Only the corned beef seemed highly seasoned at the post-St. Patrick’s Day dinner for New Trier Twp. Republicans Friday night in Winnetka. The moderately filled room welcomed a former Republican committeeman (Tolbert Chisum, now of Texas), as well as some non-partisan local candidates: Bob Bielinski, running against another NTRO member (Mike Basil, away on spring vacation) for Wilmette village president, Gene Greable, running as the Caucus-backed candidate for Winnetka village president, Mike Levitan (Wilmette Library Board), Glenn Farkas (Glenview District 34 School Board), Jasmine Hauser (Wilmette District 39 School Board) – and the peripatetic venture capital businessman Bruce Rauner (Winnetka), who is (just maybe) running for governor of Illinois. Arguably the most joyful applause line of the evening came with Rauner’s references to former Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana and Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin.

Former one-term Congressman Bob Dold curiously talked about how much the 10th District still needs him – even though 99 percent of New Trier Twp. residents live in the 9th District. Heather Wilhelm, a Winnetka mom who posts at Real Clear Politics, addressed the group on current attempts to redefine the Republican Party, urging the Corned Beef and Cabbage guests to look to moderating their views to make the party more inclusive.

ConservativeBrand‘s prize for most delicious cocktail comment: “Since the Tea Party brand seems damaged, don’t we need a new Ronald Reagan Party for actual conservatives?” Here, here.

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