Rahm Emanuel and Bruce Rauner are the new breed of politicians

Rahm Emanuel and Bruce Rauner are the new breed of politicians
Image:Peter V. Bella

"I would also like to congratulate Governor-elect Bruce Rauner. We must work together on behalf of all Chicagoans and put progress ahead of politics to move Chicago and Illinois forward.” (Mayor Rahm Emanuel)

Rahm Emanuel is a good, loyal Democrat. He is also a master pragmatist. He will forge working relationships with anyone who will help him push his agenda.

He and governor elect Bruce Rauner are friends. That is a leg up for the mayor and Chicago.


Chicago Tribune photo.

Bruce Rauner is not a fire breathing absolutist, party purist, or loyalist. He is not a tin foil hat like Ted Cruz or Elizabeth Warren.

He too is pragmatic. He too will forge working relationships to get things done.

Rauner knows the challenges he will face. He knows the political pitfalls ahead. Being a speculative business person, Rauner probably calculated these long ago.

Emanuel and Rauner are the new breed of elected officials. Some disparage them by calling them plutocrats, 1%ers, corporatists, neo-cons, neo-libs, RINOs, DINOs, or other silly playground names.

How about realists? Decision makers? Leaders? Negotiators? Compromisers? Doers? They are results oriented versus winning popularity contests.

People willing to do the possible instead of the politically convenient or popular?

In reality, only time and history will prove if their actions were right or wrong.

This new breed of politician is a hybrid of old school people like Richard J. Daley or Tip O'Neill and modern CEO's. Make friends. Influence people to get results. Build teams. Business meets politics. Corporate management style meets governing. Negotiate, compromise, and get results.

They are policy wonks and numbers crunchers. They are arm twisters. They are punishers and rewarders.

The new breed is about movement. Go forward, backward, sideways, but get out of their way.

The new breed are not warm. jovial, avuncular, cozy, people. They are hard nosed. They plan, work their plan, and do whatever it takes to get their plan through. They make their calculations ahead of time. They are willing to give in order to receive.

People like Rauner and Emanuel know if you help people get what they want, people will help you get what you want. It is that simple.

Political warfare is saved for elections. Once elected they stop campaigning and start governing. That is what real leaders do. They accept responsibility, act, make decisions, and live with them.

When campaign season comes around they supposedly make enemies. When it is over they supposedly make friends, network, and influence people. Political campaigns are Kabuki theater, entertainment for the gullible.

The red meat absolutists, ideological purists, and party loyalists do not see things this way. They want war. Combat. Constant campaigning. They are not interested in governance or stewardship. They are only interested in talking points and attack verbiage. It is always us against them.

It really is them against the people. They are opportunists not stewards.

Mayor Emanuel needs a lot of heavy lifting in Springfield to put Chicago on the right track.  A friendly governor is a good thing. Bruce Rauner needs someone to help him intervene with the Madigan-Cullerton power team. Emanuel can do that.

Rauner does not have to worry about the Republican power brokers. They are toothless and compromised by infighting. Like cannibals, Illinois Republicans eat their own.

Both Emanuel and Rauner have relationships with the world of commerce. That is a positive. Commerce and industry is the backbone of the economy. They create the jobs. They and their employees generate tax revenues.

Commerce and industry contributes money and talent to the private-public partnerships that are becoming successful and popular.

Though Rauner and Emanuel are members of opposing parties, they agree more than disagree. The men can agree to disagree and come to a mutually beneficial solution. That is what friends do. That is how good relationships are maintained. That is how things are supposed to work.

Emanuel and Rauner come from positions where negotiation, compromise, and coming to a win-win situation is the best solution. Political warfare accomplishes nothing, except winning or losing elections. Gridlock accomplishes nothing. Fire breathing accomplishes nothing.

The new breed knows the difference between winning an election and doing the people's work. When the election is over the work begins.

None of this engenders warm feelings. It creates enemies, especially among the fire breathers. Look at the reactions to some of Emanuel's decisions. From the constant attacks by fringe groups one could come away with the idea he is a monster.

What were their solutions? What were their ideas? What decisions would they make? They had none. All they offered was bloody red meat for their devoted followers.

There are more like Rauner and Emanuel in the political pipeline. Politicians who talk about facts and figures instead of spewing political talking points.

These are bright energetic people. They are gaining in popularity.

The two political parties, their acolytes, disciples, and true believers better be afraid, very afraid.

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