ICYMI: Chicago Tribune Column: J.B. Pritzker is Skipping the Tribune Debate. Maybe He Can Have a Live Chicken Take His Place

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On Monday, Chicago Tribune columnist Rex Huppke published a column on JB Pritzker’s decision to skip the Chicago Tribune’s editorial board meeting. Instead, Pritzker has decided to attend an event just blocks away making a speech instead of answering tough questions from the media as Governor Rauner will be doing.

Take a look at highlights from Huppke’s column:

I wanted to avoid putting these words in print: J.B. Pritzker is just a very wealthy chicken who has the money to afford a strikingly realistic human disguise.

I didn’t want to put those words into the public domain, because who knows how they might be used in the Illinois gubernatorial race. Candidates routinely pull quotes from newspaper columnists or editorials and use them as fodder against their opponents.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s campaign might just be sneaky enough to run an ad with this line, spoken in a deep, ominous voice: “Chicago Tribune columnist Rex Huppke revealed the truth about J.B. Pritzker. He’s actually a chicken who uses ‘a strikingly realistic human disguise.’ Can you trust an actual chicken to run the state of Illinois? That would be clucking nuts.”

I didn’t want to create an opportunity like that for Rauner or other candidates, but what choice did I have?

…Gosh, I can’t imagine Pritzker is dodging the Tribune debate for any of those reasons. Who among us doesn’t own an offshore shell company or five?

And in this age of right-wing “enemy of the people” and “fake news” rhetoric, surely Pritzker understands that a Democrat blowing off a major news organization seems a bit incongruous.

So there must be a better explanation.

…So what could explain his unwillingness? The editorial board noted that “we don’t recall another candidate for governor refusing to meet with opponents at the Tribune.”

Weird, right?

…Another option is that we bring in a live chicken to stand on Pritzker’s chair. I once brought a live chicken into the newsroom (it’s a long story), so I have experience in humane chicken handling and would gladly escort J.B. Cluckster to the debate.

That seems like as good a plan as any. For the moment, it would be no different than having Pritzker himself show up.

Because until proven otherwise, our Democratic candidate is a wealthy chicken wearing a snazzy human disguise.

And all you other candidates can quote me on that.