Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

Pritzker may win with spin

By Ray Hanania

Governor JB Pritzker is planning to run for president in 2024.

Actually, the proper way to report that is to say Pritzker is planning to “buy” the Democratic nomination for president in 2024, the same way he bought the Democratic nomination for Illinois governor in 2018.

Pritzker has been spinning negatives into positives all his life, and he’ll definitely figure out how to spin Illinois’ bottom-of-the-barrel rankings as one of the worst states when it comes to rising crime, high taxes, poor education and the bad economy, the things voters care about in most other states.

It starts with his name. Pritzker uses the initials “JB” rather than “J.R.” — his name is Jay Robert, named after his father’s two brothers, Jay Arthur and Robert Alan Pritzker.

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Ray Hanania

I don’t blame Pritzker for adjusting the initials from J.R. to JB. Born in 1965, Pritzker grew up in California and later attended the Massachusetts boarding school Milton Academy.

The initials J.R. would have not been so great for a young person. Pritzker grew up when “Dallas” reigned as one of the most popular TV programs (1978-1991). The series starred Larry Hagman, who played J.R. Ewing, the quintessential bad guy who drank and cheated on his wife, Sue Ellen, played by Linda Gray. The initials J.R. symbolized an evil, vicious person.

When J.R. Ewing was shot at the end of season two (1979-80), most wanted to know “Who shot J.R.?” mainly, I think, to thank the suspect. The shooter turned out to be J.R.’s mistress and scheming TV sister-in-law, Kristin Shepard (Mary Crosby), the alleged mother of his child. (Talk about bad!)

The “Who Shot J.R.” mystery even played in the 1980 presidential campaign between former California Governor Ronald Reagan and President Jimmy Carter.

Of course, JB Pritzker might want to remember that the independent candidate in that election, Congressman J.B. Anderson, only got 6.6% of the vote.

Using JB instead of J.R. shows you Pritzker knew how to take the bad and spin it into good, which is how he managed to buy himself into the Springfield office over several better qualified candidates, including Chris Kennedy, in the March 2018 Illinois Democratic gubernatorial primary battle.

As a presidential candidate, Pritzker is going to want to showcase his achievements during his four years in office; and for the life of me, I am not sure what those achievements are. In all likelihood, Pritzker will be re-elected (purchased) as governor this November.

In running for president, Pritzker will have to spin Illinois’ downward spiraling ranking into a positive. I can only imagine what his presidential campaign talking points will be.

  • “Illinois was headed to becoming the worst state when it comes to crime and violence. I stopped that from happening. Proud to be 48, or third from the worst. We could have been 49 or 50!”
  • “Crime in Illinois? That’s why I will legalize abortion as president.”
  • “People compare Illinois to Afghanistan, a beautiful country with a great history, if we look past and ignore the Taliban. Illinois has given the people what the Taliban can’t provide in Afghanistan, an excuse for the violence.”
  • “There’s MORE violence in Illinois than the 47 other states. But I always learned that MORE is better than LESS!”
  • “I grew up in wealthy privilege, which is why I believe that being a successful billionaire living in a crime-ridden state proves I know how to succeed. It also helps me know what it’s like to live with less privilege. That’s my sacrifice for the people of Illinois.”
  • “Illinois ranks as the 47th worst state when it comes to crime! That’s better than being 50th!”
  • “Being called ‘crime ridden’ by former President Trump is like being called ugly by a pig! I take it as a badge of pride to be attacked by Trump. Fight Trumpism. Vote for Pritzker!”
  • “People don’t cause crime. Guns cause crime. That’s why I propose a law to jail the guns, not people. Put guns, not people, in prison. That’s the true meaning of gun control.”
  • “Having the highest homicide rates in the state and nation, Chicago and Cook County gives me the most experience.”

Oh, the good old days of American politics. Don’t you miss them?

Check out Ray Hanania’s columns and political podcasts at hanania.com.

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