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Sneed: First lady Diana Rauner ready to take on critics

Diana Rauner, a Democrat, staunchly defends her husband, Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner. | Sun-Times file photo

She’s all in.

First lady of Illinois Diana Rauner is standing by her man.

Diana may be a self-proclaimed Democrat married to the state’s number one fiscal conservative, but Sneed is told it’s a huge mistake to doubt her commitment to her husband, Gov. Bruce Rauner.

“Comments in the media Diana has wavered in her support for her husband are dead wrong,” a source close to the Rauner family said.

“If you think Diana isn’t 100 percent ready for the fight, you don’t know Diana.

“She’s all in for Bruce’s re-election,” the source added. “She’s committed to her husband and what he is trying to achieve.”

Sneed is told Diana, a social service activist, has taken serious umbrage with what she called “baseless rumors” that she is not supportive of her husband’s agenda because of social services cuts stemming from the state’s budget war.

“Bruce and Diana are both deeply concerned about human service agencies and the education system, but she knows from her own experience that change is needed to support social services in the long term.

“And she wants people to know she will do whatever she can to help her husband achieve that.”

OPINION

Those closest to the Rauner family describe Diana as being “fiercely protective and supportive of her husband.”

“They are two of the most driven people and have worked for years to help the families of Illinois — especially Diana in her work for women and children,” the family source added.

“She knows he needs more time to achieve change in Illinois for the next generation and the generation after that.

“As the leader of a human service organization, Diana understands better than most just how important the need for a balanced budget is and what that means for the state’s long-term health and growth.”

Hmmm . . .

Sneed hears Maggie Hickey, Gov. Rauner’s hand-picked Illinois executive inspector general, is emerging as the top legal eagle glad-handing her way to become President Donald Trump’s pick as the next U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.

“Maggie was really working the room Thursday night at the farewell party for former U.S. Attorney Zach [‘The Hunk’] Fardon,” a top Sneed source said.

• Backshot: The highly respected Fardon was asked to resign last month by the Trump administration.

• Pop shot: U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, who will recommend his selection to Trump, wasn’t at the Fardon fete.

• Oops shot: Sneed is told the event was abruptly moved at the last minute to the second-floor jury room of the Dirksen Federal Building — accompanied by at least 10 U.S. marshals. “We were all wondering if there had been a threat of a security risk,” a source who attended the event said.

Ka-ching!

$$$: Sneed is told Dr. Sandra Hindman, a world-renowned manuscript dealer — who hails from Chicago — just negotiated the sale to the German government of a thousand-year-old national treasure for more than $3 million!

• The treasure: “The Gospel Book of Liesborn Abbey,” which was made in Westphalia in 980 A.D., “and is finally returning triumphantly to its homeland,” said Hindman, who owns the prestigious manuscript firm Les Enluminures — which opens its brand new Chicago headquarters next week at One Mag Mile.

“It was until now one of the oldest manuscripts of the Gospels still in private possession,” added Hindman, who heads the largest company of manuscript dealers in the world with offices in Chicago, New York, Paris and London.

Sneed exclusive . . .

It’s an Airbnb spree!

Sneed has learned Airbnb, an online marketplace for short-term lodging, just put the finishing touches on a major in-house Chicago report that shows there are currently about 770 active Airbnb listings on the city’s South Side!

• The bank shot: South Side Airbnb hosts earned a combined $3.7 million in 2016.

• “It’s really impactful because there are no hotels on the South Side for the most part; thus, travelers are now able to experience and stay in South Side communities — where people who live there are earning a significant amount of supplemental income,” said Airbnb spokesman Ben Breit, who added: “The typical South Side host earned $2,400 in 2016 by sharing their home on Airbnb, and they welcomed 28,000 guests.”

• Stat chat: The South Side neighborhoods with the most Airbnb listings are Hyde Park, Kenwood, Grand Boulevard and Bridgeport. But the troubled Auburn Gresham and Englewood neighborhoods also made the list.

Sneedlings . . .

I spy: Hall of Famer Andre Dawson spotted with Dutchie Caray at Harry Caray’s on Kinzie on Thursday night. . . . Ditto for Billy “The Smashing Pumpkins” Corgan. . . . Saturday’s birthdays: Marshawn Lynch, 31; Jack Nicholson, 80; and Amber Heard, 31. . . . Sunday’s birthdays: Gigi Hadid, 22; George Lopez, 56; Dev Patel; 27 and a happy Monday birthday to former Mayor Richard M. Daley, priceless.