Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Sun-Times: Why can't they just get along?

A few times I alluded to this on the blog. It has often been reported that Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Gov. Pat Quinn aren't getting along very well. This is likely the start of how things started going downhill, apparently according to Fran Spielman they had a mutual friend in David Axelrod and used to play basketball on Saturdays.
How did two Democrats who need to work together to solve Chicago’s pressing problems become so distrustful of one another?

“One reason for the tension is that Quinn is in the weaker position … his job approval is lower than the mayor’s. He’s also in a difficult re-election fight while the mayor isn’t. And Quinn needs Rahm more than the other way around. So Quinn doesn’t appreciate the mayor forcing him to do unpopular things — like support property tax increases,” said David Yepsen, director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University.

No one in either camp will allow their name to be attached to a discussion of the tension for fear of making it worse. But both sides acknowledge that the enmity is real.

“There have been times that Rahm has gone into meetings with the governor and just laid into Quinn. That doesn’t serve as the basis for a good, warm relationship,” a source in the Quinn camp said.

“Rahm does a lot of things in closed court, pops it and wants people to roll over right away. That’s not the way it works. The governor feels the state does so much for the city in funding roads, bridges and schools, and that there’s very little gratitude by the mayor for that. Where there should be conversation, there is little. It’s, `We’re gonna do this’ and that’s it.”

A mayoral confidante acknowledged that Emanuel “doesn’t respect the governor’s political acumen and ability to get things done,” so he’s inclined to go around him.

Another would only say that Emanuel and Quinn are “very different people with different personalities.”
This is how Spielman's article started off:
One is a notoriously disciplined political hammer who doesn’t suffer fools and runs roughshod over those who stand in his way.

The other made his name as a somewhat disorganized political gadfly with a pushover reputation that belies his toughness.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Gov. Pat Quinn are personality opposites, even though they’re both Democrats.
Probably not the full explanation, but certainly one factor amongst many. I can only wonder if the Mayor of Illinois' largest city and the Governor of Illinois not getting along only hurts the city itself?

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