & Barrel and Crate & Kids. She previously was chief marketing officer for the company.

— Mike Puccinelli has been named director of public affairs for the Chicago Department of Buildings. He’s a former, longtime TV reporter. Media columnist Robert Feder has more details.

WEDNESDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to NPR’s Scott Simon for correctly answering Michelle Obama and Bryant Gumbel (a first lady and Today host) lived Hyde Park at one time or another. Another correct answer would have been Betty Ford and Hugh Downs who both lived briefly in Rogers Park.

TODAY’s QUESTION: Who was the first Black ward committeeman in Chicago, and when was he elected? Email [email protected]

Illinois House Black Caucus Chair Kam Buckner, and Clark Hill senior counsel Latasha Thomas, who’s also a former Chicago alderman.



May 12, 2022 at 08:11AM

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