I now have to wonder if Tio Hardiman understands what a governor does. Hardiman, who is far better known for his anti-violence work than anything related to government or politics, is hinting at another run for the state’s top office. It seems if he understood what the job entails and his lack of any level of governmental experience, he would run the other way.
If he follows through, this campaign would be more bizarre than his previous attempt in 2014. According to his latest Facebook post, Hardiman mistakenly believes the 125,000 votes he garnered back then was an endorsement of his candidacy.
The reality is a significant number of those voters were voting against former Gov. Pat Quinn-not so much for Hardiman. No doubt a sizeable number of Mr. Hardiman’s tally came from people like him, who don’t really understand the role of a governor.
Just like in his earlier bid, Mr. Hardiman looks like he will rely heavily on social media. It is a strategy that makes sense when one is without the ability to raise the kind of money it takes to run a viable campaign.
Personally, Mr. Hardiman has a point when he derides the fact that the wealthy – Chris Kennedy and J.B. Pritzker are gobbling up the vast majority of media attention for the race. However, Mr. Hardiman showed a practically never seen level of naivete when he suggested that one of them back him financially.
Normally, when such deals are struck they aren’t conducted in the public’s eye and the person needing or requesting that kind of backing is believed to have a chance of winning. Mr. Haridman has not demonstrated any fiscal management experience. That is going to be key for whoever the next governor is as he or she attempts to sort out the damage done by the incumbent to the state’s budget and scores of agencies that rely on state funding.
Although both men are propped up in everything they do by virtue of their last names, both Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Pritzker can lay claim to being at the helm of large national enterprises. Mr. Kennedy also has the advantage of the last name that has been favorably associated with African Americans and Democrats for more than a half of a century.
To date, both men appear to be scandal free. However, it is early as neither has been a declared candidate for two months yet.
The real race for the governor’s job is far more likely to see Mr. Hardiman a distant fourth once Chicago City Treasurer Kurt Summers quits fawning with voters and gets in the race.
By his own admission, the trial balloon, or email in this case Mr. Summers sent was overwhelmingly well received. He was exploring how an array of voters would view his candidacy. A second email all but said his run is a go. Summers, to date, is the only candidate with a wealth of public sector management experience. The fact that experience is in finance is another plus for him. The learning curve for Mr. Summers would be relatively flat given he has worked at both the county and municipal levels.
Voters who are close personal friends of Mr. Hardiman are likely to justify a rationale for overlooking his missing expertise in finance,
and not even tangential connection to government, and still vote for him. Sadly, if he continues this trail, it will be a wasted vote.
Next issue: Why J.B. Pritzker is wasting everyone’s time trying to be governor.