Now that Bill Daley has quit the governor’s race, my guess is that Rahm won’t be voting for Pat Quinn, not even while holding his nose. I bet Rahm pulls the lever for his buddy, Republican Bruce Rauner, former CEO of the private equity firm GTCR.
It’s Rauner, after all, who advised Rahm in the late ‘90s to make his fortune as an investment banker and who hired him to represent GTCR in the purchase of a home-security company from SBC Communications. Proceeds from that deal, among others, put the Clinton operative, who had no prior business experience or education, on the fast track to earning $18 million in under 3 years. Fortune in place, Rahm sprinted down the road to elective office.
Rauner’s genuine chumminess with Rahm will not help the venture capitalist in the Republican primary, and neither will Rauner’s contributions to Rahm’s campaigns. Republican rivals Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard are already attacking Rauner for his cozy ties to Rahm. And those ties are not only cozy, they’re real—families-vacation-together real.
On April 17, 2012, before Rauner announced his exploratory committee for governor, the American Jewish Committee, at a dinner at the Ritz Carlton Chicago, honored Rauner with its Civic Leadership Award. More than 400 people attended, a AJC record. Mayor Emanuel introduced/roasted Rauner and presented him with the award. Two people who were there that night told me that Rahm was extremely funny and that he mentioned that he and his family vacation at Rauner’s ranch in Montana. (I asked Jonathan Schweitzer AJC’s assistant director, communications, for a video, audio, or transcript of Rahm’s remarks. I was not surprised when Schweitzer told that me that none existed.)