What to get for the political dad who has everything

Looking down from the great cloud above, he may have seen his son Bill, a prospective candidate for governor, interviewed by Randi Belisomo on WGN-TV.

"I've been around politics my whole life," Bill Daley told Belisomo. "But I don't come from the Springfield milieu that seems to be rather dysfunctional right now."

Milieu?

"Bob? Bob? What's this 'maloo' my kid's talking about?" the late mayor might ask his cloud friend, Fire Commissioner Robert Quinn. "Maloo? Maloo? He's scarin' me, Bob, he's scarin' me."

The word is of Old French origin, though most likely not from old French settlements in Chicago's 11th Ward, near 35th and Lowe, where the Daleys learned the native tongue.

But milieu is the perfect word for the sentence, and I use it whenever I get the chance because it makes me sound like an old TV character, the portly and urbane Mr. French from "Family Affair."

According to Merriam-Webster, "milieu" is defined as "the physical or social setting in which something occurs or develops."

Merriam-Webster's example: "Theirs was a bohemian milieu in which people often played romantic musical chairs. — Edmund White, New York Review of Books, 12 Feb. 2009."

Illinois taxpayer's example: "Theirs was a Springfield milieu in which politicians often played pin the tail on the chumbolone." — John Kass, sitting on the porch, drinking a can of Hamm's, 16 June 2013."

Bruce Rauner, a Republican candidate for governor of Illinois, is perhaps the wealthiest man ever to seek the office. He needs nothing. So what do we get Rauner — a bottle of Old Spice?

How about a couple of trainloads of lotus fruit, so Illinois voters may forget his past business dealings with Democrats like Emanuel, as he campaigns against all those insiders?

U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, the former Black Panther, recently accused Sen. Mark Kirk of the sin of insensitivity after Kirk suggested that federal law enforcement should target a murderous black street gang in Chicago. Rush said Kirk's plan was an "elitist white-boy solution." So what's the real news here? The news is that Bobby Rush's deck of race cards is embarrassingly old. Some race cards are missing from his campaign against Obama. Other Rush race cards are frayed. "Elitist white boy" is as about as '70s as you can get, as old as disco. Can't somebody please get Bobby Rush a brand-new deck of race cards?  

Political and nonpolitical dads all want the same thing on Father's Day: time with our families, our wives and children.

And maybe a pair of leopard-print spandex bike shorts.

jskass@tribune.com

Twitter @John_Kass

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