The same day President Obama arrived in Chicago to stump for Gov. Pat Quinn, Bruce Rauner—the deep-pocketed investor gunning to steal Quinn's job for the GOP—unleashed a trio of new attack ads apparently targeting different segments of Windy City voters.
Team Rauner issued the spots Wednesday, when Obama landed in his adopted hometown to headline a fundraiser on behalf of the Democratic incumbent. Deeply harsh in tone—at this point in the game, go negative or go home, right?—the media blitz could be an attempt to flood the airwaves and distract Chicagoans from partaking of too much Quinn Kool-Aid as poured by a popular president.
To crib a line from Obama, "Let's be clear": Rauner has not a chance in hell of undoing Quinn's tight grip on this Democratic city. But he needs to grab a certain percentage of votes here in order to double down on his popularity downstate and across the Republican-leaning collar counties.
This ad, dubbed "Wake Up," stars retired Chicago police sergeant Ed Hanlon, a straight-out-of-central-casting Irish cop who might as well live in Southwestern Beverly or a neighborhood on the Northwestern side where there are pockets of Republican support. Here's Hanlon sounding off on a former policy that sanctioned the early release of 230 inmates locked up in Illinois prisons:
The second, called "Screwed Up," features a wry female narrator touting Rauner's credentials as a reformer who will clean up Springfield's legacy of corruption. Quinn resonates much more than Rauner among women, even earning props from feminist icon Gloria Steinem. As a result, Rauner—who attracts a greater number of male supporters— has sought in earnest to court the highly coveted female vote, most notably upscale, urban moderates like his wife, Diana, a self-avowed Democrat who's casting a ballot for Bruce.
Targeting middle-class laborers and voters hit hard by the recession, a third ad hits Quinn on his record of creating jobs and calls for his firing. It projects Quinn's image on the side of a city building, closing with the soundbite: "Corruption or incompetence, Pat Quinn failed his job. Now he wants four more years?"
With the Nov. 4 election less than a month away, there's no doubting that Rauner—who's added another $1.5 million of his own fortune into his already overstuffed war chest—will dump an additional arsenal of media attack-bombs on Quinn. It only gets worse from here.