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Bruce Rauner on a Roll

(Chicago) – Insider: The Cook County Republican Party today endorsed GOP businessman Bruce Rauner for governor in the Republican primary slated for March.

It’s a public relations triumph.

As the largest Illinois county, even the feeble Cook County Republican Party imprimatur is symbolically important.

The Cook County GOP has not slated a gubernatorial candidate in 25 years, but the wealthy Rauner and a key ally, businessman Jack Roeser, have been generous campaign donors to the party’s county chairman, Aaron Del Mar, and the county party.

And that’s precisely what winning candidates do in primary contests. They build alliances. There’s nothing unethical about cementing campaign allies through political donations. It’s smart politics.

Nevertheless, have no illusions. Those types of endorsements are fragile beasts. They are tethered by cash, not genuine conviction. There is no ideological fervor. It’s transactional.

Rauner is playing a tactically superior game over his impoverished opponents – Treasurer Dan Rutherford, State Senators Kirk Dillard and Bill Brady – fueled by wealthy supporters and $1.2 million – so far – of his own money and a few calorie free slogans: “Shake up Springfield”, “taken on union bosses”, blah, blah, blah that are currently saturating the airwaves.

And it’s working.

The last two publicly published polls had Rauner leading the pack of four candidates. Not bad for a previous unknown. He’s beating longtime Springfield warhorses.

But that lead is all name identification. It’s as thin as a crème brûlée glaze.

Still, it’s a lead.

And his primary opponents are in no shape to crack even a brûlée glaze.

Without a game scrambling outside intervention, Rauner is poised to win the the GOP primary.



Twitter @DavidOrmsby

(*Note to Political Insiders: The Illinois Observer also offers our exclusive, subscriber-only e-newsletter – The Insider – to, well, Illinois political insiders. Each Tuesday and Friday at 6:00 a.m. The Insider, whose Consulting Editor is Capitol Fax Publisher Rich Miller, arrives in e-mail boxes with the choicest Illinois, Cook County, and Chicago political gossip, insider information, and news tips. For more information and a free, 4-week trial subscription to The Insider, please go here).

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