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He is an outsider with no accumulated political debts and no reason to accumulate any. Even discounting his remarkable financial fortune, his leadership in the movement for term limits emphasizes that he is not getting into this business to rack up re-elections or secure a fat public pension. He can lead independently, without fear of abandonment by the voters or his party, and therefore work to build consensus that considers all interests fairly.Illinois is plagued by a backlog of over $4 billion in unpaid bills, over $100 billion in unfunded pension debt, a high unemployment rate, and a nationwide reputation for rampant corruption. If you want even more of that, then vote for the incumbent, Chicago Democrat Pat Quinn.
We're not sure of everything it says that his wife and one of his best friends, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, are Democrats, but one message certainly must be that he can get along with people with whom he fundamentally disagrees. Illinois needs that quality in its leaders, and Rauner certainly will need it as Illinois governor. Running a state transparently and cooperatively with other government leaders who have much power of their own and who do not report to you is very much different from running a financial business empire.
Indeed, Rauner will need all the leadership tools he has gathered in the course of a self-made career at the helm of a vast collection of diverse businesses. Among them, let us not overlook, he will need compassion, too, of the type that has made him and his wife leading benefactors for diverse charities, notably agencies that serve the disadvantaged and that strive to provide improved educational opportunities to children in poverty.
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