Better than Charlie Rose with Nicole Kidman: Berkowitz w/Gov Candidate Dillard, Cable and web

State Senator Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale), one of four Republican Primary candidates for IL Governor), is featured on tonight’s and next Monday night's North Shore edition of Public Affairs, airing at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 19 in ten donor rich suburbs (a number of which are majority Republican) in Bannockburn,Deerfield, Ft. Sheridan, Glencoe, Highland Park, Highwood, Kenilworth, Lincolnshire, Riverwoods and Winnetka.

Dillard’s competitors in the Republican Gubernatorial Primary are State Senator Bill Brady (Bloomington), investment banker Bruce Rauner and State Treasurer Dan Rutherford (Pontiac).

You can also watch the show with Senator Dillard 24/7 here.

To read partial transcripts of tonight’s show with Dillard, please go here and here.

The Dillard-Rauner match up in terms of facing the media

Senator Dillard has not yet raised a great deal of money but unlike his mega-millionaire, Winnetka-resident competitor, Bruce Rauner, Kirk Dillard is embracing the challenge of seeking and obtaining earned media. Rauner is sticking to paid ads, with his campaign staff apparently not confident their candidate is ready for prime time-- when he comes to handling challenging questioning by journalists.

As Senator Dillard said, “I am a regular guy,” when it comes to discussing the issues with voters or media, on or off TV.  Investment banker Rauner would have trouble making such a claim and it shows in the relatively few times he has subjected himself to non-canned questions.

Who has run State Government? Ever?

Senator Dillard also argues, in tonight’s episode of Public Affairs that he, unlike his competitors, has real experience running a state government  and running it well--because he was Governor Jim Edgar’s chief of staff, in the early 90s.

Someone like Rauner can point to his private sector executive experience, but even that is relatively spotty, and Rauner has little experience formulating and articulating public policies, with the exception of school choice (and even there, it is mostly advocacy, with no experience implementing public policies).

Senator Bill Brady matches Dillard in terms of his senate legislative experience, but Brady is short of government executive experience.

Dan Rutherford might try to point to his State Treasurer experience over the last three years, but that is a far cry from broad-based executive experience in the Governor’s office.   Rutherford is also demonstrating a certain shyness when it comes to answering non-canned questions forthrightly on TV or radio, showing a propensity, like Rauner,  to cherry pick his questioners- favoring “softball” pitchers.

Advantage Dillard?

Thus, as to executive government experience, if that is an issue for Republican Primary voters, the advantage goes to Dillard. On being a “regular guy,” if that is an issue for Republican Primary voters (Dillard raises it in tonight’s show), that is probably a tie between Senators Dillard and Brady.

Nobody is ever going to mistake Bruce Rauner for a “regular guy,” no matter how many TV ads get produced with Rauner appearing in jeans. TV ad images are just not the “be all or end all” for Illinois Republican primary voters.   Too bad for candidate Bruce Rauner nobody is being paid to tell him that.


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